MISSIONS – MORE THAN JUST BUILDINGS

When we visited our daughter in Texas, she took us on a tour of some of the missions and monuments erected in and about San Antonio.  It was fascinating to look at these sites and to think about the people who lived at the time they were built. 

used-mission-san-jose-san-antonio-texas-1782-mission-building-itself
Mission San Jose in San Antonio, Texas, built in 1720.

Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo was known as the “Queen of the Missions” that were built in the San Antonio area. 

The priests’ rooms were built down an exterior corridor along the side of the mission. 

used-mission-san-jose-san-antonio-texas-priests-rooms

The priests’ rooms along the corridor at the mission.

The mission was like most Spanish missions, it was not primarily a place of worship.  Rather, the mission was the focal point of activity for those living in the area. It provided safety within its walls, when many of the people lived in much less secure homes.  It provided social interaction and communication among neighbors who loved long distances apart.  It provided a community of people who lived together and, then, who worshiped together at this place. 

san-antonio-mission-san-jose-1720
Mission San Jose – as restored for us to see and appreciate.

Mission San José has been restored and it illustrates how all the missions might have looked over 250 years ago.  The grounds are beautiful and induce a sense of tranquility even though, when the mission was in use, it was bustling with activity, people and produce.

The missionaries who established the Mission San José worked on behalf of their Lord and Savior in bringing Christ to the people who had not heard of Him before. 

While we may not erect buildings such as the Mission San José, we do have an obligation, as believers in Jesus Christ, to tell others of His sacrificial death and of their need for a Savior. 

Jesus told us to spread the gospel in Matthew 28:19 when He said:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

This was repeated in Acts 1:8 when Jesus told the disciples:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The Apostles then and the Christian believers since then have been under Jesus’ commission to be witnesses of His gospel in our home city, in surrounding areas, and to the end of the earth.  That is what missionary work is – first at home, then in local areas (home missions) and then around the world (foreign missions). 

Paul understood the obligation to preach the gospel to all he encountered when he said in 1 Corinthians 9:16:

For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

Paul saying “Woe to me”?  He understood the mandate to reach others with the Word of God.  His conviction was so strong, that he stated this warning.  We would do well to take heed to these words.

It has been said that if we do not tell others of their sin and of their need of the Savior, we do not have a right concept of heaven and hell.  If we truly believed that the unrepentant person would spend eternity in suffering in hell, we would be on the street corner grabbing any and all who would stop in our effort to avoid having even one person in that horrible place. 

  • Missions – it may be a beautiful stone structure in which God is proclaimed and the Christian life is lived out as a testimony of the power of the gospel.
  • Missions – it may be speaking to people in a foreign country about God and about His Son to a people who have never heard of a God of love and grace.
  • Missions – it may be living a Christian life in witness to God’s grace before your coworkers and being ready to speak to them of sin and punishment, of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death, of grace and unspeakable joy in the Lord Jesus.
  • Missions – it may be teaching your children or grandchildren of God’s love and of Jesus’ death on the cross, leading them to learn of Him and praying that the Spirit would work on their behalf to seal them as Christians.

 The following poem was taken from a tract published by Christian Laymen’s Tract League many years ago, as it was found in my Uncle’s well-worn Bible:

Speak out for Jesus

You talk about your business, your bonds and stocks and gold;

And in all worldly matters you are so brave and bold.

But why are you so silent about salvation’s plan?

Why don’t you speak for Jesus, and speak out like a man?

You talk about the weather, and the crops of corn and wheat;

You speak of friends and neighbors that pass along the street;

You call yourself a Christian, and like the Gospel plan –

Then why not speak for Jesus, and speak out like a man?

Are you ashamed of Jesus and the story of the cross,

That you lower His pure banner and let it suffer loss?

Have you forgot His suffering?  Did He die for you in vain?

If not, then live and speak for Jesus, and speak out like a man.

Here is a musical offering that I pray will be a blessing to you.   Ms. Robin Kochis is singing “How Beautiful” from the album Great is Thy Faithfulness.  How beautiful are the feet of those that bring the message of Jesus Christ to a lost soul seeking relief from sin that only Jesus can bring. 

May each of us, both men and women, bear His message wherever we go without being ashamed to raise His name! 

 

Lord, forgive me when I have failed to speak your name to others.  Forgive me when I have kept your gift of salvation to myself and have not shared with others the joy and comfort of an intimate relationship with the Creator God who we can now call Father because of your sacrifice.  I praise You, my Lord and Savior.  Give me the wisdom, strength and courage to speak your name to others today.

Let me know if you agree, like or want to comment. Thanks. .

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