Marks of a Missionary Heart

An exposition of Romans 15:14-33. romansThis message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, May 30, 2010.

We’ve been commanded to “take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”  We are told to preach the Gospel to all the world.  That is not a unique assignment given to a select few, that is our Lord’s call to all the people of God.  We, you and me, have an obligation to be on mission.  “Oh, I’m not called to the mission field.”  Really?  Are you a Christian?  Then you are a missionary.  You are called.  It was Spurgeon who said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.”  Where is your mission field?  It is all around you and the fields are white unto harvest.  It used to be popular to have signs at the exist of churches reading, “You are now entering the mission field.”  I like that.  It is certainly true and it was a good reminder that we are always and everywhere on mission.  But the truth is the mission field was in the hallway leading to that door.  It was in every classroom.  It was in the worship center.  Anywhere there is a person who has not yielded his or her heart to Christ and become engaged in the worship of the true and living God there is a mission field.  The passion, the heartbeat, of the church is to spread the name and the fame of our God.  Some will be called to give their lives in foreign lands for the sake of that glorious name.  If that is God’s call to your heart you must not settle for anything less.  Others will serve on short-term trips to various peoples.  Others will never set foot in a foreign land but they will weep over the peoples of the world and bath them in the tears of their prayers.  Some will preach in cathedrals and country churches.  Some will fill stadiums and convention halls.  While others will cradle babies and sing them sweet gospel songs and tell them of Jesus who died and rose again.  Some will knock on doors and boldly testify of God’s saving power.  Others will quietly serve their neighbor and gently speak of Jesus’ love.  But this one thing is certain none of us can claim exemption from missionary service.

Whether it is across the street or across the globe, whether it is through bold proclamation or quiet service we are under orders to take the message of God’s love revealed in redemption through Christ’s blood to our world.  We are a people on mission.  And the task is not complete until every living soul is actively engaged in the worship of God or we are called home.  His is an amazing story.  He “got it.”  He understood that he was called.  It was his consuming passion and thus he is a great example for us to follow.  Our text this morning give us some insight into the great missionary heart of the apostle Paul.

Text: Romans 15:14-33
Paul is nearing the end of his great letter to the church at Rome.
He has demonstrated our desperate need.
He has made clear God’s great provision.
He has revealed that salvation is by grace, through faith.
He has laid out the sanctifying work of the Spirit.
He has declared that God is faithful both to his people and his promise.

Paul has also spoke clearly about the life we’ve been called to live.
We’ve seen that church is about living the faith together.
This passage reveals somethings about the heart behind Paul’s ministry.

How do I know if my heart is where it needs to be?  How can I be sure my mind is focused as it should be?  I want to be on mission – how do I get there?  As we walk through this passage together I want to point out 4 marks of a missionary heart.

  1. The missionary heart views all of life as service to God and that life is to be lived for the benefit of others.  (15:15-16)
  2. The missionary heart remains focused on God’s glory.  (15:17-19)
  3. The missionary heart dares to dream big.  (15:20-29)
  4. The missionary heart knows the mission cannot be accomplished alone.  (15:30-33)
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