SBTS chapel live blog: Sent by the Father to do His work

Communications Staff — March 26, 2009

Speaker: Geoff Hammond, President of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

Text: John 9:4

Testimony: Todd Borger, IMB missionary and SBTS graduate, sharing as a part of Missions Emphasis Week at Southern.

Borger shared the story of Anna Borger, his daughter. Anna accompanied Borger and his wife to Indonesia — where they served as missionaries — at age 4.

Anna loved to read. Anna loved to read on Greek mythology and was the household expert on Greek and Roman culture. By age 7, Anna had read C.S. Lewis’ ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ several times through. Anna also had an interest in the work of Shakespeare.

Anna professed faith in Christ at age 5. She showed an ardent desire to read Scripture. Borger recounted an instance when Anna lay on her bed staring at the ceiling. Borger’s wife, Timberly, thought something was wrong, so she sat down next to Anna and asked her what she was thinking about. ‘O mommy: I love Jesus so much,’ was her reply.

One day, Anna and Timberly were on a bike ride. Inexplicably, Anna missed a turn approaching a bridge and plummeted 30 feet into a ravine. She died instantly.

Borger said that in his weakness after the traumatic event, he has often found it difficult to move forward. He has leaned on God as His Rock. The event has touched every part of him and his family’s lives.

Borger said it is difficult right now and he doesn’t know if the difficulty to ease. But he looks forward to a day when Christ will return and the difficultly will end. Borger looks forward to being reunited with his daughter and all the rest of God’s saints on that day.

Sermon: Sent by the Father to do His work.

Hammond said John 9:4 is a summary statement of Jesus’ life.

‘Sent’ is the key verse in the passage, a word that appears approximately 40 times in the book of John. Jesus speaks of God sending Him in this verse. Hammond said he would focus on the Father sending the Son and on the Son sending His people into the world.

In the call of God, there is a sending and in the sending there is a response of obedience.

Sent by the Father

God’s people are sent by Him to do His work. The tricky part of ministry is doing the Father’s work, instead of doing our will in ministry and calling it the Father’s work. If experience, training and preparation for ministry get in the way of doing the Father’s will, then you will never bear fruit in your ministry.

Often, we say, ‘Lord will you bless what I am doing here?’ Instead, God wants us to align with what He is doing. As we align with what He is doing, God will make our work fruitful and blessed and God will get the glory because His people will be doing the work that He called them to do.

Work because night is coming

The night Jesus was talking about was His own death on the cross. There was a sense of urgency about Jesus’ ministry that His disciples often failed to understand.

In John 4, after talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus’ disciples arrived with food and asked Him if was ready to eat. Jesus responded, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work,’ (John 4:34).

We are tempted to say we will do ministry for God as long as certain conditions are met. We want to have certain amenities and provision if we are going to do ministry. We only want to go certain places. Instead, we should be willing to go anywhere God would send us, regardless of how comfortable out lives might be.

North America needs missionaries. Serving as a missionary in North America is not antithetical to accomplishing the Great Commission throughout the world; it is one part of fulfilling the Great Commission.

North America is growing in its diversity. America is now the fifth most linguistically diverse country in the world. In Toronto, emergency dispatchers respond to 911 calls in 150 languages.

We have been sent by the Father to do the Father’s work. We will all be held accountable to being faithful to carry out the Great Commission. God will call some of us to serve as missionaries in North America.

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