Friday, December 09, 2016

Allen: the successful missionary

Friday, December 9, 2016
    For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.
    —2 Thess. 3:7-9 (ESV)
    The missionary work of the non-professional missionary is essentially to live his daily life in Christ, and therefore with a difference, and to be able to explain, or at least to state, the reason and cause of the difference to men who see it. His preaching is essentially private conversation, and has at the back of it facts, facts of a life which explain and illustrate and enforce his words...
    It is such missionary work, done consciously and deliberately as missionary, that the world needs today. Everybody, Christian and pagan alike, respects such work; and, when it is so done, men wonder, and inquire into the secret of a life which they instinctively admire and covet for themselves... The spirit which inspires love of others and efforts after their well-being, both in body and soul, they cannot but admire and covet, unless, indeed, seeing that it would reform their own lives, they dread and hate it, because they do not desire to be reformed. In either case, it works.
    ... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Non-Professional Missionaries, privately printed, 1929, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 84 (see the book)
    See also 2 Thess. 3:7-9; Acts 18:2-3; 20:34; 1 Cor. 4:12-13; 9:12; 2 Cor. 11:9
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, make me to show forth Your grace to one who needs it today.
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