Great missionaries include the likes of Eric Liddell. While most often thought of as the wonderful athlete depicted in the movie, “Chariots of Fire”, the untold story is his work as a missionary in China. He ignored the media’s hero worship after the 1924 Olympic games and returned to China in 1925, where he had been born, to continue his family’s missionary work.
One definition for a missionary is someone bound by marriage to the stated mission and purpose of his Lord – To love others and make disciples. While Liddell’s work in China, along with other missionaries around the world, reflects the Lord where He may not be seen any other way, the oft overlooked mission work is fathering. Dads and moms are charged to raise godly offspring(Mal.2:15), which suggests the primary mission field is the home. A secondary mission field involves other dads in the church and broader circles of influence. Being on mission for Him is accepting responsibility as a father or spiritual father, to reflect the mission and purpose of the Lord in your immediate circles.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”- Matthew 28:18-20. To “go” simply means to live. When God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” – Gen.9:1, it is obvious that being fruitful starts in the marriage and home. Then they would “fill the earth.” Similarly, to “go and make disciples of all nations” starts in the marriage and home. Eric Liddell’s life reflected the home he grew up in, where they lived the mission and purpose of the Lord. Be on mission in the home and the Lord will be glorified across all nations.
Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, writes, “The basis of missionary appeals is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the heathen.” Eric Liddell was a devout Christian and lived under the authority of Jesus the Christ. This was on full display in the world of sports when he dropped out of the 100-meter run – his strongest event - at the 1924 Olympics because the final was scheduled for a Sunday. Instead, he trained for the 200- and 400-meter runs which had finals scheduled later in the week. Liddell ended up winning the bronze medal in the former and the gold medal in the latter. These are the things movies are made of. But it is the day to day work of missionaries that families and societies are made of. The call is to be on mission in your home.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for the authority given to Jesus the Christ in heaven and on the earth. Too often I have not looked to You when establishing priorities in the home. I have failed to live under the authority of You in my life. Forgive me. Help me reflect the mission and purpose You have for me, that I learn to love as You love and make disciples in my family and circles of influence. Equip me in the power of the resurrected Christ and indwelling of the Holy Spirit to boldly step forward on mission for You. Amen.
A faithful father is on mission for the Lord in his home, church & circles of influence.