Adopting God’s Heart for the Nations
Why consider moving to live in other cultures and countries with the least access to Jesus Christ? Because it’s God’s idea. God blessed you and me with the good news so that all the nations of the earth—all the families of the earth—will be blessed with the good news through us.
God told Abraham that he would bless him so that all the nations and families on the earth would be blessed through him and his decendants. Throughout the Old Testament, God kept pressing Israel to be a light to the world, sending Jonah to the Ninevites, Daniel to the Babylonians, and Esther to the Persians.
The apostle Peter brought Abraham’s “blessed to be a blessing to the nations” covenant right into the New Testament too in Acts. He reminded everyone that we are all descendants of Abraham and that through his decendants all the families on earth would be blessed.
So that means us too.
The thread weaves right through to Revelation, where we catch a vision for the outcome of God’s heart for the nations. The apostle John saw the future, with heavenly creatures encircling the throne of God, saying to the Lamb, who is Jesus Christ that he is worthy to take the scrolls and open them because his blood had bought people for God from every tribe, and tongue and nation.
People from every tribe, every language, and every nation will one day stand shoulder to shoulder next to you and me in front of the throne of God!
For this vision to happen, God invites followers of Jesus to go to places of pain, poverty, and people without access to Jesus Christ.
While scripture doesn’t inform us, legend and history books indicate that after Jesus returned to heaven, most of the twelve disciples traveled all over the inhabited world. Christians in what is now Russia claim Andrew as the first to bring the gospel to their land, and he also traveled to Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, and Greece, where he met his end by crucifixion. Christians in southern India credit Thomas as their founder.
Philip possibly had a ministry in North Africa and Asia Minor. Matthew, the tax collector and writer of one of the Gospels, was believed to have preached in Ethiopia, and in Persia, along with Simon the Zealot. It’s believed that Bartholomew traveled with Thomas to India, and also to Ethiopia and southern Arabia. It’s recorded that James worked in Syria, as did Matthias, alongside Andrew.*
How did this all happen?
Their hearts started to beat as God’s heart beats, and they realized they could follow Jesus to the nations in their neighborhood . . . and beyond. It changed the way they lived their lives.
It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen.
And it can happen to you.
* Ken Curtis, PhD, “Whatever Happened to the Twelve Apostles?” Christianity.com, April 28, 2010.
To learn more about Jeannie Marie’s book, Across the Street and Around the World, click here .