There are many definitions of missions. One that we have used frequently is that the mission is to make disciples of all nations so that God is praised over all the earth. However, a deeper definition that is given in Encountering Missionary Life and Work by Lois McKinney Douglas and Tome Steffen is that "Missions is... the dynamic relationship between God and the world: God sends himself, his son, and his church."
During this upcoming year, we will be studying the Old Testament and how God sent himself in the lives of prophets, warriors, kings, judges, shepherds, and exiles. Here, we will find men and women who struggled to stay true to the life God had called them to. Yet, we will also see the evidence of God's faithfulness as He calls them back time and time again to the mission that he head for them.
God made a covenant with Abraham and said that through his family a nation would rise, and through that nation, nations of the world would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3 ESV). This blessing is ultimately fulfilled through the life of Jesus. This is affirmed through the words of Paul in Galatians 3:8. It says that, "the Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'In you shall all the nations be blessed'" (ESV).
The Old Testament gives us a rich history and revelation about who God is and how He is present in the lives of his people. Although the Old Testament primarily focuses upon the Hebrew people, rather than the world as a whole, elements of the mission and missional work is seen as God reveals himself to his people, and how He commands them to be an example for the nations.
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