“But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3 NASB).
We stay on track through all the differing ideas and streams in the church by maintaining our simplicity and purity. We fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. When pressed to the absolute limit, as was Paul, we determine to know nothing but Jesus and Him crucified — the only basis of our confidence. He is the dividing line, the stumbling block, the cutting edge, the point at which we meet salvation and life. No one in the universe is more controversial.
We trust and love Him because He died for us, and rose again on our behalf. He is the one who suffered for us. He paid the penalty for our sins. He purchased our lives with His blood. He showed us what love is. And so we are loyal to Him alone. We belong to Him, and not ourselves. We make it our ambition to please Him. If necessary, like Paul, we will suffer the loss of all things in order to have Him. We forsake every temptation in this life that takes us away from Him, even slightly. He is our greatest pleasure, our ultimate companion. We no longer love the world or anything in it, because He is the supreme object of our desire. Worthy is the Lamb!
We rejoice that we participate in His sufferings, so that we may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. To the end of this age we will endure evil opposition and glorify God by overcoming with faith proven to be genuine. In all our troubles, our joy knows no bounds. As aliens and strangers in this world, we look forward to our perfect inheritance, kept in heaven for us.
In heaven Jesus will be exalted for His obedient suffering, and in the same way we will share in His reward. We conquer by taking the low road. We gain life by losing it, for His sake. We humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt us at the proper time. We learn to love by laying down our lives for others, and in so doing, minister to God Himself.
It is impossible to be devoted to Jesus and not share Him, pure and simple. We cannot see Him now, but God has ordained that we love Him by loving each other, whom we can see. He is love, and so we cannot separate the first commandment from the second. There are many callings, but none higher than to give water to the thirsty and food to the hungry. The intercessors at home and the troops in the trenches are equals in the Kingdom. We learn to love just as we are gifted and called by God.
Missions is our joy, the simple, logical outcome of knowing Jesus. We love Him; others don’t. We have life and hope; others don’t. We have reason to rejoice; others don’t. We have love in our hearts; others don’t. We have food and clothes; others don’t. We have health; others don’t. We have family; others don’t. We have no reason to be anxious; others are weighed down with cares. It is obvious that the calling of every believer in Jesus is to have a part in correcting these imbalances.
That may take us across the street or around the world. It is also obvious that we should be utterly available to God to go anywhere and do anything, at any time. He can and will make a way as He leads us. That is the testimony of Iris Ministries, for thirty years.
We begin each day by immediately exercising our faith in Jesus to attack every problem and pressure we have. We throw all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us. This sets us free to rejoice in Him always, and take a positive view of everything. Then we pray for the greatest, most miraculous, victorious day ever! And on we go through the rest of the day, loving and worshiping Him as we use our gifts, natural and supernatural, to bless everyone we can, as deeply as we can.
To us missions is the natural outworking of our faith. It is the way we return the love God has for us. There is no other option. Revival without missions is deficient. To turn away from the lost, poor and needy is to turn away from God. Our intimacy with Jesus extends to one another; such is the excellence and perfection of His Kingdom!