By Suzane Avadiar, Communications Manager of AsiaCMS
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” – John 13:35.
Peter was heartbroken; he had denied his Jesus and stood by as his Saviour was crucified. Peter was still consumed with guilt and disappointment in himself when he and a few other disciples spotted Jesus walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
The moment Peter heard John say, “It is the Lord!” (John 21:7), Peter leaped out of the boat and rushed over to his beloved Jesus. He was in need of restoration. After cooking His disciples breakfast with their own catch and breaking bread with them, Jesus turned his attention to Peter with one fateful question three times (John 21:15-19)…
He began first with “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Each time Peter affirms, Jesus gives a command for His mission: if Peter truly loves his Saviour, he is to care for those who belong to Christ.
Three times, Jesus uses the Greek word agape in his question, meaning unconditional love. Three times so Peter could confess his love for Jesus before others, after publicly denying Him. Three times so Peter knows the importance of what Jesus wanted him to do – to love Him and feed His lambs.
Jesus wanted Peter to understand that the foundation of his mission to care for God’s children must rest upon a love for Him. This command extends to us in our daily life and walk with Christ, but even more so within the context of God’s mission.
God is Love (1 John 4:8); it is who He is and it is His very nature.
In dark places where the name of Jesus may be controversial and even heretical, the face of Jesus will be accepted because it is one of love; His love can outshine anything.
No matter what the agenda, cause or goal, what unites every mission and mission worker is Jesus and His Gospel of love; that is the only gospel we should take with us as we partner with Him in His mission.
“…we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them,” – 1 John 4:16.
When we focus on BEING the face of Jesus even when we stand on soil where we cannot speak the name of Jesus, the gospel is effectively preached. We will sow the seeds of the gospel when the people of the world see God’s face through us because His love has the power to cross borders, cultures, and languages into the darkest corners of the world.
Here at AsiaCMS, we walk alongside our co-mission partners and stay the course by remembering that the Face of Mission is that of Jesus. As we continue to walk forward with the five marks of mission as our foundation, we rest against God’s love as our cornerstone:
- We proclaim the good news of the kingdom… with love;
- We teach, baptise and nurture new believers… in love;
- We respond to human need by living service… with love;
- We transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation… through God’s love;
- We strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth… in love.
Our co-mission partners all across Asia live out these principles daily as they serve God’s Kingdom and take his Gospel to the most unreached corners. We have mission workers in the remote hills of South Asia ministering to unreached, marginalized and “untouchable” communities.
We have theological educators across the landscape of Asia, who teach and serve above and beyond their call of duty, and others who work tirelessly in peace and reconciliation efforts in places that are crying out for God’s love and light amidst the chilling darkness.
There are mission partners who have made it their life’s calling to build up, equip and develop communities with basic living necessities, life skills and provide affordable shelter to those who otherwise would be homeless.
There are others who reach out to women prisoners, drug addicts and individuals who are shunned by society; to bring a balm to their souls and work towards rehabilitating them in love.
Then, there are a few who have dedicated their lives to protecting the rights of women and children in a world that never stops trying to rob them of their innocence, dignity and voice.
These are all areas of mission that are on the edge but are increasingly needed. While these types of missional work demand much from those who serve, they also bring about the greatest transformation and restoration, in ways that only God’s enduring love can.
Every one of the existing missional efforts here at AsiaCMS and every new terrain we will step onto in the days to come will wear the face of missions that reveal’s God’s love. This is the only way to move forward with God’s mission.
We need more selfless mission workers out in the field to be the face of Jesus to the world. To do that, they will need your prayer and support.
Will you partner with us as we walk alongside them on the edge in God’s mission?
If you would like to sow into our ministry, visit our website at www.asiacms.net to find out more about our Co-Mission Partners and what they do.