Biblical Attributes of a Missionary: Boldness

A few weeks ago, I posted the beginning of a series on biblical attributes of a missionary.  For this post, we are going to look at boldness.  The word “bold” is used 31 times in the New Testament.  Paul (and his team) is referred to as “bold” over and over in the book of Acts (for examples: Acts 13:46, 14:3, 18:26, 19:8).  Paul also spoke of his own boldness in different cities and churches (2 Corinthians 7:4, 10:1-2, Philippians 1:20, 1 Thessalonians 2:2).  Jesus was described as speaking “boldly” (John 7:26).  Peter and John were also described by their boldness (Acts 4:13).

So boldness is found in New Testament missions, that much we can easily see.  I think the question is how should boldness manifest itself in the life of a missionary?  Here are some suggestions…

  • In our preaching and proclaiming (John 7).  There are many examples of this in the New Testament.  I think John 7 gives us a clear example of this in Jesus.  This was during the Feast of Tabernacles, when all the Jewish men were required to go up to Jerusalem.  They were all there, the Pharisees, the Scribes, the Sadducees, the Pius Hebrew, and the normal Hebrew.  Jesus spoke in the middle of the celebration.  The collective audience was amazed.  They described Jesus’ defense of healing on the Sabbath Day (this reference was to John 5) as “speaking boldly” (John 7:26).  Such speech may have (and would eventually) bring Jesus into judgement.
  • In our defense against unbelievers (Acts 4).  Peter and John were regarded as “ignorant men”.  At least that is how Annas, Caiaphas, and other Jewish leaders felt about them.  They were fisherman who had left what they had to follow Jesus.  Jesus had died (as far as these unbelieving Jewish leaders were concerned, He actually had ascended to the Father) and these men were trying to “keep it going”.  Peter and John were taken in to be questioned before the religious leaders.  As Peter and John spoke, they spoke boldly, defending their actions before unbelievers.
  • In building believers (2 Corinthians 10:1-2).  Paul here tells the believers in Corinth that he is base among them but is bold toward them in the defense of his apostleship.  In building believers (Romans 15:15 gives us another good example), Paul was bold toward these churches.  He was bold, not as to hurt them, but to build them!

With all of this being true, how is boldness achieved in the missionary?

  • Spending time with Jesus (Acts 4:13).  The Jewish leaders noticed John and Peter’s boldness and noticed in that, that they had been with Jesus.  I know this sounds trite, but the time we spend with Jesus will make us bold.  The time we spend reading God’s Word will embolden us.
  • Walking in faith, not in fear (John 7:13).  Jesus was on the minds and hearts of many during the Feast of the Tabernacles.  This was not supposed to be, but it was.  Even so, people were scared to speak “openly” about Jesus.  “Openly” is the same exact word as “boldly” in our other passages.  The average Jewish man was afraid to speak about Jesus because of what the Jewish leaders might think.  But when we walk in faith instead of fear, we become bold in Jesus!
  • Abiding in Jesus (1 John 2:28).  I firmly believe there is nothing we can do to “abide more in Jesus”.  You either “abide in Christ” or you don’t.  This is a matter of identity.  Are you in Christ?  The only way to be bold in Jesus is to abide in Jesus!

Boldness is certainly a biblical attribute of the New Testament Missionary.  May God help us to be bold in our faith toward this lost world.

October 2014 Missions Letter

With Old Friends and New Ones…

September had us in California, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, and Maryland.  We were in 12 scheduled meetings this month.  It was a special month of spending time in meetings with old friends.  We have also had the opportunity to meet new friends along the way.  We have driven over 4,000 miles!  In this, we have seen God provide for us in amazing ways.  The churches we have been in have been kind and supportive.

We are at 25% of our needed support. We are 1/4 of the way there.  Our desire is to be on the mission field in Argentina, and God is not only leading us there, but guiding us to churches that are partnering with us to this end! Thank you for your prayers as we continue on the deputation trail.
Serving Together,

Patrick, Leslie, Lily, Piper, and Ivy Henry

 

October and the Road Home

We are scheduled to arrive home (in Atlanta, GA) on October 09th, but that doesn’t mean we are slowing down!  We will then be right back on the road to North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and back to Georgia for scheduled meetings where we will share our burden for Argentina and world evangelism.  Our calendar is filling up for the 2015 year.  Please pray for us.  We are making calls, scheduling meetings, hitting the road, meeting people, sharing our burden, and watching God provide for us!  We are praying that God will continue to use us to encourage others to get personally involved in world evangelism!

Argentine Empanadas

Argentine Empanadas

We love mission conference at our church!  It is our favorite event of the year.  Our church has done different things through the years.  One of our favorite things is the “international dinner”.  This is where different people from our church bring in food that is “traditional” in other countries.  In our church, we have some Jamaican ladies.  They have made traditional Jamaican food before that was wonderful!  We also have a missionary family to Cambodia.  When they were with us, we had traditional Cambodian food (along with the tacos, rice, etc. that other folks in the church brought).

With this in mind, we wanted to give you a recipe for Argentine empanadas.  Empanadas are an Argentine staple.  If you are not familiar with empanadas, they are savory pastry pockets (think “hot-pocket” but that actually tastes good and fresh).  There are many different ways they are made (some are baked, some fried, some have beef, some ham, some chicken, some just cheese, etc.).  Each province makes them a little different as well.  Here is an example recipe that you can make for your church’s international dinner….

Empanadas

Empanada Dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • pinch of salt

1.   Put all the flour into a big mixing bowl and form a crater in the center.  In a separate container, mix warm water with the butter and salt.  Pour the liquid mix into the center of the crater.

2.  Mix well, then knead until uniform.  Allow the dough to rest for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.  If you have the time, let it rest overnight.

3.  Flour your counter/table surface, then roll the dough a bit thicker than 1/4 inch.  Cut circles about the size of your hand from the dough.  Now you’re ready to fill the empanadas!

Beef Empanada Filling:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs

1. Finely dice the onions while allowing enough oil to cover the onions heat in a medium to large saucepan.  When the oil is hot, add the onions and allow to saute until they are clear in color.

2. Add the meat and spices, and cook, stirring frequently.  Once the meat is cooked, remove the mixture from the heat.

3. Hard-boil two eggs.  Once the eggs are ready, slice them and add to the meat mixture.

Procedure:

  • Pre-heat the oven to a medium temperature.  In the center of each disc, add a heaping spoonful of filling, being sure to leave a generous margin.  Then fold the circle in half.
  • The hardest part can be folding the empanadas; if the sides don’t stick together, wet your finger with a touch of water and fully seal the edges.  Then, pinch a piece of the rim and fold it in towards the center.  Here is a video I found on YouTube.
  • If you like, you can brush the empanadas with a mix of equal parts egg yolk and water, and sprinkling the tops with sugar or parmesan cheese.
  • Once the empanadas are all prepared, into the oven!  Let them cook until slightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Allow to cool and enjoy!

Biblical Attributes of a Missionary: Our Examples.

I posted an article about the biblical method for world missions.  I will be taking a few posts to look at some of the biblical attributes of a missionary.  This study will in no way be comprehensive.  Missionaries are not a “cookie-cutter” sort.  Everyone is different.  This was true even in the biblical times as well.  Even so, there are specific attributes that these “different” men all shared.  There are some biblical attributes found in our New Testament missionaries that I strive for in my life.  It is important in this study to note that these are not characteristics (or attributes) a man is born with, but are developed in men who follow God’s command to take the Gospel to the nations!

For this post, we will look first call our attention to the quintessential models of New Testament missions.  These men serve as the ideal!  They are a sort of paradigm for modern day missionaries to follow.  Let’s briefly look at them…

  • Paul:  Paul is almost always the first person we turn our attention to in New Testament missions.  He is regarded as the most influential in the early Christian church.  Paul was an apostle, author, minister, teacher, and “tent-maker”.  He was also a missionary!  By stating Paul’s missionary status, we are making clear that he was a man-trainer and church-planter (after all, these two things are what missionaries do.  See my earlier post).  He took three missionary journeys to different cities where he engaged the lost with the Gospel of Jesus, started churches, and trained men.
  • Barnabas:  He and Paul were partners for the first missionary journey to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.  He was a church leader who sought to see all peoples (Jews and Gentiles) to know Jesus.  When Paul returned to Jerusalem after his conversion, Barnabas took him and introduced him to the apostles.
  • Timothy:  A third generation Christians who was Paul’s companion in many of his missionary endeavors.  Paul called him “his own son in the faith”.  He assisted in the planting of churches and training of men.  Although there are not many details that we know of Timothy, Paul’s instruction to him gives us insight.
  • Jesus:  How can we search the New Testament Scriptures concerning missions and not place the strongest emphasis on the best missionary example? Jesus truly is the absolute greatest example of a New Testament missions.  He came from another “country” (Heaven), He trained men and established His church, He not only put Himself on the same plain as the men He trained, but put Himself under them in serving them.  He sent those same men He trained to do the same!  He IS the pattern!

This will be an interesting study.  What attributes do you think a missionary should have?  What attributes did these men have?  Join in on the study.  Our job is twofold, glorify God and make His name known among all the nations!