We have looked at boldness as a Biblical attribute of a missionary. We now will turn our attention to determination. Determination is a firmness of purpose, a resoluteness. It is a purposed unwavering. The very definition of determination is a description of the apostles who took the Gospel to the world! They were firm in their purpose (making Jesus known among all nations, that everyone might be saved). They were resolute! They did not waver, nor were they distracted by other things of lesser importance! Determination can be found all through the book of Acts. Here are a few specific examples.
Paul lived with great determination. Perhaps the greatest example of this is Paul and the persecution he endured.
- “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.” 2 Corinthians 11:24-28
- Any one of these things would make many men quit. Many would see this as God telling them that this is not His will. Paul was determined. These things did not stop Paul, he pressed on. This is determination.
- “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” 1 Corinthians 16:9
- This verse displays Paul’s determination. If these words came out of most Christian’s lips, we would use the word “but” instead of “and”. A great door and effectual is opened unto me, BUT there are many adversaries. Paul used the conjunction “AND”. Paul was determined. Any adversaries along the way would not cause him to stop, he even counted on them being in the way. Paul’s determination to make the Gospel known caused him to view adversaries as an inevitable fact. Even so Paul pressed on!
Jesus was absolutely determined
- “ For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” John 6:38
- What was Jesus determined to do? He was determined to fulfill His Father’s plan!
- “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” Matthew 4:1-11
- When tempted, Jesus would not waver. He was firm in His purpose. Now, Jesus would never succumb Satan’s wickedness anyway, but I think that this illustrates Jesus’ determination.
- “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” John 13:26-27
- This is in reference to Judas Iscariot at the last supper. How does this show Jesus’ determination? Even betrayal and heart break did not stop Jesus from accomplishing His Father’s plan. The knowledge of the excruciating pain that was to come did not stop Jesus. He told Judas to do what he was going to do quickly. Would it hurt? Yes. Would the betrayal hurt? Yes. Would the pain be incredibly bad? Yes. Even so, Jesus was absolutely resolute.
There are many other examples of determination amongst Jesus’ disciples. A biblical missionary must be determined to make the Gospel of Jesus known among all nations. All mankind is guilty and in their sins, those of us who are in Christ have a responsibility to make Jesus known that all may be in Christ!