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David Timms 

Issue 5.16

Ministry Resource

What resources have you found compelling and inspiring, recently? Drop me a line. I'd love to hear what books are shaping your life and ministry in helpful ways. 

HOPE Happenings

Summer is here. Our faculty and students are scattering in many directions - South America, Central America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. And yes, some are even staying at home! Your prayer support for the members of this University community is greatly appreciated. 

Your Mission

"Your mission, should you choose to accept it ..." And so began many episodes of the original television series which Tom Cruise later turned into blockbuster movies.


Mission remains a key term in Christian circles. Yet, despite the enormous popularity of The Purpose Driven Life, I remain unconvinced that God created us to evangelize. He certainly instructs us to "Go and make disciples" but one hardly imagines Adam and Eve being created for the purpose of winning the world.


But before we wriggle off the "mission" hook, it helps to consider the character of God. Theologians speak of missio dei(the mission of God) and the propensity of God to "send." He sends out and reaches out endlessly ... not because of guilt or fear of failure, but because of love. His love compels Him.


Love compelled Him to spare Adam and Eve. "Where are you?" (Gen 3.9) was not an angry demand but a pleading enquiry. 


Love prompted Him to send His Son, to reach out and touch the outcasts and the forsaken "with compassion" (Mk 1.41).  


Love guided Him to send His Holy Spirit to His children as a Comforter and Guide (Jn 14.26).


Indeed, the love of God and the mission of God are inseparable. Everything about God reaches out. Quite possibly "missiology" is the foundation for all theology. Jesus empties Himself to reach us. The Holy Spirit is sent to minister to us. The Church is commissioned to be the hands and feet of God in the world.


Our failure to grapple with these realities, reflects a basic failure in our understanding of God.


Love makes us leave comfort and pay a cost. It motivates us to give rather than take, to risk rather than resist, to reach out rather than withdraw, to abandon ourselves rather than live for ourselves.


Mature love compels us to live for others.


Those others can be found in the foster-care system, women's shelters, long-term motel accommodations, downtown ghettos and gutters. We find them in AIDS-ravaged villages, poverty-stricken townships, refugee camps, and jails. They live in garbage dumps, in cardboard boxes, in shacks, shanties, and squalor.     


How can we expand our own personal kingdoms with barely a thought for the distressed and destitute, the sick and the abandoned, the homeless and the abused?


If mature faith means embracing the heart of God more and more as our own heart, then missio dei will become missio humanitatis. This compelling mission derives not from our created purpose but our transformational experience of His love.


We might wonder about the revolution that would occur within us and within our communities, if His heart became ours!


In  HOPE -

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

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