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Missions 101

They sensed the desperate need of others

Feb. 8, 2012By: Ben StaffordAuthor Bio

Two weeks ago, in this series on the motives for evangelism we looked at the apostles and saw that their primary motive was a profound sense of the love of Christ in their life.

When I think of Jesus I often think of his compassion; largely because it's a quality I need a lot of work on. This is an area the apostles modeled so well.  Like Jesus, they would look at people and love them. They would look at them and have compassion on them.  This love and compassion only happens if we sense the desperate need of others. 

As Jesus did, we ought to see and be moved by the needs of others, both physical needs, and eternal needs. 

We could boil down the apostle's message to what is summarized in Acts 4:10 -

let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well.  11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation bin no one else, for there is no other dname under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

There are many examples in Acts: The examples in Acts of compassion on others are plentiful:
     -Those with physical handicaps were healed
     -Compassion on those in poverty
     -Compassion for those trapped in idolatry
     -Compassion on those who were demon possessed
     -And Compassion for those with intellectual and religious pride.
     -The list could go on.

Examining your motives for evangelism and aiding others, how much is it because you truly have compassion on the other person, seeking to see them well?

Ben Stafford is the Director of Short-Term Ministries, overseeing the logistics and vision of all the short-term trips as well as representing TLI to students, teachers, and other organizations. Before joining TLI, Ben was the Director of Programs at the Foundation for Economic Education where he oversaw the educational events geared towards high school and college students. His work primarily involved strategic planning, managing, and measuring the department’s resources and results, bringing the programs department to a new level. Previously, he worked as a research intern for two summers at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He still teaches students of all ages about business and economics on the side.

Ben graduated in 2008 from Hillsdale College with a degree with Economics. He enjoys real food, barefoot runs, playing classical guitar, climbing mountains, and international travel. More than all these, he echoes the sentiment of Jonathan Edwards in that God’s purpose for his life is that he have a passion for God’s glory and that he has a passion for his joy in that glory, and that these two are one passion.

He currently resides in Atlanta, GA where he is actively involved with the saints at Perimeter Church.

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Tags:  acts, missions, evangelism
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