Friday, September 19, 2014

The amazing Moravians

I am working on the publication of a new book which quotes a motto variously attributed to the Moravians and Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission, which continues today as the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. The Moravians are also bigged up in Pete Greig's book Red Moon Rising, which is worth reading anyway, but it will give you more of the background on these people who ran a continuous prayer meeting throughout the Eighteenth Century, and really kick-started the modern missionary movement which has seen the gospel go to all parts of the world, so that we are now trying to reach the remaining unreached peoples.
Anyway the motto goes like this:
  • The iron did swim (2 Kings 6:6)
  • The sun stood still (Joshua 10:13)

    That reflects the spirit of William Carey, the English missionary who said, "Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God." 
    This is the sort of talk to get the pulses racing. Here is what another colleague of mine has recently written.
    The plight of those lost without Jesus has never been sufficient rationale and motivation for mission. It is hardly surprising it has lost its ability to motivate the younger generation or even keep motivating those who have laboured for decades on the mission field. Nor will mere compassion for those with spiritual or physical needs sustain long-term motivation, particularly when they reject our love. Instead, our true motivation should be our desire to see Jesus honoured, glorified, and worshipped by everyone throughout the world.
    When I encounter Muslims who reject and dishonour Jesus (no matter how ardently they strive to be a slave of Allah), or look at the idols and futile rituals of Hinduism and Buddhism, or encounter Europeans dishonouring God in their words & actions, my desire for God’s glory is ultimately the only motivation that keeps me going. This is the true motivation for proclaiming the Good News of our Saviour and Lord.
    Viewing it from a different angle, consider the Moravian Missions 1732 slogan: “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of his suffering!” Or as Stuart Townend & Keith Getty express in song: “And Christ will have the prize for which He died, an inheritance of nations.”

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