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Wednesday, May 5, 2004

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Acts 12:24—13:5
Psalm 67
John 12:44-50

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the 40% church

"While they were engaged in the liturgy of the Lord and were fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke to them: 'Set apart Barnabas and Saul for Me to do the work for which I have called them.' " —Acts 13:2

The Holy Spirit told the church of Antioch in Syria to send forty percent of its leadership to the foreign missions (see Acts 13:1ff). At the first Christian Pentecost, the Church was born in the midst of people from many nations (see Acts 2:9ff). In His last words on earth, Jesus commanded us to "make disciples of all the nations" (Mt 28:19) and to be His witnesses "to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Jesus put an exclamation point on His command to evangelize the world by ascending into heaven.

Jesus also has said, "Whoever rejects Me and does not accept My words already has his judge, namely, the word I have spoken — it is that which will condemn him on the last day" (Jn 12:48). Because Jesus' "commandment means eternal life" (Jn 12:50), He must in love insist that we obey His call to be witnesses, evangelizers, and missionaries, and must accordingly hold us accountable for disobeying Him.

Therefore, let us love the Lord so that we will be missionaries locally and globally. May we let the Holy Spirit speak to us about devoting forty percent or more of our resources to world missions. If we love the Lord and people, how can we not lay down our lives to tell as many people as possible the greatest news of all! We are loved and saved by God Who is Love, and we will be raised from the dead into eternal love and life if we give our lives to Jesus. Speak this good news to the nations now and till the hour of your death.

Prayer:  Father, may love impel me to evangelize (2 Cor 5:14).

Promise:  "I did not come to condemn the world." —Jn 12:47

Praise:  Two of Sarah's five children accepted the call to enter into religious life.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Mission Impossible on audio AV 46-1 or video V-46.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003