Sunday, April 3, 2011

Matthew The Missionary

Our second son Matthew has always tried to take care of people. Even when he was very young, he would feel like it was his job to make everyone happy or to meet their needs. This trait of his didn't only include their physical needs but extended to their spiritual needs as well. He was only six years old when he realized that his sister had never asked Jesus to forgive her of her sins. So he had her bow her head and repent of her sins and ask Jesus to forgive her. She was three years old.

When he was eight and we were living in Arcadia, he would play every day with a boy from the neighbourhood. This boy had no church background and that worried Matthew. So he dedicated himself to the task of sharing the love of Christ with this boy. He didn't want his friend to die and spend eternity in Hell. Over the course of a few months Matthew told this boy of how we all need to be forgiven of our sins and how without that forgiveness we would never be allowed in Heaven. When the boy came to the same conclusion, and asked God for His forgiveness, Matthew was jumping for joy!

When he got a little older he went on a short term missions trip to Eskasoni, Cape Breton and really bonded with the children there. He was involved in a vacation Bible school program which was aimed at telling the children of God's love and giving them hope. His second missions trip was to Mexico to work at the Pan de Vida orphanage. He was called 'gigante' or giant by the children who flocked around this big teddy bear of a man who so obviously loved them.

Matthew serves as our children's pastor in our church and the children gravitate towards him. He tells them about the love of God in a plain, simple way they can understand. He encourages them to read their Bible and if they don't have one, he'll make sure they get one right away. He tells them stories of great Bible heros and puts their stories in everyday language so the kids will understand.

He has a passion for leading others to a saving knowledge of Christ. Because of that passion the Lord sends people his way so he will answer their questions and tell them about Him. The other day God sent a man to Matthew who opened up their conversation with "who is Christ?" Matthew never blinked an eye. He just started talking about who Jesus was and is. This man had always been told that Jesus was just another prophet, but Matthew was able to share how Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, who died to pay the penalty for all our sins and rose again and is alive now.

Many people see Matthew as the clown. The one who tries (and succeeds) to make everyone laugh. Kids see him as a big play toy who loves them. But God sees him as someone He can trust to spread the Good News about Him. God sees a man who loves Him and who doesn't want to see anyone spend eternity separated from God. Whether it's on foreign soil or home, Matthew is a missionary because he has a missional heart and that is a heart that God can use.

  When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:13-16

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