At the age of 21 sitting in a room filled with about 6,000 Hispanic youth and young adults at Congreso, my heart pumped quickly, my lungs needed to inhale deeply and a non-stop stream of tears came down my face. It didn't take long before realizing the altar call was for me! Right then and there, it could not be clearer; I needed to answer the call as a bilingual Hispanic pastor in Texas and to respond with being on mission for God along with encouraging others to do the same.
You either are living on mission or you are not. Please keep in mind there is no in-between. If we are to change the future of this world, let alone this nation, we ought to stand united for the gospel, placing aside all differences, pushing forward towards the ultimate goal to make Christ known unto all the earth, making disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Apart from this there is no true joy. The lost need to hear there is a remedy to their hurt and His name is Jesus.
My heart is always among my brothers and sisters within the Baptist family. Sometimes we live our lives in a constant routine quickly causing us to live lives as inactive Christians, occasionally forgetting the call we have to be on mission for God. We forget to be living sacrifices with a constant renewing of our minds daily, which is our spiritual act of worship. Sadly, on occasion, we fool ourselves into thinking only the pastors or deacons are to live the radical Christian lives when really we all ought to! Texas Baptists, my encouragement would be to stay the course, our eyes fixed on God in all we do as we live our lives as ambassadors for Christ to fulfill this mission.
Living out the Great Commission should not be a burden. We simply are idle, too comfortable with our 9-to-5 jobs and new technology/gadgets, assuming that reading the Bible twice a week is enough. Continue daily in remembrance of what Christ did for us on the cross; it was more than just a nice gesture but was the ultimate act of love. We should remind ourselves of all that the Lord has done for us throughout our days/weeks rather than only on Sunday morning. This would be a good start to continue living out the Great Commission as humble servants of our mighty God.
Texas Baptists, my prayer is that we endure, being strong in our desire to follow God's calling in regards to missions, which does not necessarily mean going overseas. We constantly make the mistake of assuming the lost are far away or halfway across the world. The lost are right here where you least expect. Keep at it, Texas Baptists. Continue to take up God's challenge; love with sincerity, hate what is evil, cling to what is good and of course, live your life on mission!