“Going where no man has gone before” is a phrase made popular through its use in the title sequence of the original 1966–1969 Star Trek science fiction television series, describing the mission of the starship Enterprise. The complete introductory speech, spoken by William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk at the beginning of each episode, is:
“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!”
As believers, called to tell the Good News of Jesus as Savior and Lord, we are pioneers when we yield to God’s leading to go where no one else will go to tell what many do not know. Pioneers are also called “missionaries” in the church world. Paul describes himself as a “trailblazer” which is another word for missionary and pioneer. He relates, “In such ways I have trailblazed a preaching of the Message of Jesus all the way from Jerusalem far into northwestern Greece. This has all been pioneer work, bringing the Message only into those places where Jesus was not yet known and worshiped.”
Friends, are we settlers, settling for what others have already done and said for us? Or are we willing to be pioneers who will tell the Good News of Jesus to anyone who has never heard of Him? We don’t have to go around the world or up into space to find people who do not have the greatest relationship known to mankind. “Mankind” could be across the street, down the block, at the grocery store, at the park with their kids, at the Y getting exercise for the month of January to pay for all the food sins and lack of exercise the other 11 months of the year. (Smiling)
People need a Savior. People need to know what puts a smile on our face even when in pain or facing adversities of all kinds. Humans all around us need to know the most important relationship they will ever have—One with Jesus who speak for us before God! God is our Provider, Healer, Protector as well as our Savior through His sent Son. Jesus pioneered a life for us to live while He was on earth. His life, before laying it down to save our lives, was lived in the most excellent way, full of love and compassion for everyone He met, teaching us, by example not to look to own interests but to the interests of the others. Paul took us to a higher level of thinking about Jesus when he wrote about Jesus in Philippians 2:5-11;
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
THIS is what Paul preached, going where no man had gone before with the gospel Good News of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord of our lives forever!
PAUSE TO PRAY AND REFLECT
(Take all the time you need, I am)
What Good News am I ready to tell, no matter where I am or what I’m doing?
If God sends me somewhere else, am I ready and willing to go? Frontier or across the street?
What are my top interests? Myself or others?
Is being “equal” more important to me than being humble?
ROMANS—OUR CARE AND CALLING
Romans 15:14-21, The Message
Part two of three
14-16 Personally, I’ve been completely satisfied with who you are and what you are doing. You seem to me to be well-motivated and well-instructed, quite capable of guiding and advising one another. So, my dear friends, don’t take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It’s not criticism. I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit.
17-21 Looking back over what has been accomplished and what I have observed, I must say I am most pleased—in the context of Jesus, I’d even say proud, but only in that context. I have no interest in giving you a chatty account of my adventures, only the wondrously powerful and transformingly present words and deeds of Christ in me that triggered a believing response among the outsiders. In such ways I have trailblazed a preaching of the Message of Jesus all the way from Jerusalem far into northwestern Greece. This has all been pioneer work, bringing the Message only into those places where Jesus was not yet known and worshiped. My text has been,
Those who were never told of him—
they’ll see him!
Those who’ve never heard of him—
they’ll get the message!
You have taught us how to repent, how to pray to God our Father, how to live a life of humility, to walk justly and to love mercy, putting others first in line, ahead of all that we think we need. Now, help us live the Good News out loud so others will know you more by telling your story for your glory. We need you every hour of every day to do this well, in the most excellent way, with your love in us, flowing through us. Come Holy Spirit.
May all we think, say or do today be pleasing to you, Lord. I’m listening. I believe.
In Jesus Name, For His Glory, Amen