This week we will be engaging in a very special service known as Missions Sunday. One of the central focuses surrounding this day will be Faith Promise. What is Faith Promise? Let me give you some background.
Faith Promise can be traced back to the 19th century, Canadian Pastor A.B. Simpson. Simpson, while in his 30’s, was greatly inspired by the words from Walter Marshall’s book Gospel Mystery of Salvation, which penned the famous words, “The first good work you will ever perform is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” This caused a deep stirring in his soul to reach the lost in New York City and around the world.
While serving at Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church in New York City, he looked around and noticed the deluge of neglected immigrants and felt deeply burdened to help. However, not everyone shared this same burden for reaching the lost. In fact, Simpson faced fierce opposition from his congregation, which led to his resignation. Even through this hardship, his passion burned brightly, and he eventually found himself at the Gospel Tabernacle Church, uniquely located in the heart of the city. This allowed a greater presence to be established to reach the poor, broken, and the disenfranchised. This pivotal moment led to Simpson’s deep contemplation about how we are reaching the lost around the world.
He soon gathered like-minded individuals whose passion was to experience the “deeper life” in Christ. They were compelled by the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and through his own miraculous healing laid the foundation of the Alliance, known as The Fourfold Gospel (Christ our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King). With a rush of urgency, training classes to reach the neglected people of the world became the priority. In 1884, the first missionary team was sent to the Congo.
It was from Simpson’s deep desire to reach both people near and far, that inspired the formation of Christian Mission Alliance. The Biblical foundation lies in two passage of Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 8-9. Dr. Russell D. Bernard from Global Partners states:
Second Corinthians, chapters 8 and 9, forms the general basis for FAITH-PROMISE GIVING. Chapter 8, verse 3, mentions “to their power” and “beyond their power.” “To their power” or according to their power, relates especially to tithes and offerings, or known sources of income. “Beyond their power” relates in a unique way to FAITH-PROMISE GIVING, since looking beyond any known sources of income is to look to the Lord for His special enabling.
Thus, Faith Promise encourages believers in Christ to prayerfully consider giving beyond the regular tithe in order to support both local and foreign missions. This is where the faith part comes in. The giver is encouraged to commit to giving what they do not currently have. The promise works as an accountability tool to show that we have faith that God will provide, for that which we do not have.
As we approach this Sunday, I ask that you seek the Holy Spirit and His wisdom. I encourage you to place trust in God that He will certainly provide. Keep in mind this is only as of 2010, The Association of Religion and Data Archives, found that there are 7,934 souls unclaimed in Staunton, 45,663 in Augusta County, and 4.4 million in the State of Virginia. Let’s start making an impact to reach our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Be bold and courageous!
Tuesday Morning on the Run
Inspirational thoughts from Pastor Barry Lawson