Slogans that awakened the Church: God is a missionary God

Howard Culbertson
Monday, February 16, 2015

"Since God is a missionary God, God's people are a missionary people." -- Eddy Ho

For Eddy Ho, the reason pushing us to evangelize the whole world is powerful: World evangelism reflects the character of God. In essence, God does not sit in Heaven barking out orders to go seek the Lost. Rather, He beckons us to join Him in seeking lost people in all the earth.

ImageGod has gone and continues to go to great lengths to cross barriers and overcome obstacles to confront sinful people and offer them His grace. Because God so tirelessly does that, English author Francis Thompson used a hunting dog metaphor in “The Hound of Heaven,” an epic 182-line poem about God. Eddy Ho, who was from Malaysia, says if that is the way God is, then that’s the way we should be.

Being Christlike is the heart’s desire of almost every believer. Indeed, more than a century ago, believers began singing Thomas Chisholm’s song “Oh! To be like Thee.” Emulating God’s love, holiness and missionary heart is right in line with what Genesis 1:17 declares about our having been created in God’s image. 

Sadly, sin marred and distorted that image. The good news is that God wants to work transformation in us so that we can be more like Him. In Eddy Ho’s opinion, being like God will mean that we will be a missionary people.

Ho’s exhortation for us to be a missionary people reflecting our Creator, Redeemer and Lord evokes what British missionary Henry Martyn wrote: “The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions.  The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.”

Image-- Howard Culbertson was professor of missions and world evangelism at Southern Nazarene University, in Bethany, Oklahoma, U.S for 25 years. Culbertson, who formerly served as a missionary in Italy and Haiti, has published numerous articles, books, and chapters in books on missions.