5 ways to teach your family to love the whole world.

world5. Buy a map. Teach your kids about the world. Teach them about the different wonderful, noble, weird and heart-crushing ways people on this world live. Teach your kids God’s people can not allow there to be a single nation, tribe or people group under heaven that no one ever prayers over for salvation, just as there are no peoples, nor individual persons beyond the hope of salvation, in Jesus! Teach your children that Jesus opened heaven’s door to the whole world, when he was hung on a cross, died and rose again.

4. Teach them about People Groups. Help them to know (and make sure you know yourself) what the differences are between under discipled, under evangelized, unreached and unengaged people groups. Start praying for some group of people who have never heard the gospel, with no one planing to work with them and engage them with the gospel, till you need to do more than pray. Could you help fund a bible translation project? Could you advocate for a new mission work among them? Could you support a pioneering missionary among them? Perhaps, you could consider that God is actually calling you to them?

3. Read missionary biographies. Mix it up with modern biographies like the ‘Heavenly man’ about a Chinese brother who trailbazed house churches in China, and older biographies of people like Scotch-Irish Amy Carmichael who set up a home to save young girls given up to be prostitutes in the temples in India. Everyone should have the book From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya which gives a summary of missions history. Find a way to give your children modern, living, knowable heroes in the faith. Not safe, sanitized, heroes that do only superhuman things, that live only in our minds, but real, dangerous heroes. Dangerous because they have faults like all of us, and can fail in terrible ways, but also dangerous because they live in the real world. Because they are tearing down the strongholds of Satan. Dangerous because our children could follow their example.  For example, we love to read Heartbeat Africa at night to our kids sometimes, which is our mission’s occasional magazine.  The stories are of people we work with and know.

2. Remember those suffering for the Gospel. As Hebrews 13:3 commands, let us remember those in chains as if we ourselves where suffering with them. Are we not one body? Can one part of the body suffer and the rest of us not even know about it? We love to have our kids create cards and send them to those imprisoned for their faith around the world. You can find out how to do that at prisoneralert.com.

1. Love your neighbor. In the 1950’s the ever edgy A.W. Tozer made an at the time extremely edgy observation that you can’t love the African in the jungle and hate your black neighbor in the city. It is so much easier to have some vague, romantic and noble love for ‘mankind’ but Jesus called us to something vastly more specific and more messy, to love not mankind in general but those right next to us, indeed those who are geographically near, but perhaps culturally very far. If you look at the map of your immediate area I’m betting you’ll find loads of opportunities for this.

Who is your neighbor? Is it those at the methadone clinic, the prison, in the immigrant community, in a group home, a nursing home, or a community stricken by affluence and loneliness, who knows. Make sure you do. Go beyond knowing and go love, with your whole family. Let Jesus’s words haunt us, that those who greet and throw parties only for folks like us, who we are comfortable with, and who can help us, act like all the nations do, not like God’s people.

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