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Blessed to be a Blessing

Rev Jonathan Downs

Overseas Missions Director


Everyone knows the divine mandate for missions began with the Great Commission—or did it? “And repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). This was not the first time God gave the “all nations” emphasis. The truth is the stage was set and the drama started way before that. The journey of missions began in the beginning with the book of Genesis when God told Abram to “get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee”. The command was a “go” and a promise that God would bless and work (Genesis 12:1-3).



There are over three hundred declarative passages in the Old Testament which magnify God’s promise to bless all nations. “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us; Selah. That your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations” (Psalm 67:1–2). This psalm is often called the “Missionary Psalm” because of its worldwide perspective on God’s blessings. Isaiah said, “I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). The psalmist promised, “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession” (Psalm 2:8). The blessings promised to Abraham come to us through Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:14–16). But the cycle doesn’t stop. It continues. God’s heart doesn’t skip a beat. We are blessed to be a blessing. Reaching the world is still God’s plan. We should be touched with the things that touch the heart of God.


As Christians, we cannot truly be happy or at peace while we are largely focused on ourselves and our own needs, wants, and hurts. I believe this also applies to the church. A church should not be happy and cannot be at peace as long as we are only focused on those within the “four walls” of our church. Only in becoming outwardly focused and ministering to the needs of others can we experience real satisfaction and a sense of purpose. We are blessed to be a blessing. I encourage all Pastors and ministers to keep the burden of missions at the forefront of their congregation’s minds. We must do all we can to ensure that Jesus’ mandate in the Great Commission is a passionate and personal burden felt by everyone in our churches. It is my experience that when we and our congregations have this focus, that God will bless us. Why are some churches blessed? I’ve been in church long enough to see that God blesses churches and individuals that give to the cause of Jesus Christ. We are blessed to be a blessing! It is my desire to see every church in the UPCA giving to Overseas Missions.


I would like to thank all Pastors and Ministers of the UPCA for their ongoing support

of the Overseas Missions Department in 2022. Your ongoing prayer and giving helps us

keep the mission in motion.

Every Christian and every church is obligated to do what we can for the sake of

the propagation of the gospel. In Australia we have access to finance unlike

most other nations in our region.

I believe the UPCA is called to finance the gospel and provide support in our region.


We are blessed to be a blessing!

God bless you

Br Jonathan Downs

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ALL Things to ALL Nations with ALL We Have! This is the heartbeat of  Australian Overseas Missions. We are RISING and RESPONDING to God's calling to go and show the way to Jesus Christ.

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