It's the least-reached region in the world ... but God is still working

Steve and Kar-n* serve in West Asia as area leaders of a company that focuses on reaching West and Central Asians with the gospel. It is at times slow and painstaking work, but it is the least-reached region in the world, so until Jesus returns, they carry on.

A few weeks ago, I read through Malachi. In the first chapter, the Lord, through Malachi, challenges the people about their poor offerings to him. They were offering weak and diseased animals instead of unblemished ones, as they ought to have been doing.

Then in 1:11 it says: “For from the rising of the sun to its setting, my name will be great among the nations, and in every place, incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.”

The wharf in Steve and his family’s former city.

What intrigues me are two things. First, it doesn’t say, “Offer good sacrifices, and then my name will become great.” Rather, it says in effect, “My name will become great, regardless of what you do, so it would be much better for you to be offering your best towards this rather than being slackers.”

Second, it is quite an extraordinary claim: “My name will be great among the nations.” God’s people have just returned from exile. They are small and very weak. Humanly speaking, their best days as a people were definitely behind them. And yet, the Lord says this about what will happen in the future.

My takeaway from this is twofold. First of all, doing the work that we do here is slow progress. However, the promise then, and now, is that one day the Lord’s name will be known, and he will be worshipped over the whole earth. So, it is going to happen.

Sunset near Steve’s home on the island.

Secondly, knowing that this will happen regardless, irrespective of my efforts, I should then offer my very best to the effort! Even if I don’t think it counts for much, who doesn’t want to be on the winning team? Who wants to be on the wrong side of history? But most importantly, who doesn’t want to honour the one who has loved us so much?

*Name altered for safety reasons.