Saturday, March 8, 2014

Mission Minded

                The ladies in our study have begun praying for the Lord to open doors of opportunity for us to witness to others about Jesus. This is something the Lord has put on all of our hearts through our study in the book of Acts. We have seen the power of God’s word in the lives of many and have seen the boldness of the Apostles as they proclaim Jesus to the world around them. Every single one of us has felt the urging and the desire to be bolder for Christ in our daily lives.
              
  One of the things I have always wanted to do was to go on a mission trip. As I thought and prayed this morning, I remembered a sign that was in the church across the street from our previous home. Every morning I would leave my house and would read these words, “You are now entering the mission field.” These words are so very true, and, if we truly want to be missionaries for Christ must be put into practice.
                Being a missionary does not necessarily mean that we have to travel to a foreign land. The word missionary is defined as one who desires to persuade or convert others. For us, as Christians, it means that we desire to tell others about Christ, and to see them come to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior. But I believe that we as the Church have put being a missionary into a box. We have taken the word missions and made it out to be something that is done only by a few chosen people who have the desire to travel into foreign lands. But, that is not what being a missionary means.
                In Luke 10 Jesus tells the disciples to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the field. (Luke 10:2) Jesus was not speaking about lands across the oceans; He was speaking about the world that was right in front of them. The Apostles in the book of Acts preached to those who were living in the same city as they were. They did not immediately go into all the world, they did not immediately travel thousands of miles to preach the good news of Christ. No, they stuck to their homeland. They preached Christ right from where they were living. We have all been called to be missionaries for Christ. We have all been called to be ambassadors, bringing the news of peace to the world that is right out our front door.
                “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
                Paul pleads with us to be missionaries of reconciliation. We live in a lost and fallen world. A world that is full of sin and death. We, as God’s chosen people, as His royal priesthood have been given the privilege to carry the gospel of reconciliation to the world. So many times I hear people tell me that they want to be missionaries and they want to travel the world telling others about Christ. Do we not recognize the need for Christ in our own communities? We become so focused on the world across the pond that we forget our very nation is in need of Jesus too. There is nothing wrong with wanting to preach the gospel to the world. But if we can’t preach to the world around us, how then are we going to preach to the one across the ocean?
                Jesus says to us in John 20:21 that He is sending us just as the Father has sent Him. Jesus preached to those who were right in front of Him. He did not seek to travel to Egypt to preach the gospel; He focused on those who were right out His front door. Every day we have been given a new opportunity to preach the gospel. You don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to preach Christ- preach Him right where you are.

                How many of us work with unbelievers? How many of us have unsaved family members? How many of us have ever taken the time to walk through our neighborhoods and meet the people living right beside us? Like the sign said, “You are now entering the mission field.” Every time we walk out our front door, we should be putting on the title “Missionary”. There is a world in need of Jesus. There is a neighbor or a co-worker that needs to hear your testimony- that maybe needs someone to pray for them, to tell them about the great and wonderful grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
                “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” (Mark 16:15). Jesus said every creature. Going into all the world, means all the world, even the world that is right out your front door. One of the things my pastor always tells us is that we need to take church out. We need to take Jesus out. We need to be a mission minded people- all the time. When we step out our doors into the world around us, we are to be ambassadors, we are to be missionaries. If we started to be mission minded in our daily lives, think of what an impact we could have just on the people we meet or work with on a daily basis.
              My brothers and sisters, we need to recognize and rejoice over the truth that we have been given one of the greatest gifts of all- the gift of reconciliation. God our Father has chosen us to be vessels to carry the good news of salvation to all the world, starting with the world that is right under our noses. We do not need to rely on our church to evangelize; we do not need to rely on others to spread the gospel. The command to teach and preach Christ to the world was given to each one us. We are given opportunities every day to share with others about Christ. We do not have to travel thousands of miles to accomplish the Great Commission, we only have to walk out our front doors.  When you walk out your front door today, remember that “You are now entering the Mission Field.”

                Father God, I come before You today and ask that You would make us mission minded people. Father, I pray that we would become laborers for You, and that we would pray daily for You to open the doors of opportunity as we proclaim the glorious gospel of Your grace to the world right out our front doors. In Jesus Name be glory and honor and praise, forever and ever. Amen and Amen.