January 25, 2017 · 5:30 AM
As a kid, I remember praying, “Lord, I’ll go wherever you want me to go….except to Africa.” I don’t know why I was afraid of going there, but as a kid, that was scary to me. For many of us, we don’t mind serving God as long as He doesn’t uproot us from our way of life. We might pray, “Lord, use me any way you want, but please don’t make me leave my family or this area.” We don’t mind serving, but we don’t want to be a foreign missionary.
One day, as Jesus was ministering to people, He looked up at the crowd waiting for Him to touch them. His heart broke with compassion for them. He turned to His disciples and told them to look at the crowd. He then told them that the harvest was ready to be brought in and that they should pray that God would send more workers to help Him. That tug in your heart to want to be used by God anywhere except abroad is an answer to those prayers.
The great news for those who don’t want to travel far away, is that if you will look up and around you, there is a harvest everywhere you go. In Matthew 10, right after Jesus told them to pray that, He sent them into the harvest. Before they left, in verses 6-7, He told them, “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood” (MSG).
I believe He’s saying that to us. We do t have to travel to a foreign land to find lost people. Start nearby. There’s a Harvest right outside your front door. You don’t have to be an eloquent preacher to help bring in the harvest. You just have to know what God did in your life, and begin telling it to one person at a time. That’s how a harvest is brought in. He’s still looking for laborers. Will you look up, see the harvest, and be willing to help? God is hiring laborers in your neighborhood.
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Tagged as bible, Christian, Christianity, Devotion, Devotional, foreign missions, jesus sent out the disciples, local missions, look to the fields, missionary, pray that god would send laborers, the harvest is ready, the harvest is white
July 21, 2016 · 5:00 AM
When most people think of feet, “beautiful” is not a word that comes to their mind. In the Middle East, feet are used to convey negative emotions rather than positive ones. The Bible discusses feet in that context over and over. In Genesis, it implies that we will bruise the enemies head with our heel. Jesus told the disciples to shake the dust off their feet when people wouldn’t receive the Good News. It was a really big deal that Jesus washed feet. By holding them up to wash them, He was teaching the disciples to be lowly servant leaders.
In light of all that, it is significant that in Isaiah 52, God called feet beautiful. If you think that doesn’t compute with us, imagine the significance to that culture. Verse seven says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” (NLT). God took what was once used to insult someone and showed how it could be used positively.
We all know that the Great Commission is to go into all the world, to carry the good news of salvation to every tribe, tongue, and people. God sees it as a beautiful thing when we obey His command and share our faith. You were never meant to keep it inside of you or to yourself. Your feet were meant to help you carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth. I like how Bob Goff says that if you don’t know where to go, grab a globe, spin it, and put your finger down. You’ve already been called to go. God will bless you when you follow His command.
If you want these “beautiful feet”, then go into the world spreading the Gospel. I understand that some of us can’t physically go, but there are still a couple of ways to have beautiful feet. We can all pray for those who go and live apart from family and friends, and give up the comforts of a familiar place called home. The other is that each of us can support those who go. No gift is too small for those who live and serve on the mission field. The money you sow into their ministry will yield a harvest of souls that you will be a part of. Each of us can have beautiful feet in God’s sight.
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Tagged as beautiful feet, bible, bob goff, daily devotion, Devotion, feet, feet of those who bring good news, great commission, how beautiful are the feet, mission, missionary, missions, our god reigns, pray for missionaries, support missionaries
July 10, 2013 · 8:42 AM
I was looking at some old photo albums at church last week when I came across one from 1993. It was pictures of my first mission trip where we went to a small village in the heart of Mexico to build a church. Not only was I 20 years younger, I was 20 years skinnier! As I flipped through the pictures, I got excited all over again. I remembered the fun I had, the blessings I received, the people we touched and the work we did. I spent more time on that trip building relationships than building the church building.
That trip not only got me excited for a lifetime of doing missions work, but also taught me the value in building relationships. I believe that the best way to grow the church is through relationships. When you look at the ministry of Jesus, that’s what He did. He went place to place building relationships with the people He came into contact with. He focused His ministry on building the kingdom not buildings.
Paul is another great example of someone who built their ministry on relationships. All the books in the New Testament that he wrote were to people and churches he had relationships with. You can’t speak to people the way he did without having first built a relationship with them. He not only spent time ministering in places he went, he spent time working beside fellow believers. He wasn’t just trying to preach to a large crowd, get an offering and leave. He was investing in the people he was ministering to.
If it was good enough for Jesus and Paul, shouldn’t it be good enough for us today? How many of us truly spend quality time getting to know others we’re ministering to or with? In I Corinthians 3, Paul said that some plant seeds, some water and some harvest. Planting, watering and harvesting are all done through relationships. The harvest doesn’t come unless someone has invested time in a relationship planting seeds and watering them.
If God’s desire is to have a relationship with you and me, shouldn’t we desire to have relationships with others? The underlying story of the Bible is God trying desperately to find ways to connect with us so we can have that relationship with Him. Ministry isn’t only done behind the pulpit. Ministry is done on the streets, in people’s homes, at your job and at dinner tables. Each of us have been called to go and make disciples. Discipleship is done through relationships.
Preachers, evangelists and missionaries aren’t the only ones called to ministry. If you bear the name “Christian”, you are called to ministry. You are called to build relationships. You are called to plant seeds. You are called to water seeds. You are called to harvest. You are called to disciple. You may not think of yourself as a minister, but you are. It is the responsibility of each of us to share what God has done in our lives with others.
What relationships do you have in your life that need work? What relationships in your life have you neglected? Who do you have a relationship with now that needs Jesus? You don’t win them by forcing Him down their throat. You win them through relationship. You win them because you’ve earned the right to share what God has done for you personally. Don’t spend more time building a ministry than you do building relationships. If you build relationships, the ministry opportunities will come.
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Tagged as bible, building, church, daily devotional, Devotion, discipleship, faith, God, Jesus, ministry, missionary, missions, missions trip, preacher, Relationship