Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
Often we hear the word “Mission” and people going on mission trips…from Texas all the way to the Congo. We watch as they come and go and we hear the stories of their trip into the field for Christ. However, I know we often wonder…is this for me….am I called…..We know for certain that God has called us as believers to carry the word of Christ. Then Jesus came to them and said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 8:18-20) We often hear this called “The Great Commission” our marching orders from Christ before he ascended into heaven However, does that mean we are all called to pack up and head out to the farthest reaches of the world. For some of us we are called. For others, that call may be a little closer to home.
Several years ago the my wife and I had come to the decision that we were called. We were ready to sell everything, load up the kids and head out into the world to carry the great commission. We read every book we could on missionaries, we researched the IMB and other groups. We even joined the mission support group at our church….we prayed diligently the words from Isaiah “Here I am, Send Me!” We prayed and we waited for the doors to these mission trips to open up…..time moved on and as you can see we are still firmly planted right here in Oklahoma City….. We began to wonder…what happened..had we misunderstood the call. Were we not seeing the opportunities that God had opened up for us. All we could do was trust in God and move on with life.
Several years later as we were reviewing scripture a verse leaped from the page…”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). That’s when we realized we were on mission. We are on mission every day and God had opened many doors to His glory.
Jerusalem: This is right in your own backyard. The one area we often overlook is our own families. How easy is it to look to the world around us and neglect the mission field that God has blessed us with. Fathers, those children and your wife are gifts from God. Scripture is clear that we will be held accountable for the spiritual upbringing of our children. This is not a duty that we can give to others. We may tell ourselves that our wife or the youth groups can do it well. However, the responsibility is still ours to bear. Embrace the call and be the spiritual leader that your wife craves and your children need. It is not easy in this day and time. Therefore, way to many fathers have walked away from this responsibility and the impact is being felt across this Nation. This is something that for years I neglected….I farmed it out to others..until God opened my eyes.
Husbands, Love your wives. Love them with all you have. Scripture says…Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… (Ephesians 5:25) and This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man. (Genesis 2:23). She is a gift of God and is your helpmate and strength in times of sorrow and a cheerleader in times of joy. Do not take her for granted. Guard her as you would guard your greatest earthly treasure. Protect her with all your might…she is a treasure to hold dear.
Judea and Samaria: This is your community. The world right outside of your door. Take a look around you ..your neighbors, co-workers, friends…people at the store. How about the people sitting next to you in the pew at church. For years…we were involved with Awana, Royal Ambassadors, Scouts, Sunday School. These are and have been our missionary opportunities. The opportunity to share the love of Christ with a world that is lost. With children that may never have heard the love of Christ. All around us are the lost, the seeking…those looking for answers. The opportunities to show Christ’s love exist every day. This does not always have to be through the spoken word..it can be through our actions and the way we live our lives. Live your life for Christ…be different from the world. Let you light shine.
The ends of the earth: Yep…this is the traditional mission field we often think of. There is a world out there to be reached for Christ. There are people groups all over this planet that have not heard the gospel. You may or may not ever get the call to go. However, you can still serve. Become involved with mission minded groups and churches. Give of your self financially and most importantly Pray. Pray for those that are in the field. Serving God’s kingdom far away from family and the comforts we take for granted.
Wherever your mission field may be…remember Christ’s command…Go and make disciples of all nations…. He does not say think on it. Try and squeeze in some time on Sunday afternoon. He says Go…a command for action. A call for believers to leave their comfort zone and spread the call of Christ. Just because you may never reach the tribes of Africa or the lost in Asia…you are still a missionary each and every day. Live your life in such a way as to bring glory to the Father and share the love of Christ.