Have you ever been on a mission trip? I’ve been blessed to go on a few, both international and domestic. I love having time away from my world where I get to step into another culture and share the love of Jesus. It is a time when all of your daily commitments and responsibilities are stripped away and the central focus of your day is Jesus. You freely talk about Jesus with everyone you encounter, you share Jesus with those who don’t know Him without worrying about what anyone will think, and you put others ahead of yourself. Your whole purpose for the trip is to glorify Jesus. So, why don’t we do the same every day in our sphere of influence? What is different?
We’re called by Jesus to be light and salt, not just in the mission field, but in our day to day lives [Matthew 5:13-16]. While the mission field is wonderful, and I strongly recommend each of you go at least once, we’re called first and foremost to be disciples in our sphere of influence in the midst of our commitments and responsibilities.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells the disciples where they are to be His witnesses and while He names specific locations for them, He is basically saying, “I want you to be my witnesses in your home-in the places you live day to day, in your city, in your nation, and in the world.” It all starts at home.
Some people will gladly jump on a plane and go feed the starving children of Africa but have a hard time showing the love of Christ to their children, their spouse or their coworkers. It has to start at home and then move out. It’s like the ripple effect caused by throwing a pebble in the water. The center is your home and then everything moves out from there.
In Luke 19:12-26 we find Jesus telling a parable that is referred to as the Parable of the Talents or Mina. Verse 17 refers to the master’s return. He finds some of his servants did well with what he entrusted to them. “’Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied.’Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’” We have to be faithful with what is in front of us first.
Look at your own situation for a moment. How do you treat your family members? How do you treat those you work with or live life with on a daily basis? Are you serving them as you do those you find in the mission field? Do you encourage them and honor them with your words? If the answer is “No” then take a moment and ask the Lord to show you where you need to improve. He is a faithful friend who is only out for your best in all things. He will show you the way.