Do you know a missionary? We have friends who served in Ghana, West Africa for eleven years. We had the opportunity to take short term mission teams to work with them during their time there. It was amazing to see how God used them to reach the people of Ghana. During the eleven years they served in Ghana, they lived life along side the locals, attending the same churches, schools and shopping in the same marketplace. They lived life, but they did so intentionally.
Acts 1:8 speaks about being God’s witness. It says,
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.”
Many people hear the word missionary and immediately think someone called to go to another country and serve for a specified period of time, when in reality, we’re all called to serve as missionaries our entire life, no matter where we live.
In Acts, Jesus wasn’t speaking to a small group of people He had chosen to go to other countries. He was talking to the believers in the area, telling them they’d be His witness at home, in their communities, in their nation and in any other nation they traveled to in their lifetime.
The location didn’t make them witnesses or missionaries; their relationship to Him made them such.
You and I have the same call, the same responsibility. God’s clear we have two purposes on earth: to know Jesus and to make Him known [Matthew 22:37-40]. Many people in American culture see this as reserved for church, church functions and quiet time with the Lord. Jesus called us to a relationship with Him, not a check-list of things to do. In having a relationship with Him, we learn to be more like Him, thus living out our faith 24/7/365 not only inside the church, but out in the world we live in everyday [John 17:20-21].
We could learn a lot about how we’re to be His witnesses by watching how He lived out the Father’s purposes on earth.
Jesus lived His life among the people, both believers and non-believers [Matthew 9:12].
Jesus was willing to be inconvenienced, even to the point of having His plans completely interrupted [Mark 5:21-34].
He was willing to do menial work if it meant serving others [John 13:1-17]
I ran into my good friend, Spencer, at Starbucks yesterday. Spencer is former military, former SWAT, serves as the Cobb County Chaplin, is the senior pastor of a church, and a college professor. I really wish he would find something to do with himself. He approached me asking how he could get involved with the fight against sex trafficking in Atlanta. He is old enough to retire from any or all of his jobs, yet he has no plans to retire. He said,
Retirement isn’t in the Bible.”
Now that is not to say you are sinning if you retire from your job. In fact, that isn’t what Spencer was referring to when he said retirement isn’t in the Bible. He was referring to serving the Kingdom. If Jesus is our model the we must recognize that He was about His Father’s business up until and including His very last breath [John 19:30].
One of the churches I’ve spoken at had the coolest sign at the exit of their parking lot. It said,
You’re entering your mission field.”
You’ve been called to be a missionary wherever you live and whatever your vocation may be. We need missionaries in our schools, in our government, in our businesses and in our neighborhoods.
Where do you serve the Lord? Share one way you serve in your present mission field. It may encourage someone else and give them an idea of how to live their faith out loud.
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