Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Great Commission.10

"Do not hesitate to accept hospitality, yet remain purposeful. Resist aimless wandering. Enjoy whatever food and drink is offered you, for the person who labors is worthy of just wages.
Those who accept you, accept me also, and they that accept me welcome also the Father who has sent me."
---Jesus


Remain Purposeful.

Have you been on a mission trip at anytime in your Christian experience?  Remember the excitement of being prayed over and the sense of really "doing something for Jesus?

Most of us who've grown up in the church have been brought up on a steady diet of spiritual dualism, the notion that there are certain activities that are more important to God like "bible studies" and career choices, like "missionary", than the mundane endeavors we find ourselves in and wonder if He cares much about.  After all did not Jesus call Peter and the boys from the tediousness of fishing to a far more glorious work of "fishing" for men?

Aware of this tendency in the holy huddle of the Christian community, as a pastor I tried to avoid this dualism by celebrating "secular" accomplishments in school, work or home-life by focusing on the evidence of  God's pleasure and power in those things as well..  But the real challenge is to instill in every follower of Jesus to "remain purposeful" in all the activities of life by living with an awareness that He is always leading us triumphantly to overcome sin in our own lives and helping others in their struggles as well.

Resist Aimless Wandering.

In my "secular" work of sales I catch myself "aimlessly wandering" from time to time.  Although I try to start each day with a plan I am aware that a set back, a broken promise, a rejection, or geographical lost-ness can throw me off target.  Even a significant success can lull me into a sense of self-satisfaction that slows my mission.

As a follower of Jesus we do, indeed, live with a sort of dualism in that we have confidence that whatever the work we are doing, when we are doing it with a whole heart for his glory and excellence, brings Him pleasure.  And confidence that along the journey there are precious moments of ministry when we surely are His eyes, ears, hands and mouth to bring blessing to those he's led us to.

Not infrequently do I have those moments as I do my work.  One favorite moment was while talking to a lady about our organization, she seemed distant and distracted.  She apologized and told me she'd just found out that her married son and father of her three grandchildren had just learned he had cancer.  Her own battle with cancer gave her hope that it could be won, but not without great pain and sacrifice.  I asked her if we could pray together.  As we bowed our heads, Jesus surely showed up to minister to that lady!

Worthy of Wages

If we love God and his Son, Jesus, with all our heart, soul and strength.  If we demonstrate that love by loving others with all our heart, soul and strength.  Then we taste the reward in small portions of his joy in precious moments of ministry like that.  No matter what the sum in the wage box shows on our check...we know we have a down payment on eternal joy waiting in oneness with Him!