Thursday, August 14, 2008

Should We Stay or Go?

"He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." Mark 16:15

Sometimes as Christians it's easy to get excited and think you are meant to be doing something great. I know I have posted on here many times that Andy and I are "just waiting." For years we've been willing to go anywhere if God would send us. We've been completely open to the possibility of serving Him by going to another country, another state, another culture. And honestly, for the most part, we just figured it was a matter of time before we ended up doing something crazy.

But then the last several weeks I've really been opening my eyes to what's around me. I looked at all our unsaved neighbors and wondered what would happen to them if we moved away and someone not-so-great moved in. I watched this past weekend as thousands of community members and neighbors gathered to celebrate together, and I wondered how many of them have met Jesus. It can't be that many, because I don't think any of the churches in the area are burgeoning at the moment.

And then it was as if a lightning bolt exploded. God doesn't want me and my family to move to some remote country and minister to the natives. He wants us to minister right here. Right where we are planted. When God chooses to uproot us and plant us elsewhere, we will cheerfully and gladly go. But to sit here and wait isn't doing anyone any good. God wants us to bloom where we are planted. He wants us to lead as an example. He wants us to exude His love for everyone in the community. He doesn't just want us to be Christian in name, but in spirit and being. He wants our everyday daily lives to serve as an example.

What does that mean? Does that mean we're to stop and pray for every person we meet? Are we to set up shop on the street corner professing His word for all to hear? I don't think so. At least not in this time and place for us. He wants us to just be good. No, really. He wants us to smile and say hi when we walk past someone on the street. He wants us to hold doors open for people, and he wants us to greet our neighbors with love and compassion. He wants us to help those who are less fortunate right here in our community, he wants us to assist the elderly people in our neighborhood, without giving a thought to compensation of any kind. And of course, he wants us to pray for them all. He wants us to serve as an example- to be more Christ-like to our neighbors than we have been. We have to make our neighbors want to know why we are different. Because that will come, and then the door will be open and we can share with them the Jesus that resides in our hearts.

And I have to say this. While I really believe that all signs point to this being for Andy and I specifically today, it can certainly apply to all of us. God may call some of us to serve him by traveling or going to another nation, but right here and right now, God wants us all to serve where we are. We make such a big deal sometimes about finding the right place to serve within the church. It's important to remember that sometimes an area of service is not within the confines of the church walls. When you choose to do your all for God, you can do your all for God, regardless of where you are right now. You can volunteer for a service organization, and if you're doing it to the best of your ability, God can use that. You can check up on that elderly neighbor from time to time, and God can use that. Simply walking across the street and asking how someone is doing, with genuine interest, is serving God when it is done with His eyes. When we stop and look around, and try and see the world around us with Jesus' eyes, everything changes, and everything becomes an opportunity to share his love.

"Go into all the world." How can we go into the world if we are not comfortable in our own communities? We need to start right here at home first. And that's a fact.

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