Pastors seem to do it better than others. Maybe that is because their profession should be the meshing of their faith with their life’s work. But what about the rest of us? What does it mean to mesh our faith with our everyday life? The answer, as usual, is found in God’s Word.
Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
“Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously. Matthew 10:5-8 MSG*
Take away #1 – We are called in the moment we are in, in the place we are in and with the tools that we have been given. Don’t make it complicated.
“Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light. Matthew 10:9-10 MSG*
Take away #2 – As followers of Jesus, we are already equipped with all we need to meet the day we are in. Although some of us are being called to get formal training, most of us are being called to minister to the people who God has placed in our path with the experience and knowledge we have already gained in our lives.
“When you enter a town or village, don’t insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave. Matthew 10:11 MSG*
Take away #3 – We are not in competition. This is not a popularity contest. We do not need or should we take on “airs”. Be genuine and honest. Refrain from being pompous and a know-it-all. Be content.
“When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now. Matthew 10:12-15 MSG*
Take away #4 – In the day we are in, we need to be gentle in our conversations with others. Sometimes, we are called to plant seeds. Sometimes, we are called to cultivate seeds already planted by others. Sometimes, we are called to participate in the harvest that has already been planted and cultivated. We don’t always know what our role is in the process but we can be obedient to God by following His directive – be gentle in conversation and if what you say is not received, let it go and quietly move on. God has it. We don’t have to worry about it.
…. To be continued next week!