I was feeling guilty – something I have an amazing talent and experience doing. The pastor was speaking on Acts 1:8. “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
I have never been on a mission trip. I have never gone to the ends of the earth or even around the State or US to minister. I’ve sent 3 out of 4 of my children on mission trips, I have sent my husband on mission trips, but I have never gone. Furthermore, I haven’t worked in my church home for the last couple of years.I have simply been overwhelmed with daily life and unable to preach and teach and “go.” I was feeling guilty because I’ve never fulfilled the great commission.
Or am I? Wow I have – I have been called to the hardest commission of all. God has commissioned me to be a witness within my own home. He has called me first and foremost to be a witness to the biological children he has given me. Then he has asked me to open my home and invite non-christian kids to live with us, through foster care. And finally he has asked me to add to our home through adoption. Ministry at home is the most difficult of all.
1) Because I can’t hide behind a happy face.
How many times have I gotten in a huge fight with my husband on the way to church, only to put on a happy face and walk through the church doors and tell 1st Graders how Jesus loves them.
My kids saw my bad attitude in the car – I can’t hide behind my smile.
2) Because it is a 24/7 ministry.
I don’t get to go on furlough from the mission field. I can’t take a sabbatical. I can’t go on vacation and leave my ministry behind for a week or two. My mission field is watching me day and night.
3) Because I can’t fake a Christian life
My kids see me at my worst. Believe me, I often treat strangers with more patience and love than I do my kids. If my kids, both temporary and permanent ones, are to see Christ in me, that means I must live out my faith moment by moment. They see the Mt Sinai moments, when I am wrapped in God’s glory; they see the moments I grumble and complain over the manna He has provided; they see me when I weep over trivial things in life, like a worm eating my ivy, yet I am judgemental and don’t weep over the spiritual death of those around me.
4) Because Jesus himself says it is the hardest ministry
Jesus preached in his hometown. His friends and family pretty much said, “ Who is this dude, that he knows this stuff?” After all, they had seen Jesus grow up, seen him skin his knees, and hit his thumb with a hammer.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” (Matt 13:57)
The great commision, once again is
“but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Why do all the sermons focus on the going to Africa or the Amazon? The first place to witness is in my hometown – and even in my family. But
Jesus had a hard time getting through to his household, and he was perfect, how on earth can I do it?
Before I witness, I receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus himself states, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. (John 14:12)
Sometimes I wish God would send me to some remote location, where I can have a mountaintop experience and put on a happy face when I witness to others. Instead, He’s commissioned me to love sometimes unloveable children, and to live under a microscope where little eyes examining my life to see if it resembles Christ – day in and day out.
I can’t do it – Thank you Lord that I don’t have to, but the Holy Spirit can do so through me.