Matthew 9-10, Psalm 85
Approximately 5-6 years ago I went to a talk by an evangelist named Mark Cahill. He concluded his talk by issuing a challenge. Knowing that very few people truly share their faith, he simply said before the week ends share your faith with one person. I took him up on the challenge and all of my fears and obstacles evaporated. Now I look for opportunities everywhere. A friend of mine, who used to work housekeeping at the hospital, and is now retired, said it best. I always saw his eyes scanning the room, when I asked, he simply said he knew there were opportunities around him, he just didn't want to miss them.
Before Jesus sends out the 12, in Matthew 9:37-38, He says, "...The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." He sent them out into the towns before him to prepare the way for Him. Throughout it all He emphasized to depend on Him and not themselves. He warned them that they would suffer persecution as a result. Then He told them in Matthew 10:19-20, " But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks to you." Realize God doesn't need our special abilities or talents, just a willing heart. Knowing what they and we would one day face Jesus goes on in 10:28 to say, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy soul and body in hell."
We have to ask ourselves the question: If our Christianity was on trial, would there be enough evidence to convict us? John the Baptist's mission and purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. After he was off the scene He commissioned His apostles. Now that they are off the scene before He ascended into heaven He commissioned us to prepare the way. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,..., teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you,...". We can wait around and hope someone else will do it. We can wait to go on a Missions trip. Though some have this calling, we all have the commission to be active in the mission field that God placed us in, our homes, our families, our neighborhood, our jobs. Nothing has changed, "The harvest truly is plentiful", the question is are we willing to take Jesus' Words and commission seriously and become one of His laborers. Mark Cahill issued the challenge 5 years ago. How about we all respond to this challenge this week, pray about someone, then reach out with the gospel message. There is nothing to fear, He will be right there with you.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: