Thursday, February 19, 2015


Matthew 9

 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom.

And he healed every kind of disease and illness.

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless,

        like sheep without a shepherd.

37 He said to his disciples,

        "The harvest is great,

            but the workers are few.

        38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest;

              ask him to send more workers into his fields."

During these decades I've lived in the evangelical world, I guess I've heard this passage used as a catalyst to inspire, challenge, & call people to overseas missions.

And it's certainly a good one to use.

It should be noted that Jesus spoke these words when He was traveling about his own country.

During the 1970's, my wife, Lynn, was a medical missionary in western Kenya with the Southern Baptist Church.

During the 32+ years we've been married, she has often said being a missionary isn't about location, but about a state of the heart.

If we love & care about the lost, we'll love & care about them wherever we are.

Lynn saw folks in the 9 years of her missionary life (& since, too) who were only missionaries when they were in foreign countries.

That's not the way it works.

Being concerned about the lost isn't something we "do" - it is something we "are" - no matter our location.

Going overseas doesn't kick in that love & concern - that love & concern for others should be ever present as our identity.


What Jesus said is true - no matter where we find ourselves, we are surrounded by people who are in a disconnected state with God.

That can be at home, in our neighborhood, in the place we work, in the stores or restaurants or gyms or medical & leisure facilities that we frequent - in short, everywhere.

And Jesus challenges & calls us to be Him wherever it is we are.

And before you think this is a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of thing, the longer I live, the more I realize how many opportunities I'm given each day to be Jesus to someone.

Now I'm not suggesting we go around like some "Bible banger" constantly hitting people over the head with the Gospel.

What I am suggesting is that we simply be who we are & let the reality of being a Christ follower come out.

And 1 more thing...

Before we turn our noses up at the prospect of opening our lives up to people, where would you or I be if the people who impacted each of us to follow Jesus had decided it was something they could or would not be & do?


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