I have been accused in the past of preaching that everybody should leave their jobs and head out to the inner city streets to minster to the poor and the needy there, but that’s very, very far from the truth. I do teach and share that we all have poor and needy people all around us, people who often go unnoticed by us because we are just a little too self-focused, and that we ALL should be reaching out to others as the Spirit leads us to do that.
Now, at this time I’m staying in a little house in a residential neighborhood in relatively tranquil Naples, Florida, and though the the work here is a bit different from NYC or Toronto or San Francisco, there are people all around us here who are in desperate need of some help, and God has us help them, in many different ways. It’s not that we have to look hard to find these people either. They find us. The truth, beloved, is that if our hearts are genuinely purposed toward God and the coming of HIS Kingdom, then God will bring people who are in need of a Kingdom touch .. to us.
I have shared in the past that God is looking for vessels through whom He might manifest Himself to people. In regard to this, let me say that He is not looking for people with great abilities, but rather He is looking for people who will just make themselves available to Him that He might break them as bread for the hungry and pour them out as wine for the thirsty.
To live as “sacrifices” does not necessarily mean that we have to leave our jobs and go off to the mission field. No, to live as sacrifices means that we already see the world (and even our workplaces and neighborhoods) as The Mission Field, and because of this we are ready and willing to be poured out at any moment for the benefit of someone other than ourselves.
I hope that y’all don’t mind me sharing these thoughts with you. The intent behind sharing these things is simply to stir people to live more as we all ought to live – for God, and in that way for others. Just imagine, beloved, what the world would be like if everyone lived not so much for their own benefit but primarily for the benefit of other people. Now that kind of corporate living might seem very far off to you, or maybe even seem impossible to you, but it’s not. It will happen. It will happen one person at a time as each is made alive (in Christ) in their own rank and order, until the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our God, until God becomes “ALL in ALL” – His “Kingdom come on Earth as in Heaven.”
Now, that last part is describing Heaven and Earth come together as ONE, beloved. That starts in individuals, and then through those individuals the whole world changed. Jesus spoke about this in this way …
Jesus said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.'”
Again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed [in] with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”
To comment on this just briefly; I believe that one application of what Jesus said is that God’s Kingdom would not come through the greatness of men but through their smallness (the mustard seed) – through their meekness and their humility, through their kindness and their compassion for others. I think that He was saying then that the Kingdom of God would change everything that it comes in contact with and that until the whole world is eventually changed. I think that Jesus was saying then that the catalyst for this “world change” would not be the rich, or the powerful, or those who are highly esteemed by men, but it would be the most unlikely of people who would have the most profound effect on the world, the last becoming the first in this way and and the first becoming the last, but all men eventually being CHANGED (to the glory of God) and that by the power of God’s love.
Thanks for listening to me this morning.