Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Defending the Faith 3: Where Should I Go?

Maybe this isn't a post best suited to be a "defending the faith" post, however, even before you defend your faith, you need to know where to start.


To share your faith, you don't have to be a missionary to Africa. You don't even have to go with your youth group to Mexico or downtown Los Angeles. You don't need to stand on street corners or in front of Planned Parenthood clinics. Yet . . . the Bible tells Christians to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . ." (Matthew 28:19) So where do we do this if we're not traveling to Africa, Mexico, or L.A?

True, God does call some people to go forth as a missionary to foreign nations and preach the message of the Kingdom of God. But He doesn't ask everyone to travel to share the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm sure you've heard it said that the biggest mission field is the streets of America, and there's never been a truer statement. For example, my family lives in a rural area about an hour away from a town, and my dad is the pastor of the local church. Years ago a church in the local town decided to help support my family as missionaries. We were surprised when they informed us of this. Were we traveling to share the gospel? Were we dwelling among people who speak a different language? No. Yet this church considered us missionaries. God has given us a local mission field, reaching out to our friends and neighbors in this little community.

Any Christian could be supported as a missionary in this sense. You don't have to be a pastor in order to have your own special mission field God has given you. Are you attending school? Shine your light with your fellow students and tell them about your best friend, Jesus. (Yes, students do still have the Constitutional right to talk about Jesus Christ in schools.) Do you work long hours every day? Even if your workplace doesn't permit you to discuss Jesus with coworkers, you can show Him to them in the manner that you handle situations and your work ethic. Are you standing in line at the grocery store? Maybe in that moment, your mission field is the cashier or person standing behind you. Sitting in a restaurant, do you see a girl walk in with a broken arm? Perhaps God is calling you to go pray for her.

Always be on the lookout for "God moments" and people that He puts in your life. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit living in you and watch for opportunities. Get involved in outreach events your church hosts. Volunteer with a local food bank or Samaritan's Purse. This summer a few of my friends and I will be staffing at summer camps for youth and teaching them about Jesus.There are so many places and chances to share your faith with others. Always be on the lookout.

Don't let your life fall into a monotonous pattern; find people God wants you to pray for and bless. There's always someone whose life could be changed by you listening to the Holy Spirit prompting you to start a conversation with and pray for them. Maybe you are one of the people God has asked to go to New Zealand as a missionary, but more often than not, God has called you to be a minister to those around you right now. God has put everyone in your path for a reason. Whether it's a friend, family member, or coworker who you see every day, or whether it's the person in line at Disneyland you might never see again, be watchful for opportunities God places before you and listen for His voice.

Some of Jesus' last words here on earth were instructions to the disciples (and to all followers):
". . . you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Be a missionary to your family, in your hometown, and in every place God puts you. (As a side note, Christians are not always called to defend their faith, but they are always commanded to share their faith. This verse says to be a witness—to tell people about their faith, but not force conversions.)

So where should you go to share the Kingdom of Heaven with people? Maybe to a foreign land, but also consider your next door neighbor.
P.S. This post is inspired by plans to go into a local event this weekend as part of a team seeking God encounters where we will witness for Christ. Prayers for God to soften people's hearts are much appreciated!

4 comments:

  1. So true. We are in a great nation but like you said now more then ever people need to see God and living our lives as Christ like examples is a wonderful way! I pray that your visit to that event goes great and that people are open to what you have to say. Just remember 1 Timothy 4:12 "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." A friend gave me a frame with that in it once I hope it benefits you. Oh and another great post! keep up the great work!

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    1. Thank you so much for the prayers! It's amazing how much you can touch someone's life with a simple smile or act of kindness. And yes, that's a wonderful verse. One I hold to tightly. Thank you very much for the encouragement! :)

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  2. Hey Bethany, I couldn't have said it better. Thanks for the beautiful reminder, it follows my motto :) Keep up the great writing!

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