Monday, February 8, 2016

Christians: A Normal American Life Isn't for You

If you don't feel called to ministry or missions, then what is expected of you as a Christian? Is it okay to just settle down, work whatever job pays the bills, raise your kids to do what's right, and make sure you're at church at least most Sunday mornings?

I'd like to propose to you that there is so much more to the Christian life than this.

If there is one thing I want my kids to know as they grow into adults and begin to work out God's plan for their lives, it's that our lives are given to us for the express purpose of worshipping God and making him known among the nations.
For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body... So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 6:20, 10:31 
 Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.  Revelation 4:11
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20
I do not want them to grow up expecting that the normal American life is the default for all Christians who aren't called to ministry or missions. We as the church must to stop thinking this way. The great commission is for all of us! Some of us will be senders, and some of us will be goers. Some will go across the street, and some will go across oceans. But no matter what kind of life we are called to, we are all to be actively engaged in reaching the lost in some way.

Karen volunteers tirelessly at our church with a heart that's on fire to reach the kids and families in our area with the gospel.

My kids may feel called to do that here in rural America where they labor for God's glory in a secular job, faithfully volunteer at their church in the ways God has gifted and called them to serve, and sacrificially give to those in need, to their church, and to missionaries who are reaching the nations. There is MUCH honor in this kind of life, and we NEED people to answer this call.

Stephanie lives in Malawi with her husband Eric. They moved to Moldova in their 30's with 4 young kids, and then moved to Malawi as empty nesters in their 50's. It's never too late to follow God's call!

Or our kids may feel called to serve in any number of ministries or mission fields, either at home or abroad: pastoring a church where they lead people to know God more deeply and make him known around the world, church planting in the unreached heart of an American city, teaching English in a hard-to-reach country as a platform for sharing the gospel, caring for the physical and spiritual needs of refugees as they flood into Europe or America, teaching the Bible to illiterate church leaders in an African country, rescuing young women from sex trafficking in Indonesia and showing them the healing that can only come through the gospel, or risking their lives to bring the name of Jesus for the first time to a people group that is hostile to outsiders. There is also MUCH honor in this kind of life, and we NEED people to answer this call.

But the point is that no matter where they are, my prayer for them is that they will know God and follow his call to labor for his glory. 

Mike felt called to run an auto repair business for the glory of God, and he and Kellie pour out their lives to disciple college and high school aged students in their local church.

And that is my prayer for you as well. Are you frustrated with the week-in-week-out mundaneness of life? God calls you to more! 

Maybe he will call you to give your life to discipling the youth of your local church,  or to get to know your lost neighbors and get involved in their messy lives so they can receive the gospel, or to show Christ's love to neglected and abused children in your community by bringing them into your home as foster children, or to serve him right where you are in one of a zillion other possible ways.

Maybe he will call you to go to seminary and become a pastor, or to use your job skills as a platform for taking the gospel to another country, or to be part of a church plant in New York City, or to move your family to a developing country so that an unreached people group can hear about Jesus for the first time.

Who knows? I sure don't. But will you ask the One who does? No matter how young or old you may be, will you seek his guidance in your life and not just assume that a normal American life is all that is expected of you? Will you pray that he will show you the way in which he wants you to pour out your life for his glory, and will you trust him and follow him down whichever path that prayer may lead you?

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  Matthew 16:24-25 
Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.  Philippians 2:17

1 comment:

  1. Great thought-provoking post. I'm often asking myself, "is there more?" But right now, my ministry is mainly the three little ones. Teaching them as we carry the gospel to others. And I love that you said abroad or across the street. :)