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The Far Off Mission: Next Door

The great commission, in short, is for Jesus disciples (that is you and I) to take the Gospel to the far corners of the world; and this is done by missionaries. Missions are a focus of a great number of sermons and a part of almost every churches yearly budget. There are more than 200 different missionary agencies operating in the world today with upwards of 430,000 active missionary workers. The impact of these numbers is that approximately 60% of the world has a missionary or Christian church presence. What does all that mean, is it a symbol of a goal almost reached? Is it something to celebrate or some sort of benchmark? The answer is simply; No.

This focus sometimes over looks impact that we can have without a passport or malaria pills. Every community has less fortunate and those that have not be ministered too. Sometimes it is easier to send brave and committed souls to the four corners of the world than to witness to our own community. But that fact has limited the churches impact in the areas closest to its doors, and an easy commute for the Body of Christ. Our commission from Christ is no different given an arbitrary distance, far off country or language barrier. Our world has a need for Jesus in every corner; but some of those corners are right next door.

Jesus didn’t shy away from anyone. He treated all with the same love and compassion and this is the example we are to strive toward. He ministered to all those He encountered and those that sought Him out. We need to attempt to emulate His walk and His ministry. In His 33 years and 3 months Christ walked perfectly and sinned not once, this not only to fulfilled prophecy but made our salvation possible. His ministry served Judah, but His impact is still reaching out to the world to this day.

We should be as focused on our communities at least as much as we are on the far side of the world. We have agencies that address many of the issues in our communities. Food pantries, shelters and rehab facilities already exist in many of our towns, but these are secular places that may employ people of faith but they are not places of faith. We, as the church, need to do more in our service to God and His people so that their is no doubt “the least of these” is as important to us than they are to Christ. No matter where we find those in need our mission is to show the love of Jesus Christ will meet them where they are.

Our lives are not to be lived for our own comfort and enrichment, we are made in God’s image and are here to further His kingdom. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in this world and with this great responsibility comes and even greater opportunity to witness and share the Gospel with everyone we encounter. Our future is not tied to this world and those that put their faith in our broken and lost society will reap the wages of what they are sowing. Do not allow their misguided lives drag you down with them. The slick words and blinding technology the enemy uses to sway our brothers and sisters away from the path Christ has called us to walk. Live simply, serve completely and love boundlessly.

Treat everyday as a mission trip into whatever place you go. It doesn’t matter if it is across the street or around the world.

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