When I was 11, someone named Norm interrupted my life. And I'm so glad he did.
I didn't even know there was something I should be seeking, let alone know the right questions to ask. When God says in Romans, "How can they hear without someone telling them?" I totally get that. I had no idea there was something I wasn't "getting".
When we looked at Acts 20:24, one of my favorites, it hits between the eyes saying, the mission is more important than life itself. Woah!
"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24 NIV
"But that matters little. What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God." Acts 20:24 MSG
"But I consider my own life of no importance to me whatsoever, as long as I can finish the course ahead of me, the task I received from the Lord Yeshua - to declare in depth the Good News of God's love and kindness" Acts 20:24 CJB
"But I put no value on my life, if only at the end of it I may see the work complete which was given to me by the Lord Jesus, to be a witness of the good news of the grace of God." Acts 20:24 BBE
So what does it look like to live as though the mission is more important? Does it look like being Billy Graham? Sharing with droves of people and then left to wonder how in the world you will disciple by the thousands? Is it gathering a stadium of people to hear the wisdom spill from our mouth? No, it's starting with just one. Just like one tiny mustard seed that grows into something much larger than itself.
Norm saw me as just one, even a tiny, terrified, shy 11 year old girl and he interrupted my life to share with me. Then I saw my need for Jesus and surrendered my life to Him. Over time, the Lord matured me in my faith and gave me opportunities to share with just one's and many have turned to Him and trusted Him with their life.
God does so much with just one's. Like this:
A awhile back I discipled Stephanie and we were having a conversation about the mission/sharing the gospel. Stephanie was motivated to take initiative to share the Gospel with her friend Sarah. Sarah surrendered her life to Christ. As the year went on we got to see the neat changes God was producing in Sarah from the inside out.
After that year Austin and I moved and I didn't keep close contact with Stephanie or Sarah. But awhile back I got an email from Hilary, a girl wanting to get involved with our ministry. We had coffee and I heard her story of how she came to Christ and how she had heard about us. She told me that Sarah (the girl Stephanie led to the Lord) and another friend had shared the Gospel with her and led her to the Lord! Hilary moved at the end of the school year but I recently heard that she got to lead her friend to the Lord and is discipling her. Just one turns into much more than just one.
But the reality is that 96% of believers will go to their gave never having shared with just one, never even starting the mission that's more important than life itself. The mission the Lord gave us is so much bigger than our very life but how easy it is to live an entire life differently.
Oh Lord, it is so easy to live distracted, as though the mission is second and comforts and pleasures of this life are most important. Lord, we are desperate for You to give us Your heart and perspective. To help us see and seize opportunities You give us. Desperate for Your Spirit to lead and empower, to help us overcome our doubt and unbelief. To enable us to just start the conversation with just one and trust You with the results. Oh Lord, let us be people who finish the race well and not look back and say, "I have wasted it". Lord, we can do nothing apart from You. Would You align our heart to Yours, our desires to Yours. We are not adequate in ourselves but our adequacy comes from You, the One who made us ministers of reconciliation. Thank you for the great mission more important than life.
If you are not sure how to go about starting a conversation with just one, check out this post, 10 Questions for starting a spiritual conversation.
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 women, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks many times a year. Laura is an author and creator of ministry tools and resources. You can find her books and resources at the Missional Women store and connect with her on facebook,twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.
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