Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 7, 2019
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. Luke 4:16 (NRSV)
Growing up in church, I felt as though to truly love God I must move to the deserts of Africa or the jungles of Brazil and be a missionary for Jesus. The second greatest thing one could do, if you couldn’t handle the humidity and bugs, was to be a pastor. Everything else seemed to be lumped into “worldly professions” and “ordinary places.” And while this may have been more perception than reality, I feel as though so often we accept a version of this story. To truly be on mission for God, I must go far and wide and get out of whatever place or situation I find myself in. The only problem with this view is that Jesus says and does the exact opposite!
As Jesus begins his ministry on earth, Luke tells us that he begins in Nazareth, “where he had been brought up,” and that he went to the synagogue, “as was his custom.” In short, Jesus did the things he’d always done, in the places he’d always done them, but did them filled with the power of the Spirit and with an ear tuned to the voice of the Father. I believe he wants us to do the same.
While we can and absolutely should give thanks to God for the faithful women and men who have radically answered the call to world missions, staying home and rooted in your community is not a secondary or lesser call. The call to faithful witness and evangelism is no less real for the one who stays than it is for the one who goes. Evangelism isn’t the work of elite Christians but is an invitation extended to every follower of Jesus. This is true for people in the distant reaches of the world, but is also true for baristas, students, homemakers, financial planners, and artists!
I find it easy to think that God can only use me in situations and places other than the ones I find myself in. I think, “if God would send me there then I’d be on fire for the gospel” or “if God would let me have that job then I’d be able to serve in his Kingdom in a meaningful way.” Yet as we look to the example of Jesus, who preached and ministered first in the places he knew best, I wonder if he is asking us today to do the same? Rather than catching the first flight around the world, might you first start by learning to be attentive to where God is already at work in your life? Ask yourself today, “In the everyday rhythm of my life, with the people who know me best, how might God want to use me to show them that he is real, good, and trustworthy?”
Father, thank you that your Spirit empowers us for ministry right where we are in the places we work, play, and live. Amen.
How can you learn to look for daily opportunities to speak life and blessing over someone in the name of Jesus?
Evangelism isn’t the work of elite Christians but is an invitation extended to every follower of Jesus. #wisdomhunters #evangelism
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