DEVOTION – MISSIONS
We are often told that some things in this life are just impossible. “Can’t be done,” “Won’t work,” and “You’re not qualified,” are a few of the phrases we hear. The sad reality is that these phrases often prove true. There are plenty of situations and opportunities in our lives that are simply beyond our reach. If you want to stir up angst in young people, ask them what they want to pursue for a living. College students worry they won’t be able to handle their class load, and even if they are able, what about the debt? Many wonder whether they will qualify for the positions they desire. Others may worry about whether jobs will even be available in the fields of their choice.
Consider the gifts.
The only advice I would have is to try. Consider what gifts the Lord has given to you and try to use them in the service of His kingdom. This may require starts and stops, changes of career or location; and there is nothing wrong with that. We would encourage all young people to consider working in the public ministry, yet we must remember that not everyone is called to be a pastor or teacher. The Lord chooses those who would serve Him in this capacity (Ephesians 4:11-12). No one should feel coerced or pressured into the public ministry, but rather hear and respond to the still small voice of the Gospel to feed the lambs of Jesus.
This brings us to an occupation or calling for which you are perfectly suited, fully equipped, and in which you are guaranteed to be 100% successful—mission work.
Can you know, in your heart, that you are perfectly suited for mission work? Absolutely, because the Lord has called you. Jesus told His followers, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Every man, woman, and child in Christendom has received this command. Mission work is not just for missionaries and pastors. We should all be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us; you are perfectly suited to share Jesus with others.
How equipped are you
to do mission work?
This is where many bail out on their calling. We often hear excuses such as, “I don’t know what to say,” “I don’t like talking to people I don’t know,” and “I don’t know the Bible well enough.” However, God expects you to use your gifts and talents in His vineyard. He promised His followers that He would give them the words they should speak before their accusers without practice or rehearsal, “for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11) Talk about on-the-job training! The Holy Spirit, Who lives in our hearts, shows us the meaning of the Scriptures and gives us the words to speak! You are definitely equipped for mission work!
What job comes with a guaranteed 100% success rate? Mission work. We can make such a claim by focusing on the goal of our mission work—to preach the Gospel. The last time you spoke to someone about your faith, did you share the free forgiveness found in Jesus’ blood? That was a mission success! It is not our job to convert. Conversion is in neither our purview nor power—it is the job of the Holy Spirit. As others have aptly put it, “We need to share the Gospel and then get out of the Holy Spirit’s way!” You will be 100% successful in sharing the Gospel!
A calling for which we are all suited and equipped, and whose success is guaranteed 100%? Let’s all get out there and do some mission work!
David W. Bernthal is a retired teacher. He is a member of Luther Memorial School in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.