About a month ago I took a trip. It was a trip out of the country. I cannot say much about the actual trip for security reasons. I will simply say I went to a place to meet with some men and women from other places to learn what they go through on a daily basis because they love Jesus. I spent a week in that place. It was my first trip like this. I have been back home for over three weeks and I cannot get the people I met with out of my mind. I cannot get the place I went to out of my mind. I cannot get this burden for those people off of my heart. I cannot stop being consumed with a desire to share the cause of the persecuted Church! There is no ceasing in sight of my obsessive passion to see the Gospel of Christ taken to the ends of the world, and I pray that never ends!
The passion for Jesus I saw in these people was amazing. He is all they have to cling to and that is a beautiful thing. They have given up everything to follow Him. It has cost them dearly. And they would say it is the greatest thing in their life. They cannot stop talking about it.
This is where this trip really wrecked me. I talk a lot in a given day. I talk to my wife. I talk to my kids. I talk to friends. I talk to family. I talk to coworkers. I talk to random people. I talk to myself. I am normally constantly communicating in some form or fashion. Yet what is it that I am communicating? Work, random events, tv, sports, food, traffic, weather, etc. You see I talk all the time. Yet I seem to rarely use this amazing privilege to talk about the thing that matters the most. I neglect to talk about the Gospel.
You see I have this ever growing yearning to be a part of taking the Gospel to the thousands of unreached people groups in hard to reach and dangerous places, yet I cower from taking the Gospel to my neighbor or friend or coworker.
The people I met with and learned from in that place face real legit danger for talking about Jesus and the Gospel in the places where they live. In some of those places sharing the Gospel or giving someone a Bible is worse than terrorist activity. They talk about Jesus and they lose their house or job or extended family, many times they are beaten or imprisoned. Still they don’t stop talking about Jesus! I am not going to lose my job or be cut off from my family or lose my house or be beaten or jailed. If I talk about Jesus I might have people have a different opinion of me. It might not fit the bill for the people pleasing person I normally am because it is off the normal script. I don’t face real persecution for talking about Jesus yet I let fear prevent me from doing so far too often.
Maybe you are stronger and less of a coward at heart then I am but I highly suspect you are in the same boat as me. So where do we go from here? Where do I go from here? How do I change? How do I stop being a coward and use the amazing freedom I have to talk about the Gospel? To begin with I need to pray. To pray for courage and boldness. To pray for wisdom. To pray for discernment. To pray to be led by the Spirit. Then I need to act. To tell. To let the remembrance of the depth of the grace shown to me in the Gospel cause me to be consumed with sharing that same Gospel with the world.
I do feel as a result of my recent trip that missions will be a much larger part of my life than ever before. I also think how I live and act and see things in my everyday life here and now has changed because of this trip. I have nothing more important than to share the Gospel with those around me. I pray you do the same.