Read Matthew 5:38-48
Scripture: Matthew 5:40
Every missionary knows a great truth: their mission is to bring Jesus and His saving work to a land not their own. It isn’t their job to try to impose a foreign culture upon people. The missionary’s homeland has certain foods they eat, songs they sing, ways they dress, etc. But these aren’t the things that one brings to the new land. No, you bring a message of salvation that is way bigger than any cultural distinctives.
Now if missionaries know this…….how about us? Let’s be honest, we live in a land made up of a whole bunch of “mini” cultures. Some of it is age related; some educationally related; and some is economically related. We differ quite a bit one from another. The struggle churches often have is they pick a “mini” culture they like, and basically say to the world around them—you need to become like us (because we really have little interest in becoming like you). Seldom do we look around and ask the question, “what would be the most effective way to reach the world into which God has placed us?”
This has nothing to do with diving into sin, or tolerating that which God deems intolerable. This is about learning how to invest oneself into the world in which they live in a way that allows them to freely share the good news of Jesus with those around them. The apostle Paul said it something like this: “to the Greeks I become a Greek; to the Jews I become a Jew. I become all things to win as many as possible for the Gospel.” For us the statement would look like this: “to those on the Seacoast, I become like a Seacoaster (I know, that isn’t really a word), to win those on the Seacoast to Jesus.”
What does that mean? It means getting involved in my community, schools, etc. It means investing time in my neighborhood getting to know these folks. It means standing up for the things of God in the public square (that one isn’t easy, is it). I become part of my world to win my world for the Gospel. And yes, this will be a sacrifice.
If you wonder what would motivate us to do this….just look to Jesus. He is the one who left the beauty of heaven to come to earth. He exchanged a throne for a manger. He gave up life in the heavenlies for a cross. And He did it all for us. He became a man of the earth to win those on the earth. And He says to us, “go and do likewise”.
PRAYER FOCUS - TAKE TIME EVERYDAY THIS WEEK TO PRAY
Tuesday: Ask God to reveal to you ways in which you are comfortable
Wednesday: Ask God to reveal to you ways in which He may want you to be sacrificial
Thursday: Pray for your community, school, place of work, and ask God to reveal to you how you could “become like them to win them to Jesus”
Friday: Pray for our congregation and leaders to have the courage to live sacrificially in order for the Gospel to go into all of the world