I received a text message that I want to share with the world. It says:
“I absolutely love my job…but I am not kidding when I tell you…that this, [doing ministry],” is so much more important to me. I wish I could just take leave and work on growing this church!”
Following Jesus Christ comes from the heart. It is our faith that gives us power, endurance, and strength to do the work of the Lord. Our faith comes from the Word of God. Through the Word of God – hearingGod’s Word, one’s life is changed radically, in which it will never be the same again. This is what happened to the disciples and this is what happened to the person who sent me this text.
In Mark 6:1-13, Jesus and His disciples arrive into Jesus’ hometown. It is a Sabbath and they go into to the temple where Jesus preaches and teaches. At first, all are “astounded” at what they hear, until they recognize Him as the kid that played in the street with the other kids. He faces rejection.
He then sends his twelve disciples on a mission trip to proclaim the Good News of repentance, heal the sick, and cast out demons. These same disciples who lacked faith just a few short days ago, and questioned who this man Jesus really was – the One who was had power over the wind and the sea – now suddenly do not even question their abilities to go out into the world and do as Jesus has equipped them to do!
What changed? What was it that gave the disciples the power, passion, and desire for mission that enabled them to go out into the communities with no food, no money, no extra change of clothes, and having no idea where they would sleep that night and proclaim Christ in this profound way?
This mission trip was so radically different than anything they had ever done! These were 12 men who just a few short days ago, lacked in their faith, could not grasp that Jesus was Lord of all, and relied on Him for their well-being.
What changed? Well, here is what I believe…
In Verse 1: It was the Sabbath and Jesus began to teach and many who were there, were astounded! The disciples were there! They followed Jesus into the Temple that day. They heard the Word of God! They just weren’t there and listened. They heard it!
It was through a new faith of their own, they received God’s authority! It was a pure gift in which they are then called by the One whose resurrection power enabled them to do what they could otherwise never do, or even dream of doing.
I believe this is what happened to the 12 disciples! They heard God’s Word and God’s call for them that gave them a life radically different from anything they could ever imagine. This transformation from hearing God’s Word allowed them to put their faith into action by accepting God’s gift of authority and power that began to change the world!
It’s the same with us! When we hear with our hearts the Word of God in such a profound way, we begin to accept God’s authority, right along with Jesus and His disciples, to proclaim, heal, and claim victory over evil!
This is the “Heart” of the matter! Our hearts must hear God’s Word of Salvation and Hope for us to have the passion to proclaim it to others! It’s the one way! It’s called discipleship! God’s Word in our hearts cause us to see beyond what we expect to see. We begin to see the world through the lens of Jesus Christ! When our hearts hear the Word of God, we begin to connect with others as if our life depended on it. It becomes a life or death concept that can only come from the heart.
And, when we cross over to the side of Jesus Christ, we realize that there is no going back. There is no Plan B! We know in our hearts and minds that we must keep forging forward to live out our mission for Jesus Christ! And, when we do, we Leave our mark on the world! People will know who we are without ever having met us!
I truly believe that this is what happened to this person who sent me this text:
“I absolutely love my job…but I am not kidding when I tell you…that this, ”doing ministry,” is so much more important to me. I wish I could just take leave and work on growing this church!”.
Her name is Colette Hammesfahr, a member and church council president of Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church in Richmond Hill, GA.
Jesus calls us to a life that is truly life and radically different than anything that we can imagine! As we deepen our faith and relationship with Christ, we are transformed from ordinary people to an extraordinary disciple of Christ! Through this transformation, God’s power to heal and take care of His people will take expression in our churches, communities, and the world, in ways we could never dream or imagine!