Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ministry Starts at Home

In 1985, I moved away from the Fargo, North Dakota area where I was born and raised.  After a brief stint in the army, I relocated to Minneapolis originally to pursue a secular music career.  Six years later I committed my life to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Ironically that happened in Fargo while visiting my sister and her husband. 

In recent years, God has sent me back to Fargo for lengthy visits.  A few times it appeared He wanted me to resettle there.  I wasn’t fond of the idea for I hate the colder winters up north.  Another reason was Jesus’ statement in Mark 6:4, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”  One day I talked about this with a pastor friend in Fargo.  He responded by asking me, “Are you a prophet?”  I answered “no” because I’m primarily called to be an evangelist.  Even so, God has continued sending me to other cities.

Many people in the Bible were sent to places far from home.  Abraham was called to start a new nation.  Jonah was instructed to go to Nineveh.  Even Jesus spent time in Egypt as a child before returning to Israel.  On the other hand, the delivered demoniac who wanted to travel with Jesus was told, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” (Mark 5:19)  There’s also Jeremiah who continued ministering in Judah despite experiencing much rejection from his relatives and countrymen.

While I’ve had the privilege of leading some of my family members to salvation, others haven’t been as receptive to the things of God.  Nevertheless, He has used me to minister to other people in Fargo.  This past Wednesday during another visit to my hometown, I felt led to do some street evangelizing there.  Eighteen people prayed with me to get born again.  During my outing, a man riding on a motorcycle noticed what I was doing.  He stopped to introduce himself and offered to buy me lunch after I was done witnessing.  Proverbs 28:20 says, “A faithful man will abound with blessings.”

Some Christians say they want to be a missionary on foreign soil but won’t share the gospel with their neighbors and co-workers.  Ray Comfort says, “If you are not concerned about your neighbors salvation, then I am concerned for yours.”  We must be willing to minister to those in our immediate sphere of influence before God starts sending us to other cities and countries.  Jesus said in the Parable of the Talents and in the Parable of the Minas that if we are faithful in little, He will make us ruler over much.

Many churches have a sign posted above their exit that says, “You are now entering the mission field.”  Have you entered yours yet?

 “‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant.  You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’” – Luke 19:17 (NLT)

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