We can all agree, Paul was a “second mountain” kind of guy. He lived in a way that was completely surrendered to a cause – the most important cause – spreading the gospel so that Jesus would be known as our one true Savior.
But he wasn’t always. He was living a “first mountain” life before God met him on the road to Damascus. He was a zealous pharisee and, if his goal was to persecute as many Christians as possible, he was close to reaching the top of that first mountain. But then, – bam – a flash of light, an encounter with Jesus, and all of a sudden, he’s climbing a completely different mountain.
(Unsure of what this first mountain – second mountain business is? Check out Michel’s message from last Sunday here.)
When God saves someone, He’s not just helping them to arrive at their own happiness. God summons us from death to life, and then to His purposes of bringing more people out of death into life through Jesus.
We can look at the life of Paul, several years of which were spent in prison, as an example and inspiration for living out our life for Jesus, no matter the circumstance. You would think that being confined to a solitary location would keep someone from being able to spread the good news (let alone any news). But nope, Paul used every situation for the benefit of the gospel.
So, what kinds of excuses are we hiding behind?
You didn’t choose to be where you are.
Too old. Too young.
Overqualified. Under qualified.
Too busy. Too stressed. Too many responsibilities.
God doesn’t wait for your circumstances to change in order to call you.
There’s no greater prize than living for Jesus because that’s what we were created for: to know God, to reflect His beauty and excellence, to join in His great mission to reach the world. I often forget that it’s a privilege to be part of this mission… to take part in God’s work of life transformation. He doesn’t need us, but He still chooses us and wants us to take part in this eternal work.
So as we wrap up February (where did the time go?), it marks the end of Missions Month for us at Grace. Over the past 4 weeks, we heard from people who answered God’s call, we were inspired by stories of sacrifice and obedience, we were educated and informed about the needs and opportunities for the Gospel around the world. Now we confront the question: How can I make my life count?
- God’s mission + your calling. Wherever you are, you can participate in God’s mission. It doesn’t require a job change or picking up and moving (although, sometimes it does. But you’ll know if God’s asking you to do that). It does require a different mindset and a different purpose. Your life isn’t about you anymore. It’s about Jesus.
- God’s mission + your resources. You have been entrusted with much. The question is, what will you use it for? Yourself? Or for the sake of someone coming to know Jesus?
- God’s mission + your comfort. Get out of your comfort zone. That might mean walking down the street to introduce yourself to a neighbor… or it might mean leaving the country. As we stretch ourselves, we change. Our vision, perspective, and heart grows. We see that life is so much more than just what concerns us or occupies our attention.
God has given us one life. He’s placed us right where we are meant to be. He isn’t waiting for the circumstance to change in order for His work to move forward. So why are you? When you stand before the Lord one day, giving an account to Him for the way you lived, what will you say? What do you want to say?