Thursday, July 26, 2007

Called to be Where You Are

My pastor preached yesterday on Mark 5, the story of the demonposessed man who was crying out and cutting himself. My attention was drawn more, however, to the end of the story.
verses 17-19:
And they began to implore Him to leave their region. As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him. And He did not let him, but He said to him, "Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you."
This struck me as amazing. The man wanted to go out and follow Christ, but Jesus didn't want him to. His plan was for him to go back to his home town and tell of all that had happened.
Sometimes, even though we may want to go to a foreign country and preach the gospel, God needs us to reach the very people that are surround us.
Sometimes it is harder to go to our own community. When going to a foreign country you do not have to deal with "your own people" if you will. For example, if God called me to be a missionary in Africa, I would go right now, and to me, it would be easy. I would show them the love of Christ in the way best understandable, and I would even be ok "roughing it" in the hard conditions. But now that God has called me to my college, it's a whole different story. That means that I have to stand up in front of my peers. The people who are my age. The people that I want to respect me. It would be so much easier to blend in. But I have to stand up and stand out. I have to risk making a fool of myself for Christ in front of my fellow students. And let me tell you, that is way harder than going to a foreign country where you are an outsider anyway. Here in this country, in this college, the press for "cool" and "acceptance" can be so overwhelming.

When everyone around you is drinking, taking drugs, and having sex, will you stand out? Not just sit silent and not take part... but stand UP? Speak out.

And maybe that is where we find the sacrifice in giving our lives to the call of God. While it would be sacrifice for me to go to the foreign mission field, it is a daily challenge to live my life as a light on campus among people who's respect I desire.

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