“There are, in the end, only two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, sadly, ‘thy will be done’.” —C. S. Lewis
PRAYER: (From the Lectionary)
“Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of His salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of His marvelous works, AMEN.”
SCRIPTURES: (from the Lectionary)
And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. (Matthew 4:18-20 NKJV)
PRAYER FOCUS: Loving the Mission
When evangelist John Wesley (1703-1791) was returning home from a service one night, he was robbed. The robber, however, found his victim to have only a little money and some Christian literature.
As the bandit was leaving, Wesley called out, “Stop! I have something more to give you.” The surprised man paused. “My friend,” said Wesley, “You may live to regret this sort of life. If you ever do, here’s something to remember: ‘The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin!’” The thief hurried away, and Wesley prayed that his words might bear fruit.
Years later, Wesley was greeting people after a Sunday service when he was approached by a stranger. What a surprise to learn that this visitor, now a believer in Christ as a successful businessman, was the one who had robbed him years before. “I owe it all to you,” said the transformed man. “Oh no, my friend,” Wesley exclaimed, “not to me, but to the precious blood of Christ that cleanses us from all sin!”
John Wesley rarely missed an opportunity, even as a random victim of crime, to proclaim the Good News.
In this week’s Lectionary Prayer we ask God to help us focus on answering the call of our Savior to proclaim the gospel message to all people—to the whole world. We are asking Father-God to help us accomplish His Church’s mission: to go and make disciples of all nations… (Matt. 28:19).
This week’s Lectionary Scriptures echo our Lord’s call to follow him.
Every follower of Jesus must be familiar with ministry, just as He was. Every church that claims to love and serve the Lord must be a place of mission. Ministry and the mission are inseparable; one flows naturally to the other. This is the principal aim of God’s Church on earth. It is why the Holy Spirit was given to us.
Healthy churches send people out on the mission to reach the lost. Healthy churches receive and minster to the lost people that are brought in.
John Wesley did both while being robbed.
Do you wonder what God wants from you? Go out and find his lost sheep; tell them the Good News. You probably don’t need to be a missionary to the earth’s remote corners to do that. The people in your life are not there by accident. Some of them are lost and hurting. Your witness is needed right where you are.
Are you feeling unloved or empty? Minister to someone. Don’t just tell them God loves them, do something that shows it. Your own love will be strengthened by the exercise. Each of us needs to be filled—and re-filled—with God’s love. If you pray for more love you will receive what you pray for. God Himself will help you love what He loves.
Remember that generations of Christian brothers and sisters have gone before you on this very path. They have left the way both well-worn and well-posted. You yourself are someone’s legacy. God will teach you to leave your comfort zone and step out into your calling.
It’s Monday Morning. Love your mission this week. Depend on God’s grace. Answer readily His call. Amen.
I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry,
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Refrain: Here I am, Lord. Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart
(from the United Methodist Hymnal #593)