“Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13.
In a large local church a huge sign spans three sets of exit doors. As members of the congregation leave the building and glance up they read the over-sized message: “You are now entering the mission field.”
In other words the mission field is not just across the globe, it’s right across the street. It’s in the parking lot, the checkout line at the grocery store, the neighborhood, the workplace, the bowling alley, the park, the living room, the kitchen.
Brother Gearl reminded us Sunday that our commission as missionaries is not an option. It’s not a fun thing to do when we have some spare time.
As followers of Jesus we are to carry His light with us wherever we go as torchbearers for the message of the Gospel. Being a missionary doesn’t mean we’re all to be eloquent public speakers, or trained Bible teachers, or sacrifice our lives and families to minister to natives in some remote village in the remotest parts of the globe.
Brother Gearl asked us a two questions Sunday. One was, “Who was it in your life that allowed you to see the light of Jesus?” I would venture to say that only a handful of us could answer, “It was a pastor?” or “It was a missionary.”
For many of us it was probably a friend or a coach or a neighbor or a teacher–someone uneducated and untrained in the ministry.
Brother Gearl pointed out the Peter and John were just like them. “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” It didn’t take seminary training to instill the confidence and boldness in Peter and John, and the other disciples, to preach the good news of Jesus. All it took was a personal encounter with Jesus. They became obedient to the call of Christ, they became willing to sacrifice their time and their lives to His call, and they never flinched in the face of adversity, in fact tradition says all three died martyrs’ deaths because of their devotion to Jesus and to his commission to go into all the world. (note: Peter’s denial certainly represents a flinch from his devotion to Jesus, but Peter had not yet received the Holy Spirit. Once Peter received the Helper Jesus promised nothing could stop him from spreading the good news of the gospel.) Their encounter was personal, ours is spiritual through our new birth in Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit, prayer and perpetual study of God’s Word.