Hello friends! I’d like to extend a very warm greeting from the Goodman family in the Dominican Republic! My wife and I get up every morning with such gratefulness for where God has placed us. We are unapologetic about it. Thank You, Jesus! We love the life the Lord has given us!
People get this mindset, “Oh, you’re on the mission field suffering for Jesus.” To which we reply, “No, Jesus didn’t send us to the mission field to suffer; we could have done that at home.” Hello!!?? He sent us here to light some fields and some tails on fire . . . THAT’s why we are here!
God wants the church to be a place where people get fed, ignited, and equipped so they can be sent to the fields to do the work of the ministry. As Solomon used foxes to invade the enemy fields, so God wants to ignite us to basically carry out the same mission.
With that being said, we can also say, “The church is for grazing; the world is for blazing!” That’s why you and I have been sent here. I want you to consider something with me today. In the ministry of Jesus Christ, did Jesus ever preach in the church or the synagogue? Yes, He did. Did Jesus do more ministry in the church/synagogue or in the marketplace? The marketplace! The marketplace is out there; it’s the world in which we live our lives and conduct our business.
I don’t know exactly what the ratio is, but Jesus did a greater amount of ministry outside the church than He did inside the church! See, the church is a place where the people of God gather to worship and be fed; then they are ready to be sent into the fields to bring the light and love of Christ to a sin-sick and dying world! Look around you, my friends. The world is sick and full of sin! It is dying. God has given you and I the goods to minister life to the world.
The five-fold ministry of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher in Ephesians 4:11 has been given to the church for the equipping of the Saints. Have a problem with being called a Saint? Well, He says it about you! You might say, “I still sin.” To that I say, “Duh!” Isn’t that amazing? We continue to fall short, and God still calls us Saints. How do I know? Apostle Paul refers to the people of God as Saints! We’ve been set apart, my friends; yet we fall short sometimes. When we do, we have an advocate before the Father.
Say, “I’m a Saint.” If you’re like many Christians, you may have struggled with that. I’m just calling you what God calls you. Do you think that I believe that you always act like a Saint? I know that neither of us do! You know what? God knows everything; I am only witness and party to a very limited amount. God knows it all! That’s a scary thought, and we forget that every once in a while, don’t we? God is everywhere; He knows everything; He sees everything; He hears everything, yet He still loves us and calls us His Saints. Just study your Scripture, and you’ll see for yourself. I’m not calling you anything that God hasn’t already called you. If God says you’re a Saint, then bless God, you’re a Saint.
Now, as I was saying, more preaching, more teaching, more healing, and more miracles were carried out by Christ in the marketplace than in the house of worship. You think about it: the lives of lawyers, teachers, businessmen/women, civil authorities, peasants, priests, the rich, and the poor were all touched and impacted as Christ influenced the culture in which He lived.
It really goes back to His teaching in Luke 19:13 where He’s talking about the ten servants/stewards. In that one particular verse the master is leaving, and he places the servants in a position of management, or of oversight. He tells his stewards, “Occupy until I return.” You’re familiar with that, right? We understand that “to occupy,” means to take care of business on behalf of another, take oversight, take the management of.
I lived in the Fayetteville/Fort Bragg, NC, area for twenty-five years. There are Special Force units and other “special entities” that don’t even exist, and how do I know that they don’t? Because even though I’ve been there, they’ve said, “You’ve never been here and this does not exist.” Twenty-five years around the military, and I’ve been told that the term “occupy,” means to advance. Whoa, a little added dimension. So why is the church here? Why are you here? We are here to advance the Kingdom of God! The question is: are you fulfilling your God-given mission?
Grace and peace,