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Friday, August 9, 2013

Mathew and Seeing Normal Life as Being on Mission

There was a long period of time during my first few years of college that I was really struggling. I was struggling because I could not for the life of me understand what it was I was supposed to do with my favorite hobby: video games. I knew had a calling on my life to be a full time minister, but what I didn't understand then was that we are all called to be full time ministers in our own way.

Look for example at Mathew the disciple. Before he was "Mathew the Disciple" he was "Mathew the Tax-Collector". This brought with it universal hatred and meant that he essentially made his living off of extorting people's money (albeit with the support of the Roman government). He would not have been the first choice for any Jewish man to be a force for the Lord, but Jesus walked by and called him and said "Follow me". Mathew instantly obeyed (Mathew 9:9). Mathew did better than that though, by verse 10, Mathew had Jesus and the disciples at his home. On top of that, he had a house full of other tax collectors and sinners there as well. See after having his encounter with Jesus, he went to the people he was closest to and brought them to his house to see Jesus too.

This is a small example (and there are others), but it is significant: Mathew didn't just run wildly up and down the street inviting strangers. He went to people he worked with and lived with. People we would call our "friends". His connection to them was what he did and he utilized that to his advantage when he went to spread the good news of Jesus. Yet so often in our own lives the people we fail to share the Gospel with most are those closest to us. We fall into this trap of thinking that "being on mission" means going overseas or sharing the Gospel with this nebulous "other" group of people that we don't know. Mathew shows us that the first people we are to take this mission to is the people around us.

This also speaks to our identity: God had made Mathew a tax collector for a reason. It was no accident that he had the job he had and that he was who he was. He was what he was on purpose so that God could glorify Himself by using him to reach other tax collectors and sinners like him. The same applies for us: your passions and your job aren't something you find yourself with by accident. It's all according to a plan. God not only desires that you reach out to the people around you, he also made you the person you are so that you would not only be there in the first place but would be able to communicate the Gospel in a way that speaks to them. This is where I found my answer to why God made me a gamer. Because I'm surrounded everyday by lost gamers that He desires for me to share the Gospel with and He made me a gamer so that I would be able to have those relationships and be able to communicate the Gospel in a way that speaks to them as gamers.

So look at where you find yourself and the things that you are passionate about and start asking the question: "How can I share the Gospel where I am now?" That is living a life that is on mission for Christ.

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