October 23, 2006

Compelled by Mission

Luke 4:38-44

"I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also ..." Luke 4:43


Jesus spent his days doing good, preaching the good news, healing the sick, and breaking Satan's power over human lives. When people urged him to settle in one town, Jesus resisted by saying he had to go to other towns also. He explained, "That is why I was sent." Jesus was compelled by his mission from the Father to reach an ever-widening circle of people.

A few years ago, a small book titled The Prayer of Jabez stirred considerable interest. The book was based on 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, which relates Jabez's prayer that God would bless him, enlarge his territory, and keep him from harm. "And God granted his request." Millions took this prayer as their own and asked God to bless them and grant them health and wider ministries. Many of their requests were answered.

Some people probably misused Jabez's prayer. Yet across the world it stirred many Christians to ask God to enlarge their ministries. That was good! Something is wrong in our response to Jesus if we only stay where we're comfortable, do what we've always done, and never venture out in new directions of service.

In The Imitation of Christ, Thomas ? Kempis asks, "What have I done today for the souls and bodies of God's people?" If each of us asked that question, we and the church and the world would be changed.

Lord Jesus, you said, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." Compel us to serve God and bless others, we pray, following your example in all we do. Amen.

About the author — Roger S. Greenway

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