Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beyond the Walls Devotional

Beyond the Walls
9/21/08

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14

I love that every time I am in the Word I learn more, grow more, and see things differently each and every time. I am sure some of that wisdom comes from age, some of it from time, and all of it from Him, but it is still pretty awesome when you are hit with a new revelation.

It’s funny because after being in full time (and then some) ministry for five years I always thought that ministry could and should only happen within the walls of the church. Now…wait just a minute, hang with me through this and let me show you some stuff I have learned. I am 100% not knocking the local church, I totally believe what Bill Hybels says when he says, “The local church is the HOPE of the world.” Absolutely, but what I got so hung up on is this, that ministry can and only does happen in the church, and that is where I went totally wrong.

Check out the Great Commission -
Matthew 28:19-20 - 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Does it say to go out and bring them to church and let the church do all the work? No, it doesn’t. It says for YOU to “Go and Make Disciples”. Ministry is an intensely personal relationship and just because you tell someone to go to church does that mean they will actually go with you? No it doesn’t, so what are you to do.

Mark 16:15 - He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

Yesterday was a ten (10) hour party day for me. Now, before you go and get all excited let me tell you that it was a day of “stretching” and “growing” as I sought to be used where He wanted me, and let me just tell you that it was certainly beyond the walls. We went to a gorgeous wedding in Boca Raton and spent hours at the most elegant reception table with all the pastors. It was a great honor, and I am thankful for that, but later after we came home we went to another party. At this party there wasn’t a table of honor, there were tons of teenagers celebrating a young ladies sweet sixteen. This party was not at all like the party we went to earlier in the day. There was the perfect party scene going on there; lots of loud music, lots of silly girls and too-cool boys, and this is where I had the biggest impact and felt that I was exactly where God wanted me to be.

Romans 15:7 - 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

It was there, at the party of a sixteen year old girl, that I was able to connect with the neighbors that God has placed in my life. There is most certainly a reason that He hasn’t released us to move back to the South (we are both Southerners living in South Florida), and now I know. I was able to talk, openly and freely about my belief in Him (I am so not an “evangelical” personality), about my walk, and also get a chance to know them. I found out that there are seven pastors (yep, I said seven) all on our circle and that there is clearly a reason we are all here. In the midst of the madness of a teenage birthday party we connected, we celebrated, and we moved church and our relationship with Christ “Beyond the Walls” and it was a glorious opportunity that I will be forever grateful for.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 -4 For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.

It is my prayer that you too would be encouraged to live “Beyond the Walls” and seek to do ministry wherever God places you. In YOUR neighborhood, in YOUR job, in YOUR PTA, in YOUR carline, in YOUR relationships God has YOU right where He wants you.

The Great commission doesn’t say anything about ministry happening only in church, so get out there, and meet people, they are obviously in your life for a reason. Together, you and I, with God’s love, discernment, and direction can really reach out BEYOND THE WALLS.

Seeking His Direction,
Melissa

4 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Deb 8:43 PM  

You are exactly right Mel. That's why I love our Redemption Riders, we go minister to people that you won't find in a church building. We are the church. . and Mark 16:15 is on our colors(patch). Our bond with them is a motorcycle. . We all have something God will use to bring others to Him. Sounds like you found your place yes? God Bless

Susan 9:44 PM  

It's so funny because this was our sermon (sort of) today. We talked about how the church was "scattered" after the death of Stephen in Acts. Then we looked at the times in the scripture when people in ministry were "scattered" out into the world vs. staying where they had always been.

I encourage you to check out the work of Steve Sjogren and Servant Evangelism. It's the crux of his ministry to get out of the walls and show Christ's love to others through simple acts of kindness.

Thanks for yet another reminder that ministry opportunities are all around us.

Hugs,

Susan

P.S. I sent you an invite on Facebook.

Natalie 10:28 PM  

great post!

i had to laugh when you mentioned"car line"

i am constantly in a car line!

Karyn 7:16 PM  

Thanks for this article! It's wonderful to see how Christians are impacting the world through the internet. For a great blog that's assisting Christians to navigate the often bewildering territory of love and relationships in an increasingly secular world, check out www.christiancupid.com/blog

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