I love the Resurrection story! It never gets old. As I read over it again on Saturday night trying to figure out which of the marvelous truths I needed to pull out in children’s church, I was struck by the words, “GO TELL.”
In Matthew 28, the angel talks to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. After he shows them the empty tomb, he commands them in verse 7, “Go quickly and TELL His disciples that He is risen.” On their way, they meet Jesus, who in verse 10 says, “Be not afraid. GO TELL my brethren….” Do you see a pattern here? The ladies were not to linger but to go right away to share the Good News.
Days after the Resurrection, when Jesus is ready to ascend into heaven, believers are commanded to go and TELL his story all over the world!
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world Amen.” (Matthew 28:19, 20)
It’s a given that this verse is going to come up on a missions-centered blog a few times. It’s our theme verse as missionaries, but sadly, even here on the mission field, I forget to TELL this beautiful story sometimes. You see, it’s like this; my husband is at church training pastors. They make visits together, witness to others and have evangelistic campaigns. They TELL the story. That’s their job! I stay at home, try to keep the house clean, teach the children, and keep everyone’s bellies full. Some days, I barely make it outside of my house. I’m doing MY job! Right? WRONG! You see, telling the story is my job too! Now, I do realize that everything I do to help my husband as he serves the KING is important and needful. However, there is nothing that should keep me from opening my mouth to give the gospel too! I have the opportunity to tell the story to my children on daily basis. What a privilege. I can’t just bottle it up for our household though! I must look for opportunities to get the Word to others.
I often give the excuse that I am too busy with my own home and family to step outside and witness to neighbors, but it’s amazing how quickly my schedule clears, when I want to get out and do something “fun.” I should be even more willing to make adjustments in my schedule that allow me to get out and witness. It will often mean including all four children. They can’t stay out in the hot sun for hours on end, but we can always make a few visits and then do a few more on another day. There are certain little “boutiques” (small shops that sell odds and ends) within walking distance that I go to on a regular basis. By befriending the workers, God can open up doors for me to witness. All I have to do is be friendly, pray for opportunities, and then little by little plant the seed as He opens the door.
I became friends with a Muslim neighbor who sells vegetables and other cooking ingredients out of her home. She wore a long black robe and a head covering. I didn’t really know how to talk to her, but going to her home was more convenient than going to the market every time I needed a last minute item so I was a frequent customer. When I bought from her, I tried to be her friend and would talk to her about Jesus. Once, she didn’t have the garlic ready for me. (You can buy fresh garlic with the skin still on it or already peeled. I prefer to buy it the second way so I can throw it straight into my garlic press.) I sat down with her and helped her peel, not only my garlic, but extra for other customers. There are some cultural boundaries that are hard to cross sometimes, but putting my hands to work with another goes a long way!
My blond-headed, blue-eyed, seven-year old daughter caught her attention as well. She would ask, “Mom, can I go visit the Muslim lady?” She would plant herself next to the lady outside of her shop and talk and talk and talk, babbling on in her broken French. (If talking is a spiritual gift that girl has it.) Our neighbor knew we handed out tracts, and before long, she was ASKING my daughter to come talk to her about what the tract meant. Because of her interest in the little foreign child, God gave us a wide open door! The lady has not come to know the Lord, but we have been able to share more gospel with her than I ever thought she would allow.
I could give you countless stories of doors the Lord has opened when I step out in faith and look for opportunities in my simple daily routine. I have to be bold enough to open my mouth and TALK about the Lord. In my flesh, I would often rather go to a shopkeeper and say “Hi, I need to buy _____, thanks, goodbye.” With the Lord’s help though, if I take that first step and begin to talk about Him, He gives me the boldness and courage to continue on! There is such JOY in sharing HIM with others.
I challenge you wherever you are to pray for opportunities to TELL the story. Look for them so you won’t miss them when they come. Always be ready to talk about JESUS. Keep gospel tracts with you at all times. Make friends wherever you go so that they will be willing to listen!
God wants us ALL to be involved in his plan to reach the world. Tell it right here, right now, wherever you are. Across the street or across the ocean…wherever God has you. TELL the story. If you have children, let them see your passion for sharing Christ, and it will soon become their passion as well. Let them hand out tracts and make visits with you.
Maybe this task seems too hard for you. Mrs. Mindy Bush wrote this article several months ago, that still stands out in my mind. http://www.womenbehindthescenes.com/2012/11/01/a-bold-witness/ Take a look, and get on the right path by simply learning to keep gospel tracts on hand. Start today! May God bless you as you go forward for him.
Telling the story in Burkina Faso,