USA (MNN) — The American Dream is often touted — both consciously and unconsciously — as the best way to get to the ideal life in the United States. Just work hard and you can achieve whatever you put your mind to.
A good work ethic is never a bad thing. But for American Christians, the temptation is often to sacrifice personal discomfort for the sake of the Gospel on the altar of this American Dream.
We are too often stingy with our time, talent, and treasures. Rather than employing these things towards effectiveness for His Kingdom, we use these things to advance our own kingdom.
Ron Hutchcraft with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries says, “There is no paycheck, there is no title, there is no award on earth that can equal the satisfaction and the sense of peace and fulfillment that goes with serving Christ in the fulfillment of His final orders. It’s the highest calling that there is.”
You Really Can Reach the Nations
The final orders of Jesus to His disciples before He ascended to Heaven are commonly referred to as the Great Commission.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:16b-20, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This command to “go and make disciples of all nations” must have seemed like a daunting task to the 11 disciples Jesus spoke to.
But then, Hutchcraft points out, “Only weeks later at Pentecost, literally the world had come to [the disciples] because people from all over the world were at the feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came. They were able to plant the seeds of the Gospel right there in Jerusalem that could spread then around the world.”
Here in America, Hutchcraft says Christians have a similar opportunity to reach the nations with the Gospel. And it is our responsibility to do so.
“We have now immigrants, we have international students, we have people that maybe in some cases we’re afraid of, we have been unwelcoming to, we’ve avoided. ‘They are not us. They are not like us.’ Well, my goodness. That’s who Jesus went to in His day.
“We have orders from Jesus and you’re either obeying them or you’re disobeying them. And whether or not you know the phrase ‘the Great Commission’, you now know that the final orders of your Lord is to get this Good News out of the cocoon, out of the walls of the Church, and into a lost and dying world.”
No Higher Calling
Reaching the nations does not always require a passport. But then again, sometimes sharing the Gospel does require travel. And right now, the world is in desperate need of Christians willing to take the Good News of Jesus to the farthest-flung and least-reached communities.
According to The Joshua Project, 41.6 percent of all people groups around the world are unreached with the Gospel.
“I love the fact that Charles Spurgeon said, ‘If God calls you to be a missionary, don’t stoop to be a King. There is no higher calling on earth.’”
Unfortunately, Christian young people do not always get an enthusiastic response when they share they would like to go into the mission field as a career.
“Many times when they go to their Christian parents and tell them that, instead of getting, ‘Praise the Lord!’ they get, ‘Well, you know, you really need to think practically.’”
Hutchcraft adds, “By the way, I would suggest you not let God hear that conversation. If you think being a missionary is beneath or not important enough for your son or daughter to do, don’t tell God that, because His Son was one. His Son was a missionary.”
How to Get Started
So how can you get started reaching the nations for the Gospel? Hutchcraft says all it takes is a little creativity and responding to the needs you see, in love.
“The world is right on our doorstep. Wherever you live, there are people who need to learn English. The fact that you can speak English gives you a skill that could help you carry out the orders of Jesus to people in your community.
“You start where you are and look for the people on your doorstep.”
Hutchcraft adds, “Secondly, you pray for a piece of God’s broken heart for a whole world of lost people. You know, you get mail from all these Christian ministries and you say, ‘I can’t care about all this stuff.’ God doesn’t expect you to because only His big Father’s heart can contain all the needs and all the burdens of this lost world. But what He would like to do is take one or two of those needs and tattoo them on your heart and deeply break your heart for some place in this world.”
Finally, be what Hutchcraft calls a “laser giver”!
“Some people — and it’s a good thing, they’re trying to do a good thing — they give a little money to a lot of ministries. And that’s not bad. That is well-intentioned. But…focused light rather than diffused light can do so much more. A focused light can help repair your vision, can help cut through steel, [and] can do surgery; that’s what the power of a laser is. Why don’t you laser your giving on one, two, or three things that you care deeply about? And instead of making a little difference for a lot of things, why don’t you make a lot of difference for a few pieces of God’s work on earth?”
Love in Action
Hutchcraft shares one inspiring example of Christians on a Native American reservation seeing a need and doing something about it:
“At a reservation church on a southwest Indian reservation, a friend of mine told me he’s involved in a men’s group there who go out every Thursday night now. They literally go out across their reservation community and they pick up homeless people, they pick up people with drug issues and street people, and they bring them back to the church and they feed them a good meal. A couple of the men share their hope stories and they tell them about Jesus.
“They said, ‘We don’t have to literally cross an ocean or exchange our currency. We’re carrying out Jesus’ orders right here.”
If you know there is a need in your community that needs to be met with God’s love and grace, ask the Lord to show you how you can be the hands and feet of Jesus.
“I think there might be somebody listening right now who has this voice inside of them and though they’ve never articulated it, this voice is saying, ‘You’re made for more. You’re made for more.’ And you know it. And that more may very well be to graduate from whatever career path you might be on right now to a calling from the Son of God Himself…to send you to one of the needy places of this world. It might be right in your own town.”