A recent survey in Great Britain asked children to name the best and worst things in the world. Their choices for the worst things were predictable: killing, wars, drunks, bullies, illness, smoking, stealing, divorce, and being fat. But I’m alarmed at what these youngsters listed as the best things in the world. In order, the top three answers were: being a celebrity, having good looks, and being rich. The one-word answer, God, was down in tenth place. The number one desire of British children is to be a celebrity; and American children aren’t far behind.
You and I may know better, but many people grow to adulthood thinking that celebrity, success and satisfaction are synonyms. But they’re not. It would be much better to understand that "this one life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last." When you study the Gospel accounts of our Lord, you find a simple Man with a simple calling. Of course, He wasn’t simpleminded, for He was omniscient. His task on earth was no easy undertaking, but Jesus could easily tell you in ABC terms what His life was all about.
As He entered His itinerant preaching ministry, by the blue waters of the Galilee and along the bustling sidewalks of Jerusalem, He explained His calling to all who asked:
In Luke19:10 Jesus said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
In Matthew 9:13 Jesus said, “…I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
In Mark 1:38 Jesus said, “Let us go into the next town, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.”
In John 6:38 Jesus said, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”
In John 18:37 Jesus answered, “Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth…”
Can YOU state your mission that simply? Of course, our Lord’s very lifestyle was simple.. But it wasn’t just His lifestyle that was simple, it was also His purpose. He was totally focused on God’s mission for Him and only concerned about the eternal destination of everyone He met. He wanted to finish the work the Father had given Him. He wasn’t concerned about what He was missing in the world, but about what He was gaining in eternity.
He recommends the same single focus for you and me. The apostle Paul cautioned in II Timothy 2:4, "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.." Becoming entangled with the affairs of this life can easily happen to us. Oh, how busy we are! How complicated our lives can be with all the pursuits and hobbies and vacations and jobs and obligations! We can’t escape them all, but we can be aware of the barrenness of busyness. Remember that our trophies, degrees, and rewards will all burn to cinders at the end of the age. However, one soul brought into God’s eternal kingdom is worth more than all the honors of this world combined. That’s why God’s simple plan is to burden our hearts to become fishers of men.
When Dr. Oswald J. Smith of the People’s Church in Toronto was just starting out as a student preacher, he traveled into Kentucky, preaching wherever he could. He was asked to hold a series of evangelistic services in a rural community named Hog’s Hollow; but this was moonshine territory, and there was strong opposition. One night as Smith stood to preach in a lantern-lit schoolroom, shots rang out. A group of ruffians had determined to kill the meeting, and maybe the preacher. Yet somehow the young man found the courage to continue; and by the end of the series of meetings, forty-one souls had professed Christ as Savior. Later he wrote out a three-fold declaration: "I will think no thought, speak no word, and do no deed unworthy of a follower of Jesus Christ. I give my life for service in any part of the world, and in any capacity God wills that I should labor. I shall endeavor to do God’s will from moment to moment, as He reveals it." That became his simple calling.
Are you caught up in the complexities of this world, choked by the thorns of endless demands and needless obligations? Have you forgotten God’s simple call to follow Him and be a fisher of men? Stop! Slow down! Recover your burden! Let your life’s mission be: "The will of God! Nothing more, Nothing less, Nothing else.”
In His Amazing Grace,
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