Author - Janice Duffin - Mission Partner
Janice is a mission partner associated with Echoes International, who is involved in church planting and evangelism in France.
When starting a new job, your employer will explain your roles and responsibilities and will often set goals for you to aim towards. Then, at your annual performance review, your employer will score your efforts. Sound familiar?
In today’s society we’re told to aim high, be ambitious and don’t stop until you’ve reached the top. Then what? Have you ever stopped to think, ‘what will I get at the end of all this?’ If you have trusted the Lord Jesus as your Saviour, have you considered your ambitions for your spiritual life and what you will hear as you stand before God at the biggest performance review meeting of your life, at the judgement seat? There is still time today to turn your efforts to working for God and doing what God designed you to do.
Why should we give our very best to serving God by sharing the gospel?
Firstly, God loved us so much He gave His one and only Son the Lord Jesus to die for us. We owe God our lives. We should be so grateful that we are compelled to serve God with every part of our being. But how clever the devil is – he has blinded many Christians today with the sparkle of materialist goods and we have lost sight of our true purpose as children of God. Our ambition can soon become getting the newer model of car, building that bigger house or owning the latest fashions. The moment you enter God’s family, you are saved to serve. Neither my husband, Steven, or I are Bible expositors, that’s not our gift, but, just like the body has many parts, we all, as Christians, have been equipped with different roles.
Growing up I hated school. When all my offers to university fell through except one to a teaching college, I was not very happy to accept it. Steven, like myself, did not enjoy school either. When he left school, he started to work at various jobs that developed his practical skills. Now when we look back, we can see how God brought us through many different experiences, that at the time didn’t make sense to us. Now we see how these experiences have prepared us for our role in mission work. God has a role, a unique purpose for your life too.
The moment you enter God’s family, you are saved to serve
Secondly, we know what punishment awaits those who do not trust the Lord Jesus as their saviour. Luke 16 reminds us how the rich man begged someone to go and warn his brothers about the terrible place hell is. This is now our responsibility to warn others of what lies ahead of them. In Mark we are reminded to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16v15). Have you ever thought about going to another country and sharing the good news? Why not? What holds you back? Growing up I loved reading missionary stories, such as Hudson Taylor, Corrie Ten Boom and many others. Men and women who gave their lives to serve God. To me, these people were just famous characters in a book, but I loved reading how fearless they were and determined to stand up for God. I never thought that I should go and tell others of Christ – surely that’s someone else’s job! If you had told me then that one day I would give up my job and move to Zambia to live in the Bush, I most certainly would not have believed you. But there is a calling on each one of our lives as believers to ‘go’.
The missionaries I so much enjoyed reading about were just normal human beings like you and me, they were simply open to going and doing what God told them. The baton has now been passed to our generation. How are you running in the race? Are you distracted by the glitz and glam of the material world around you or are you focused on the race? Will we be able to say like Paul “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me…?” (2 Timothy 4: 7-8)
This might not necessarily mean giving up secular employment to serve full time on the mission field, but what about short term opportunities overseas? Or in your own community? If you are saved, the purpose of your life is to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. How are you doing at achieving what we are asked to do? If the Lord Jesus returned today, how would your efforts score? Would you hear “well done my good and faithful servant”? (Matthew 25: 21)
Like the parable of the master who entrusted his servants with talents, do not bury your talent, use it in every way you can to serve God. Your talent could be your free time, your finances that God has blessed you with, your ability to speak or your practical skills. Whatever God has given you, He makes no mistakes and He has given you that talent for a reason. Are you reaching your maximum potential? There is still time today, “set your mind on things above” (Colossians 3:2) and chose to put your efforts into God’s work, wherever He has placed you.
At the end of the day all the things you have worked so hard to achieve here on earth will be worthless to you. How sad it would be when we stand before God if we have nothing to show for our lives here on earth. Matthew’s Gospel sums this up: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6: 19-20)