‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
… ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Matt. 25: 35, 36, & 40 (New International Version).
Has God ever asked you to do something outside your comfort zone?
Over the last few months, the Lord challenged and continues to challenge me about ministry involvement. As a writer, I have always dedicated my craft to His glory, and I considered my gifting to be a comfortable and acceptable offering of ministry. In my heart, however, I realized I had much more to give, and that the Lord was asking me to embrace my invitation to faith adventure.
Initially, and apprehensively, I asked … What could I do? Daily, I pondered the prospect of placing my trust in His leading – praying and hoping He would not entrust me with an unreasonable or uncomfortable task. Despite my nervous anxiety, in my spirit, I knew God was working, and that all He required from me was a willing heart.
Recently, as I was writing some outreach resources for ministering to seniors and inmates, Matthew 25: 35, 36, & 40 challenged and compelled me to confront my lack of practical ministry involvement. Jesus’ poignant words impressed my heart with conviction. Similarly, over the last couple of years, God has ministered to me through the testimonies of Connecting Streams’ prison ministry volunteers. I realized the Father’s heart continually weeps for those afflicted by the ravages of poverty, the depravation of hungry, or the incarceration of prison. Jesus calls them “the least of these.”
This heartbreaking revelation allowed me to realize a sincere soul craving – to reach out to those in need. In the spring of this year, He opened the door of opportunity for me to minister among the inner city community. Unexpectedly, I discovered the honour of the privilege – for a believer, embracing outreach ministry is a compulsory commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission. God assures me that as I choose to step out of my comfort zone, I shall experience the ultimate faith adventure – inviting His children home.
In this faith adventure, though at times I am apprehensive, I continue to walk by faith. Without wavering, I understand God’s invitation to embrace His faith adventure as an ongoing commitment of surrender and obedience that submits to Jesus’ Lordship and satisfies another deeper soul craving – to become more like Jesus.
Jesus’ outreach call is not a request to a select group, commonly endeared as missionaries, but a divine decree by the Lamb of God to all His redeemed sons and daughters to seek out and compel to the lost to come home. Every sinner’s soul is a priceless treasure – the precious reward of His sorrow and suffering on Calvary’s cross.
Truthfully, can we deny the One who redeemed us, our Lord and Saviour, the momentary sacrifice of our comfort to comfort and minister to those in need of salvation, regardless of class, creed, or circumstance?
Listen – in the quiet solitude of your own heart, can you hear Him tenderly whispering, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me”?