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Making a way

EL CAJON, Calif. (BP)–We can’t all go to the mission field. Nor does God call every one of us to be career missionaries. But anyone can pave the way for others. Here is what you can do to support other messengers of God.

— Open your hands.

There’s no getting around it. It’s the Christian’s responsibility to provide a financial base for the Gospel. The secular world will never pay to be evangelized.

Preachers coming Gaius’ way went forth in Christ’s name, taking nothing with them (3 John 1:7). Many missionaries and ministers surrender lucrative career opportunities to serve God. The church must meet their needs. Gaius opened his own hands to sacrifice financially for them.

Many can’t go, but by giving financial support, we can make a way for others. Helping those who go makes us co-laborers with them as if we are proclaiming the truth to the lost ourselves. “We are God’s fellow workers” (1 Corinthians 3:9). When we open our hands, our gifts allow us to become direct participants in the Gospel.

— Open your heart.

Gaius welcomed itinerant preachers who were total strangers, as 3 John 1:6 describes it. He didn’t know them, but he loved them. His doors and heart were open. His love for God extended to those who loved God and whom God loved.

Opening our hearts to others benefits Christians who have never met before and may not meet again; we can experience oneness as we bond through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Open your heart to those who claim the name of Christ and give them immediate access to your affections. Pray for them intelligently and regularly and you can figuratively go with them to mission fields. Those who want to hear “well done thou good and faithful servant” may hear it for this kind of service, too.

— Open your home.

Gaius used his gift of hospitality and opened his home when needed. His expression of love wasn’t just heartfelt or financial. It got practical and personal. He took people right under his own roof, fed them and gave them shelter.

Hospitality is not reserved for those with a special spiritual gift for it. First Peter 4:9 tells us to “be hospitable without grumbling.” Romans 12:13 tells us to be “given to hospitality.” The need for hospitality is just as important in today’s world as it was in the time of Gaius.

When we first started home Bible studies at the church I pastor, we needed hosts and hostesses. One woman told me, “I need to give my house to God for ministry.” Recently widowed, she was lonely and searching for ways to overcome her loneliness. Today, the smile on her face tells me that she has been blessed in return.

— Empower yourself.

When we selflessly refuse to look out just for ourselves or our own property, we give God freedom to prosper our souls. When we serve, in whatever capacity we find, not only do we empower others for ministry, we receive the benefit of knowing we have obeyed our loving Father.

Sometimes we hold back on service for fear that we can only take care of ourselves. Our own pressing needs and those of our family force us to try to keep something in reserve. Or we become so used up by the busyness of our lives that it seems we have virtually nothing left over.

The very answer for our own impoverished souls may be to offer whatever we have left to someone else. We may need to be like the Old Testament widow, down to her last drop of oil, who gave what she had to Elijah. But then, just as the widow learned, God replenishes.

It actually seems to please God when we feel like we have nothing to offer because He works through us, and we don’t get confused about who’s doing what. Out of our emptiness, God uses us.

It takes a special calling to be a career missionary or a pastor. But the power behind those messengers of God comes from faithful people who have open hands, open hearts and open homes, helping to make a way for the Gospel.
David Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.

    About the Author

  • David Jeremiah

    David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.

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