Sunday, July 30, 2017

Unto All the World

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation." Mark 16:15

Last Sunday, we happened to be sitting in church in Kona, HI.  I am so grateful that the call to "Go unto all the world" includes beautiful places like Hawaii.  One of the great joys of traveling for me is visiting churches in different countries. I am always amazed at the sacrifices made by the first church planters who were called to isolated places like Hawaii once was. Every church is evidence of the gifts of many people who were passionate about the call to proclaim the gospel.  It is such a privilege to see how the body of Christ celebrates and builds one another up in the faith throughout the world. 

The minister at Living Stones Church had just returned home after several weeks of ministry and vacation on the mainland.  He encouraged all of us that our ministry goes with us wherever we are.  The ministry of the body of Christ isn't confined to the sanctuary that you regularly worship in- it goes with you- whether you are in Hi, the U.K. or sitting at lunch with friends.  

Going on vacation should be a time to be bold and open to see God in new and different ways.  Getting our of our comfort zone can be a great way to grow in our faith.  Summer camp challenged and built up my sister's faith. This summer, my friend Julie is leading a bunch of kids from North Carolina on a youth trip to host English language Bible camp in Korea.  My older son spent a week playing with inner city kids in Memphis with his church youth group. Our ministry during vacation shouldn't end when we are too old for youth group. No matter where in the world we go- we can follow the call to "Go unto all the world." Traveling might even enable us to expand our mission and influence for Jesus more than at home because we don't have our usual responsibilities and expectations.   

Wherever we are in the world, our purpose is to glorify God. Enjoying the abundant life that Christ gave us is a powerful way to glorify God.  Rejoicing in the beauty of His creation whether we are sitting on the beach, awed by a volcano or marveling at a giraffe is a wonderful way to give Him glory.   

We don't have to be on vacation to rejoice in the glory of God.  Wherever you are right now,  take a moment to look around you at the sky, trees and animals. Rejoice in the beauty of creation and God's unending creativity. 
 "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." Psalm 19:1

   "Praise the LordPraise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above." Psalm 148:1

   "Praise the Lord all you nations, Praise the Lord all you people of the earth".  Psalm 117:1

Getting out of our comfort zone is a great way to experience God's glory and presence in a new way.  How has traveling expanded your view of God and His Church?  Please take a minute to share a memory with me. 

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