Ice Breaker Question:
Who in your life doesn’t personally know God?
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace – (Acts 20:24).
Study: This verse in Acts is from Paul, at the end of a lengthy farewell speech to the Elders of the church at Ephesus. He’s going away, but the people he’s talking to aren’t going away. He was talking to the whole church who was involved in what he was doing. Even though he was travelling, and they weren’t, they were still working together on a shared missions.
Acts 20: 22-38
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
“Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
The community behind Paul is supporting him and continuing his ministry when he leaves. In verse 35, Paul mentions working tirelessly for the weak, by which he probably is referring to non-Christians. He also says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Paul says all of this as he expects to be persecuted, but he is still anticipating accomplishing his purpose in sharing the Gospel.
This is Paul’s ministry, and despite anticipating the worst, he is still committed. If this was Paul’s ministry, what is your ministry? Many people gathered to hear Paul and to see him off, what was their ministry? Was it any less important? Of course not!
As we wrap up this series and get “sent into the world” we must recognize that God has entrusted a ministry to each of us. It doesn’t matter if you’re a teacher, an engineer, a librarian, or any other job, if you’re a Christian, you have a ministry. You have a mission.
Ministry work is not reserved for people who are traditional missionaries or pastors; rather, ministry is for everyone. It is how we approach our everyday life; it is how we reflect God in all that we do, it is actively listening to God’s calling on our lives.
Your ministry may be serving in practical ways to meet needs, it may be giving to the Church, it may be showing love to your neighbour, it may be all the above. There are opportunities to support the Jaffray Project at home: through giving, through sharing about the work, through mentoring people in South Asia or people in your church. Paul leaving for ministry in Jerusalem didn’t make the ministries of the people who were part of the church in Acts any less important.
Your ministry is important.
Learn More about South Asia: In South Asia, our partners are working with South Asians to reach South Asians. The Alliance is initially focused on funding two new training centres that will be built as a place to train leaders who are eager to plant multiplying faith communities. The partnerships in South Asia are long-term commitments, and we are excited to see how they will develop.
Marketplace refers to the places and spaces where we live our vocational lives, whether in Canada or in another country. Generally, it refers to all the places where we live and work—the places we are in regular interaction with people. Who can be engaged in the Marketplace? Anyone. Think you can’t contribute? Think again. Your work is your ministry. Your ministry is your work. In whatever you do in your life and work, you are to do it for the glory of God (Colossians 3:17). You can do that confidently because you are already God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do the good things He planned for you long ago (Ephesians 2:10)
Reflect / Discuss:
In what ways do you spend your time that keeps you from fulfilling the Great Commission? What keeps you distracted? What’s your hesitation?
What would it look like if you went now, without hesitation? Where, or to whom, would you go?
Are you willing to eliminate things that distract you from the Great Commission?
- Pray for our partners as they work with South Asians to reach South Asia
- Pray against distractions and hesitations that may be hindering you from fulfilling the Great Commission
- Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel
Support the mission
The Global Advance Fund (GAF) is a pooled fund that supports our workers in Canada and around the world to share the Gospel with people who haven't yet heard the name of Jesus. Your continued generosity equips and sustains our workers and their ministry.
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