Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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When our kids were growing up, the early morning shift around our house was particularly exciting. I was getting ready for a full day, three kids were scrambling to have what they needed for school, my wife was playing maid, chef, valet, and chauffeur. Man! In the rush, a lot of our communication was basically non-verbal. For example, one morning I was shaving and thinking through this endless list of things I had to do that day-all the Lord's work, of course. I was mulling over a sermon, radio programs, an important appointment that day, an event I was planning, and my son popped in. Now, I must have somehow succeeded in telegraphing how much I had on my mind (The Lord's work, remember? Right.); he disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. Then, as I was praying about all the Lord's work I had to do that day, I remembered an important decision my son had to make that day, one that he probably needed to talk to his father about. I had just missed the Lord's work.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Right Under Your Nose."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from John 4:30. Jesus has just had a transforming conversation with this Samaritan woman He met at a well, and she goes back to tell her village about the Messiah she has just met. The Bible says, "They came out of the town and made their way toward Him." The disciples, who have been in the village shopping for groceries, are just focused on trying to get Jesus to eat some lunch.
But with these unreached Samaritans streaming out of the village toward them, Jesus says, "Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest?' I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." To Jesus' disciples, this village was just a rest and refueling stop. Apparently they were looking ahead to some great future ministry and missing the ministry right under their noses!
Sounds like this father shaving, thinking about the ministry he had ahead of him and missing a son who needed some ministry right there. All too often we're like what I was that busy morning or the disciples were that lunch time in Samaria. We miss the work of God that's right under our nose. In fact, you don't even have to leave your home to do the Lord's work. Actually, the work of God begins at home! That's one reason the qualifications for spiritual leaders in 1 Timothy 3 tell us that it must be someone whose relationship with their spouse and their children is healthy.
So we often fill up our lives with ministry responsibilities, only to reach other people's kids while missing our own, to bring blessing to God's house while neglecting our first responsibility-the congregation at our own house. Many husbands and wives, children and parents have been the victims of a distorted view of God's work-that you have to leave home before you start doing ministry. You know, your family may be the most important ministry you will ever have.
This doesn't mean you withdraw from every spiritual responsibility outside your home, but it does mean you take care of the Lord's work at home first. Maybe your unbelieving family member would be better reached by your staying home with them sometimes than by your going to a meeting to pray for them. Your mate, your child may need your ear, your encouragement, your counsel. And they may need it at least as much as anyone you're going to see at your meeting.
So look around your house for those needs that are there before you go charging off somewhere else to start doing the Lord's work. Sometimes the most important Lord's work you have to do is right there under your nose!