“What can I do – I am just one person!” … “Every time I suggest something – no one listens to me.” … “It’s like all the goodness is slowly being drained from me.” … “I left church because I felt it was slowly suffocating my relationship with God.”
We have all said it. We have all felt it. And we all think “God” should be the one thing that overcomes this. God is the one thing for whom we should all come together as One in Love.
And then He gave me theses verses:
”Jesus came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:54-58
How often have I taken that sentence as my own: “in their own country and in their own house”?
I wonder if we all do that. We see missionary work as “over there”. We support missionary work “over there”. We hear stories about the numbers of “heathens” brought to God. All those unbelievers saved – hallelujah – we are making a difference, we are doing kingdom work “over there”.
But in our own country – in our own house? Even Jesus couldn’t – He said so in these verses. And if He couldn’t …
“Really????? Paul … you are NOT a prophet. And you are not Me! You are “you” … you – ARE – YOU!”
Because tonight I saw missionaries at work. In their own homes. Doing great deeds of power. Changing themselves and each other. And THAT is the greatest deed of power any of us can do.
Tonight I saw “you” as God sees you. Perfect in every way if we allow. Tonight I saw me as God sees me. Neither a shepherd or a sheep. But both. I am both. He made Me both. And He made you both.
The clerics called to “service”? The collared community? We see these as the shepherds. The degree, the “job”, the knowledge, the position, the respect, the whole thing. They are shepherds and we are sheep. And then we wrap that up in “Church” and find ourselves with a dilemma.
And (if we don’t exit Church) we excuse Church – all sinners together – a place of imperfect people – it must be this way. And we continue to throw money at the poor people “over there” who need missionaries – because they haven’t been saved yet – and we have. And we continue to do “outreach”, invite a friend, revival, and all those programs that keep our diaries so full to the brim of “kingdom work” …
What can I do – it’s always been that way!
”Paul … you listening? Okay … name that verse in three: Splinter … Log … Eye … Need a hand or can you take it from here?.”
We are neither sheep or shepherds. We never were. That is another “us and them”. That is a divide. That is “you say and I do” (or usually “do not”). And no amount of saving them “over there” will save us “over here”. Only we can do that – for each other – with each other – in Love and In God. Simple.
God has saved you? You have given your life to Christ? You are born again? You attend church each week? You pray, you read the bible, you Love your Lord?
You are neither a prophet, nor a sheep, nor a shepherd. You are YOU. And that frees you up to do “great deeds of power” right where you are. It frees me up to do “great deeds of power” right where I am. And THAT allows Him to do great deeds of power in each of us. Simple!
Up until a very short time ago I lived as a sheep. Now I am neither sheep nor shepherd. And He is able to reach me in a way I never allowed Him to reach me before. And I am able to reach Him in a way I never did before.
So what have you named yourself? A sheep? Us and them. A shepherd? Us and them. I can’t do anything on my own. Us and them.
The people I shared with tonight are real people. I can tell you their names, each in their own country, each in their own home – and each embarking on a deed of power just as they are – where they are.
A bunch of people – just like you and me.
(there is no them)