[forthright] Just Go!

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2010 09:26:31 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

When troubles come, no one knows better than Job. 'In
Search of Perfection: Studies from Job,' by Michael E.
Brooks. Click here:
http://forthrightpress.com/#InSearchOfPerfection


COLUMN: FIELD NOTES

Just Go!
 by Michael E. Brooks

   "Three times I was beaten with rods; once I
   was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a
   night and a day I have been in the deep; in
   journeys often, in perils of waters, in
   perils of robbers, in perils of my own
   countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in
   perils in the city, in perils in the
   wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils
   among false brethren; in weariness and toil,
   in sleeplessness often, in hunger and
   thirst, in fastings often, in cold and
   nakedness" (2 Corinthians 11:25-27 NKJV).

As I looked through pictures of some of my mission
trips recently, I began to list the various means of
travel that I have used. Air travel obviously enables
me to quickly and comfortably reach distant places.

Once in the field, however, many other transportation
methods become necessary. These have included modern
cars and vans, four wheel drive vehicles, commercial
buses, trucks (riding in the bed), tractors,
motorcycles, motorized rickshaws, "people haulers" and
"tuk-tuks," pony, donkey, or ox carts, bicycle
rickshaws and rickshaw "vans" bicycles, boats, ferries,
plus a considerable amount of plain old walking.

I have walked through rice fields, bamboo thickets,
rhododendron and hemlock forests, rocky hills, high
mountain passes, and over innumerable foot logs, not to
mention many miles on city streets and muddy rural
roads.

It is often stated that in the great commission, Jesus
commands "Go," but he does not specify how. A biography
of the late evangelist Marshall Keeble is entitled,
"From Mule Back to Super Jet with the Gospel."

Not every place on earth may be reached by four lane
highways. Sometimes we must be more inventive or daring
in order to reach "every creature."

Probably no one has embraced this necessity more
willingly or effectively than the apostle Paul. In the
enumeration of his experiences partially quoted above,
he includes "in journeys often," then goes on to
mention many perils associated with those journeys.

As one visualizes the circumstances of those perils he
realizes that Paul traveled by land and by boat,
suffering from every common danger of each -- fatigue,
exposure, robbery, thirst, shipwreck, storm - and
perhaps many others. None of these stopped him from his
traveling on behalf of lost souls and the glorification
of God.

Though we are not always told how he traveled on land,
some common methods are mentioned in the New Testament,
including horseback (Acts 23:24), chariot (Acts 9:28),
and walking (Acts 20:13).

Paul simply went wherever he could, and by whatever
means was available. Little, save the Holy Spirit
himself, hindered or limited his efforts (Acts 16:6-
10).

Today there are many individuals who have physical,
family, or other restrictions which limit their ability
to travel or the means by which they travel.
Thankfully, the Spirit makes it plain that there are
many avenues by which we may serve God, and not every
person may or must use each avenue. Some can go and
preach, others can send (Romans 10:13-15).

Let us be careful however that we do not ignore
opportunities and abilities to go, using the difficulty
of travel as our excuse. In the Judgment (2 Corinthians
5:10)

I am not sure how God is going to receive our "I don't
like to fly" explanation of why we did not do more to
reach the lost billions of souls in Asia, Africa and
elsewhere (actually I am pretty sure that such excuses
will sound pretty lame even to us at that time).

I suspect that after three shipwrecks, Paul may not
have been too fond of boats. But he continued to use
them because his desire to preach the gospel was
greater than his fear.

The New Testament is not overly concerned with
Christians' physical comfort and safety. It is greatly
concerned with the souls of the lost.

The great commission is still Jesus' parting command to
believers. We must emulate Paul and other great
evangelists of the past, quit complaining about our
inconvenience, and just Go!

----
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