Welcome to the PMF Workshop for the week of November 30, 2020. I’m your host, T. M. Moore. Each week we provide teaching, encouragement, and resources to help you in working your Personal Mission Field. By adopting the perspectives and practicing the disciplines we present in the Workshop, you can become more consistent and effective in realizing the presence, promise, and power of God’s Kingdom in your daily life.
Today’s Workshop is entitled, “To Glorify the Lord.” We have two texts for today, the first is Genesis 12.7:
Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. Genesis 12.7
Our second text is 1 Thessalonians 2.11, 12:
…you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 2 Thessalonians 2.12
We are all called
Christians today suffer from a misuse of certain terms relative to the life of faith. Whereas God holds out to us full and abundant life in Jesus Christ, a life of fruitfulness and witness, righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, most believers appear to have set their Christian lives on cruise control. They’ve been tooling along at the same speed for years, a steady, plodding pace to their faith, with few bumps or curves in the road, and, frankly, not much excitement. The power pent up within them, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, rarely if ever exerts Himself, as they continue along at a leisurely pace in their walk with the Lord.
But this is not what God has called us to as believers. He has called us, Paul says, to His Kingdom and glory. It’s this notion of “calling” that seems to elude most believers these days. We tend to think of calling in more exotic terms than Scripture does. Calling, as we understand it, is for missionaries or pastors or those who are committed to serving the poor. But most believers have no sense of a calling from God, and thus, little incentive to prepare for that calling, plan for it daily, carry it out faithfully, and offer each moment of their calling to the Lord for His glory.
We are called – all of us, called by God Himself – to seek His Kingdom and live for His glory. And the only place we have to do this is right where He has placed us, in our Personal Mission Field.
In his book, Adorning the Dark, Christian composer and song-writer Andrew Peterson wrote that we glorify God and worship Him by “doing exactly” whatever God has given us to do, “dedicating to God the world within our reach.” He continues, “The Christian’s calling, in part, is to proclaim God’s dominion in every corner of the world—in every corner of our hearts, too. It isn’t that we’re fighting a battle in which we must win ground from the forces of evil; the ground is already won. Satan is just an outlaw. And we have the pleasure of declaring God’s Kingdom with love, service, and peace in our homes and communities.”
That is, we find our true identity by looking to Jesus, and then living for Him in creative ways throughout our corner of the Lord’s world/field – our Personal Mission Field.
The patriarch Abram offers an example of what it means to dedicate our Personal Mission Field and “whatever God has given us to do” to the Lord. Having arrived in the land of Canaan, promised to him by God, Abram began to move about in the land. Wherever he stopped, he laid claim to the land and dedicated it to the Lord. He took God at His Word, and He offered back to Him whatever part of the land He occupied. He did this by building altars and offering sacrifices to God, as if to say to the Lord, “Thank You for this part of the land; I offer this gift because I want to offer this whole area to You, Lord, for Your Kingdom and glory.”
Here is an exercise we can adopt to help make sure that we fulfill our calling to the Kingdom and glory of God in our Personal Mission Field.
Make a point, wherever you go throughout the day, to offer the place where you are, and everything and everyone in it, to the Lord, as a sacrifice of thanksgiving and a declaration of your intent to claim that part of your Personal Mission Field for the Lord.
Some dedication examples
How can you do this? Begin the day by thinking ahead and meditating on the work that lies before you. Where will you go? What will you be doing? Will you see anyone? And, if so, what will you be doing with those people? Try to see as clearly as possible, and in as much detail as you can muster, everything you’ll be doing, every place you’ll be, and everyone you’ll be with throughout the day ahead.
For each part of your day, first thing in the morning, make an offering of thanks to the Lord. Thank Him for being able to bring His light and life into all the spaces you’ll be going. Thank Him that He will be with you, to sustain and empower you. Thank Him for each task, and ask Him to give you His strength to do it in such a way that He will be pleased. Pray for the people – each one – and for what you’ll be doing with them. Ask God to have His Spirit at the ready to give you words to say and things to do to manifest your hope and joy in Him. And ask Him to help you hear the Spirit as He prods you. Try to think of a passage of Scripture, a hymn, or a brief prayer that you might use as you go through each place and part of your day, to dedicate every facet of it to the Lord for His glory.
Then, as you move from space to space, and among all the people of your day, pray those prayers, recite those Scriptures, or sing those hymns. Let them set your mind and heart on the Lord Jesus, so that you recall all His promises and will be ready to dedicate every next step and moment to Him for His glory and praise.
You have a calling from God. If God were to call you on the phone, first thing in the morning, to remind you of His calling, you would most certainly prepare for it well, plan for it diligently, and commit your work then and throughout the day to Him – knowing that you’ll be talking with Him again at the end of the day. And when the day is through, review your day with the Lord in prayer, thanking Him for how He used you, and preparing your soul for the next day.
Thus you will nurture your sense of calling to the Kingdom and glory of God, because you will have made an offering to the Lord at every place you’d been during the day, and with and for everyone the Lord sent you to serve. Do this every day, and your sense of calling – and the joy that comes with fulfilling it – will increase in you as well.
For the Fellowship of Ailbe, and for the Personal Mission Field Workshop, this has been T. M. Moore.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.