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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Personal Mission Field Workshop


God flows His grace to the world through His people.

Mission Field Metaphors (1)

Welcome to the PMF Workshop for September, 2023. I’m your host, T. M. Moore. Each month we provide teaching, encouragement, activities, and resources to help you in working your Personal Mission Field so that you can become more consistent and effective in realizing the presence, promise, and power of God’s Kingdom in your daily life.

A metaphor is a linguistic device to help us understand something strange by comparing it with something familiar. Metaphors abound in poetry, including in the poetry of the Bible: “The LORD is my Shepherd,” for example. Or when the psalmist says that the righteous person shall be “like a tree, planted by a stream of water”. God’s care for His people, His constant attention and concern, can be seen in the way a shepherd leads and watches over his sheep. And a tree, flourishing in leaves, waving jubilantly in the breeze, is like a believer who is anchored in God’s Law, yields to His Spirit, and praises and serves Him joyfully. Metaphors help us think clearly about important matters. And for the Christian, Personal Mission Field is a pretty important matter. So this month we begin a new series of workshops which I’m calling “Mission Field Metaphors.” We’ll look at some familiar things in more detail to see what we can learn from them about working our Personal Mission Field. This month’s workshop is the first in our Mission Field Metaphors, and I’m calling it, “Sprinkler.” Our text is John 7.37-39: “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

See the thirst

The Spirit of God is the primary agent of God’s grace. Through Him grace reaches us for salvation, works in us to will and do of God’s good pleasure, empowers us for bearing spiritual fruit and being faithful in our witness, lavishes us with gifts for serving others, and ultimately reproduces that work in the people to whom God sends us as agents of grace. Bringing the spiritual refreshment of grace in the Person of God’s Spirit is what we do in our Personal Mission Field.

Or, at least, that’s how Jesus taught us to think about His Spirit working in and through us.

Whoever believes in Him, Jesus said, would know the indwelling Holy Spirit like an inexhaustible river of refreshing and renewing grace. He daily washes and slakes our spiritual thirst by opening the Word of God to us and bringing us into the Presence of God’s glory. As He works in us, we are transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ, and as that happens, the Spirit issues from us into the world, bringing those same holy spiritual waters to wash, refresh, and renew the world.

And He does this work through us. Not like a firehose, to put out some raging blaze of sin. Or even like a flood coming through a broken down dam, to wash away everything in its sight. The Spirit flows through us more like an irrigation system or even a lawn sprinkler, distributing grace all around in small, consistent, refreshing drops—words and deeds of kindness, goodness, and truth.

How can we be more effective in “watering” our Personal Mission Field with the refreshing grace and living water of the Holy Spirit?

Connect to the Source
First, we have to make sure we’re connected to the source. The sons of Korah wrote, “There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God” (Ps. 46.4). David said that that river was a river of delights, and that God is ready to give us drink from it (Ps. 36.9). The grace to wash, refresh, and renew us is in that river, in the Holy Spirit of God, Who dwells in all who believe. We need to make sure that, through the Spirit, we are daily and continually connected to Jesus and our heavenly Father, from Whom come all good and perfect gifts.

When I was a kid, I worked on a farm. One of my tasks was to move the irrigation system around the field so that all the crops could receive water. To do this I had to first make sure the hose was set in the flood control canal that ran alongside the farm, and that the pump was in good working order. Then it was just a matter of starting up the pump, watching the water flow, and moving the sprinklers around to the thirsty plants.

Similarly, if we are to sprinkle our world with God’s grace, we need to tap into that grace every day, anchoring ourselves in the Word of God and prayer to stir the living Water within us so that He flows out from us to others. Our effectiveness as agents of grace will be directly proportional to the consistency of our time connecting with the Lord each day. We have nothing of our own to offer the people in our Personal Mission Field—nothing, at least, that will bless them with the eternal knowledge and joy of God. Grace is from Jesus, and grace comes to and through us by His Word and Spirit.

So set the hoses of your soul into the indwelling river of gladness, and turn to His power to work grace throughout your soul and out into your world. Then, as you move around in your Personal Mission Field, sprinkle everyone you meet by your good works and true words.

Whom will you sprinkle with the refreshing and renewing grace of God today? Have you prepared for the people you will see? Is the Spirit stirring in you to overflow from you? May God bless you as you drink deeply of His grace and prepare to sprinkle the people around you.

Here are some activities you can practice and resources to help you in working your Personal Mission Field.

  1. Again, make sure your Personal Mission Field is updated, and you have included in your Personal Mission Field worksheet any new people God has brought into your sphere. Keep your map with you, so you can take it out and pray for the people you see throughout the day.
  2. Choose any of the Scripture in today’s workshop—John 7.37-39, Psalm 46.4, or Psalm 36.7, 8. Memorize that Scripture and recite it often to yourself throughout the day. This will help to keep you mindful of the fact that you are a sprinkler in the field of the world. There are lots of parched and thirsty folks out there, just waiting for you to bring them some grace.
  3. Once you have one memorized one of the passages, move on to another, until you’ve memorized all three.
  4. Go to our bookstore and order a free copy of our book, Small Stuff. Here you’ll be encouraged to consider how every small thing in your life—gestures, helps, and conversations—can be used by God to bless others and glorify Himself. Order your free copy by clicking here.
  5. Need a refresher on grace and its power to work in your life? Go to our bookstore and order a free copy of our book, Grace for Your Time of Need

    That’s it for this month’s Personal Mission Field Workshop. Until next month, for the Fellowship of Ailbe, this has been T. M. Moore.

Support for Personal Mission Field Workshop comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers and listeners to share financially in our work. If this workshop was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And seek Him in prayer concerning your part in supporting our work. You can contribute online by using the
Contribute button at the website; or you can send a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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