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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


The Inconvenience of Ministry

By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” (Mark 6:35-37, NIV)

I recently read Kay Warren’s book, Dangerous Surrender.

Her routine as a pastor’s wife, mother and grandmother became interrupted one day when she couldn’t put down a magazine that told the gripping story of people dying from HIV/AIDS. She didn’t know that the majority of persons with the dread disease are women and that multiplied millions of children are orphans today because of AIDS.

David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge, had a similar epiphany in 1958 when he saw a drawing of New York City gang members on trial for murder. The Holy Spirit so impressed upon his heart their need for the Lord that he drove to the Big Apple, where he had never been, in an attempt to witness to them. Like Kay Warren, he was “gloriously ruined” by the plight of others in need of Jesus. Five decades later, more than 24,000 men and women are receiving deliverance from life-controlling issues in Teen Challenge centers around the world.

Kay and David discovered what we all must — that serving people in the name of Jesus means stepping outside of our own comfort zones into the danger zones of others.

It’s that way in the situation described in Mark. A huge crowd is gathered around Jesus. They chased Him by land along the seashore as He traveled across the Lake of Galilee by boat.

The disciples must be irritated. They just returned from their first training mission (6:6-13) and wanted some downtime with Jesus. Instead, Jesus met the crowd and spent the rest of the day teaching because He had compassion on the people. Now it’s nightfall, and the Twelve have had it.

“Send the people away,” they beg Jesus. Their ostensible reason? “The people don’t have food.” Perhaps the unstated reason is more accurate: We want some time to ourselves.

Jesus, however, wants them (and us) to be inconvenienced by people with need. So, He tells the Twelve to feed the crowd — something He surely knows they don’t have the resources to do. They answer it would take two-thirds of a year’s salary just to feed the crowd once — while Philip says (sarcastically) that even that amount of money “would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” (John 6:7).

What’s going on here? Jesus does with them what He does with us. “So, you want to be My disciple?” He asks. “Then I’m going to throw things at you that seem impossible to do. You don’t have the training for it. You don’t have the resources to accomplish it, and you are going to think Me unreasonable for asking you.”

Yes, if you want to be used of the Lord, then get ready to be inconvenienced and overwhelmed.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I’m like the disciples. Just when I feel I deserve a break, You put others in my path who need help, and I want to send them away. But if I were successful in doing that then I would miss the miracle You want to do. So I offer myself to be inconvenienced at Your call.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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