“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in so that my house will be full.’”
“So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. “ – Acts 1:6-8
How many times did the disciples just not quite get it? How many times did Jesus think, “Guys, track with me.” How many times does He still think the same with us today?
This exchange occurred after Jesus had spent 3 years teaching about the Kingdom of God publicly (and who knows how many hours privately with His disciples) and climaxed with His crucifixion, resurrection and another 40 days preaching about the Kingdom of God. You would think that after all of this, of all the questions they might have put to Jesus next, it would not have been, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Why that question? Was anything sinking in?
But, they did. And I have to ask, “Are we any different today?” As recipients of God’s revelations, week after week, year after year, both from His word and His work in our lives, are we still asking the wrong question? Too often, like the early disciples, we focus on insignificant theological details that God has left unexplained and miss the obvious.
Like He did with His disciples then, Jesus is still refocusing us on the real issue; the legitimate need of the hour. The world is lost and needs witnesses who will testify to His saving power! We who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, have also received “power” in our lives that makes us legitimate witnesses of His saving grace. Today, let us resolve to be living witnesses; speaking and acting as people who are “on track” with God, asking the right questions, and giving the world the only answer worth dying for: Jesus Christ!
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13
Rural America is in need of Evangelists. Men who take the message of the cross to the people; house to house and in the market place (Acts 5:42; Acts 17:17) rather than advertise its proclamation and then wait for the people to come to the pulpit. Men who share more than the greatest story ever told. Instead, they are witnesses (Acts 4:20) of the life-changing power of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ because they speak from personal experience. They are men who make disciples of Christ (Matthew 28:19-20) rather than church-goers and then mature and equip those disciples for service and leadership.
The church that meets at 4th & College in Cordell, OK is prayerfully searching for such an Evangelist. They are looking for a man who will view himself as a missionary to rural America; a man who will join them in their mission to fill Cordell and Washita County with the truth and grace of Jesus Christ and restore the Kingdom of God in America’s heartland. They are praying for a man as described below:
If you are this man, or know of such a man, and would like more information or wish to submit a resume, you may do so by forwarding your inquiries or submission to: email@example.com, att: Evangelist Search.
“What is that?”
Me: “ I’m not exactly sure, but it is going to be a great experience.”
That was a question that was brought up before and after our 30-day adventure into western Oklahoma. Personally, I was not aware what I was jumping into myself. I had never heard of a ministry like RAM. I had a couple of different opportunities to serve the Lord this summer. I was convinced that I would be an intern at a church, but God wanted to show me something different. It’s a beautiful thing to know that you are apart of something God constructed. There was such urgency for me to join the RAM team. God wanted me in western Oklahoma because it was out of my comfort zone. When we are uncomfortable the Spirit never fails to move. RAM has provided unique opportunities in the month we spent in rural America. One of the first opportunities was meeting a man named David.
Our group just finished some VBS set up and a gracious person was going to provide us lunch. I had a choice to make. I could ride with the rest of the RAM team in a squished car or ride with a complete stranger in a pick-up. I picked the stranger. This decision did not seem very significant at the time, but it was in God’s plan. David was a very kind man. He talked to me like there was so much joy in his life. He was a true grandfather figure to me. As we pulled up to the restaurant, I realized that David was paralyzed from the waist down. I felt so dumb for not noticing before he got out of this car. It took a good amount of time to finally sit down in the restaurant. One team member asked if I wanted to take her seat and sit by David, which I gladly did. Something was pulling me to this man. David and I talked about life along with other things. We finished our meal and started back to the church building when I felt my heart starting to shake in my chest. David reminded me of Barnabas. The Bible tells us in Acts 11:24 that Barnabas was a good man. I needed to tell David (no longer a stranger) that he was a good man. I don’t know how many times I repeated it, but it was the truth. He was a good man and even with his paralyzed legs he still was joyous. This was inspiring to me. The Spirit was definitely showing me something. When I got out of his car and into mine, my heart did not stop moving. I broke down and cried in my car. I needed this moment from God; it was an interesting occurrence. Being around people who are disabled was not new to me. I have worked a couple of summers at a special needs camp. I kept saying,
“He is a good man Father, he does not deserve this pain.”
“He is such a good man.”
After crying, Jesus planted a thought into my head, “The good in him is from Me.”
It was such a powerful moment! Jesus was so right! (He is always right. He’s Jesus). This was such a wonderful reminder of the power of Jesus Christ in His people. The Spirit can allow people to be joyous even through pain and suffering. No wonder in James it speaks of considering it pure joy in trials and suffering. Jesus uses our pain and suffering to pull us into His arms. It is Almighty God’s design. If I did not follow the Spirit into RAM then I would not have had this beautiful reminder of our great God. I want to keep in contact with David and I plan on writing to him.
This is just one amazing opportunity I took part in while doing Rural America Ministries. Other opportunities included good-old fashion door knocking, jail ministry, and reaching out to strangers. Through these opportunities God has used RAM to ignite a fire in me that had been put out by the ways of the world. It’s truly magnificent how our team ignited embers of the churches and communities in western Oklahoma. God in return ignited fires in each of us. I can see how each team member has matured through this adventure. God showed us true ministry to others. This adventure has motivated me to do some kind of ministry work with my career someday. I want to work more with jail ministries. Little did I know I would ever sit across from inmates and share Jesus with them. RAM showed me how there is such a need for people to visit people in small county jails. I love all the connections I have made through RAM. It has opened my spectrum of truth about Jesus and ministry.
I encourage you to pray for RAM and it’s future endeavors. This ministry is young, and clearly has so much potential. I can’t wait to see where this ministry will go. It is a ministry that is right under our nose. We can’t forget about our brothers and sisters in Nazareth.
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.