Henry & Richard Blackaby and Claude King

B. Childress
May 19 2013

After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of God: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom
of God has come near.  Repent and believe in the good news.”
 (Mark 1:14-15)


Speaking at a church a couple of years ago, I preached on Sunday morning from the book of John, using the story of
the Samaritan woman at the well.  I pointed out how Jesus took time to minister to a notorious woman with a tarnished
reputation.  Her life was so radically transformed that her entire town came to faith in Jesus (see John 4:39-42).  Later,
after Pentecost, many more Samaritans readily accepted the gospel (see Acts 8:4-25).  It is likely that the conversion of
the Samaritan woman laid the groundwork for a widespread work that occurred later.

I challenged the people in the congregation that they, like the woman at the well, might be a catalyst for the conversion
of many people.  I urged them to be willing for God to do a powerful work in their lives so they could impact others for
Christ.  During the altar call, many people came to pray, moved by what God had said to them.  After the service, a long
line of people waited to speak to me.

One woman said, “God told me I am to be the woman at the well for my country in Ghana.”  A man told me, “God told me
I am to be the woman at the well for my people in Pakistan.”  Person after person told me God had invited them to be His
instruments to impact their homeland for Christ.  I had no idea there were so many different nations represented in this
one church.

The pastor of the church was overwhelmed.  He, like many pastors, had welcomed each new member into his church
family with the perspective of what they could do for his church.  Could they teach a Sunday school class?  Serve on a
committee?  Sing in the choir?  But he had never asked how God might be intending to impact the world through the
people in his congregation.  Was God adding them to his church so the pastor and people could equip them to go back
to their countries and share the faith with their family and friends?  Was God adding members to assist the church in
sending mission teams into the new members’ home countries?


John the Baptist preached this message: “Repent, because the king of heaven has come near!” (Matthew 3:2).  Jesus
preached, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near?” (Matthew 4:17).  And when Jesus sent out His
twelve disciples into the towns and villages, “He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:2).  Clearly, Jesus’
ministry was to build God’s kingdom.

The kingdom of God is the rule of God in the hearts of people around the world.  Every church that follows
Christ is part of the kingdom of God.  If you are a true disciple of Jesus, you must obey His clear command to “seek first
the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33).  If we are to truly follow Jesus, God’s kingdom must be our priority just as it is Christ’

God always relates to you and your church with a world on His heart.  As He speaks to you, He thinks of the masses
around the world who do not yet know Him.  Scripture explains that God
so loved the world that He was willing to pay any
price to bring salvation to those who were in danger of perishing (see John 3:16).  You cannot love God without also
loving what He loves.  God cares for all the peoples of the world.  He does not favor people from certain countries or
nationalities or skin colors or political affiliations.  He loves
people, and He desires that no one perish.  God knows the
full, horrific extent of what it means to perish for eternity, and He does not want that to happen to anyone.  Notice the
heart of God as revealed in the Bible:

    “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of
    the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

    “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15)

    “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in
    all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

    I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say: “Blessing
    and honor and glory and dominion to the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
    (Revelation 5:13)

God’s desire is that “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:
11).  God the Father was willing to go to enormous lengths to bring this about by sending His very Son to die on a cross
for humanity’s sin.  Now, as He carries out His plan to redeem humanity, He has raised up the church as His instrument
to bring a world to Himself.

God plans to use local congregations to make disciples of all nations.  I’m pleased to hear of many churches who are
sponsoring record numbers of mission trips around the world.  International mission agencies are calling on churches to
adopt people groups and to take responsibility for bringing the gospel to specific nations.  We must keep in mind that
God expects us to have the entire world on our hearts, just as He does.

The Great Commission is not a command to go into a
portion of the world but into all the world.  To aim for anything less
is to be guilty of planned disobedience.  You might argue, “But that’s impossible for a church as small as ours!”  To
which my response would be, “Of course it is.  But that does not make it any less binding on you.”  Jesus’ command to
“be perfect, just as our Father in heaven is perfect” is also impossible for you!  But that does not make it any less
obligatory.  Clearly, you cannot carry out many of God’s commands in your own strength or wisdom.  You and your
church will never be able to figure out how to impact a world for Christ.  But God knows how to do that through you.  He
will lead your church to know what to do, where to go, and with whom you should partner to impact your world.

Be careful the moment you say, “That’s impossible!”  When you do, you are saying more about your faith in God than
about the ability of your church.  Never reduce a command of God to a level where you think you can obey it.  When
God asks you to do something that is impossible, rejoice! – because God is now going to bring you to a place where you’
ll experience His divine power working through you or else you will fail.  That is a wonderful, exciting position to be in!

When the angel told teenage Mary that God was going to bring salvation to the world through her child, the angel had to
reassure her, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).  When Jesus commanded His followers to make
disciples of all nations, He also promised, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the ages” (Matthew 28:20).

God knows better than we do what we are capable of doing.  He continually works in our lives and our churches so we
must depend upon Him with a faith that pleases Him (see Hebrews 11:6).  Moreover, in our weakness, His strength is
manifested to a watching world (see II Corinthians 12:9-10).  The world will never come to faith in Christ because we
developed a strong plan but because we faithfully obeyed an all-powerful God.

I have been delighted to watch God’s people taking God at His Word and seeking to obey Him in whatever He leads
them to do.  Today, churches are taking the gospel into some of the most dangerous places in the world.  People are
using their vacations and going on mission trips to express God’s love to those who have never met a Christian before.  
Churches are investing large portions of their finances in God’s kingdom around the world.


So how do you live a life that impacts the world and the kingdom of God?  As I’ve said, only God can enable you to do
that.  But God has provided some biblical principles that show how He works in peoples’ lives.  One of these is the truth
that if you are faithful in a little, God will entrust you with more.  Jesus told the parable of the master who left his servants
in charge of his possessions while he went on a distant journey.  To one he allotted five talents; to another two talents;
and to a third, one talent (a talent represented a large amount of money).  Two of the servants did well with what they
were given while the third did not.  To the two who were good managers of what was left with them, their master replied:
“Well done, good and faithful slave!  You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Share
your master’s joy” (Matthew 24:21).

The principle is clear: if you are faithful in the little assignments God gives you, God will trust you with more.  I have seen
this truth work in people’s lives in every way imaginable.  The regional manager of a large company once asked me if
God had entrusted him with that position for a reason.  I assured him God had.  “But,” I said, “this is not the end.  If you
are faithful to follow through with all God has for you in this role, God will give you a greater responsibility in His
kingdom.”  Sure enough, he was later promoted to be the national CEO.    “Is this what you meant?”  he asked.  “No,
that's what God means.  But this isn’t the end.  Be as faithful as you can in this assignment and then see what God has
for you next.”  A while later, he told me he had been assigned responsibility for all of his company’s international
operations.  Now he would be relating to world leaders and having a significant influence on entire nations.

I don’t believe this man has yet seen the extent of what God intends to do through his life to bless His kingdom.  His
company does business in countries that have been closed or restrictive toward Christianity.  I sense God is going to
use this CEO and his influence to assist the expansion of God’s kingdom around the world.  He can talk with the national
leaders of countries that would arrest Christian missionaries if they attempted to enter the country.  As a businessman,
he can represent Christ in ways and in places that would be impossible for most people.  He has been entrusted with
much, and God will be expecting much (Luke 12:48).  There are no limits to what God will do when He has servants who
are faithful in everything He gives them.

God knows how He can use your life to exert the maximum impact for His kingdom.  He may not immediately give you a
large, international assignment.  But you can expect that He will have something for you to do.  It may be a very ordinary
task.  It may not carry much prestige.  However, if you faithfully do all God asks, then don’t be surprised if God gives you
something new that has greater ramifications.  Always remember, though, that any assignment from God is more than we
deserve.  Don’t be anxious to have larger and larger roles.  Don’t keep pushing and asking for greater tasks from God
or lobbying with others for positions.  Trust that when God is pleased with your faithful service, He will entrust you with
more in His perfect timing.


EXPERIENCING GOD, by Henry & Richard Blackaby and Claude King, Copyright 2008, B&H Publishing Group.