GET OUT OF THE SHAKER

I came across an old missionary card I had from friends of mine in years gone past, and the card stated their family name and then it had this statement under their name “Living a life on Mission.”  I was instantly reminded of Matthew chapter 5 where you and I are to be the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world.”  Do you realize that salt wasn’t meant to stay in the shaker?  Although it is comfortable in the shaker and although there is safety in the shaker, salt serves no purpose in the shaker.  It has to be poured out.  And in our case, we are to be “poured out” on all the world.  My prayer for you and for me is that we will each purpose in our hearts that we are going to live a life on mission, we are going to live outside of the salt shaker.  I pray collectively that we will fulfill the purpose of our lives that God has left us here for. 

In Acts chapter 18, we are introduced to a husband and wife team (and in my opinion God’s Missionary Dream Team) by the name of Aquila and Priscilla.  They were not preacher’s, they were not leaders in the local church, but simply a husband and wife that were willing to do whatever God wanted them to do.  At a time when Paul was discouraged by his journey to Athens, he made the 50 mile trek from Athens to Corinth, where by God’s sovereign plan – he meet up with this couple.  Every time you see this couple mentioned in the Scriptures, they are always shown “Pouring their life out on the world..”  Let me share 4 things that I believe are indicators of “Pouring your life out on the world:”

1.  If you are going to pour your life out on the world, you will utilize your vocational calling as part of your daily ministry.  In Acts chapter 18 and verse 3, we learn that they were Tentmakers.  They did not separate their vocation from their ministry.  Though you may not be called to preach, or to go into the mission fields of the world, God has placed you right where you are for a reason and your mission is no less important to the Kingdom work than anyone else.  When you go to work tomorrow, you will either be an instrument that God uses to touch lives or you will not.

2. If you are going to pour your life out on the world,  you will see personal burdens as bridges of opportunity.  Verse 2 tells us that Aquila and Priscilla were literal thrust out of the city of Rome.  Persecution of the Jews drove them away.  They were forced out of their homes by law by the decree of Claudius.  But rather than be bitter about their circumstances, they allowed God to take them on a journey, and that journey lead them to a Divine intersection with the Apostle Paul.  They allowed the circumstances of their lives to build a bridge of opportunity for all that they would come in contact with.  Everybody has a story.  Everybody has a hurt.  God wants to take your life and your hurts and use them as a bridge to reach someone else.

3.  If you are going to pour your life out on the world, you have to be willing to be spent for the sake of the Kingdom.  In verse 18, Aquila and Priscilla leave their new home in Corinth and follow Paul to Ephesus.  And what does Paul do?  He leaves them go and heads back to Antioch and Jerusalem.  What do they do, they set up tent and just encouraged the believers there in Ephesus.  They decided to be used by God no matter where they were.  And because of, Paul wrote in I Corinthians 16:19, “The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.”  What did they do?  They built a church in their living room.  They gave themselves, they gave their time, their tithes and their talents, and even gave their home for the Kingdom work.  They were willing to be spent.  Listen to what Paul says about them in Romans 16:3-5, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.”  Let me ask you this question – what are you spending for the sake of the Gospel?

4.  If you are going to pour your life out on the world, you will invest yourself in the disciple- making process.  If you are a Christian and you are reading this, I can promise you, that at some time in your life, someone took the time to disciple you.  Someone made the conscious decision that they were going to come along side of you and help you.  Aquila and Priscilla decided they were going to do that for people.  Acts 18, beginning in verse 24, the Bible says, “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”  They helped Apollos become one of the early leaders in the church.  I believe that Christianity is one generation away from extinction.  God has called each one of us as Christians to disciple somebody else, to pass the baton.  Who are you bringing along with you to disciple, to build up and encourage?

Heavenly Father, thank you for the mentors you have given me in my life.  I pray Father that you help us to get out of the shaker and pour ourselves out on this beautiful world you have created.  In Jesus name, AMEN.

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