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Monday, April 28, 2014

Who Are Your People?

Who are your people?

No, I don't mean your family, friends, and the ones that you call home.

I mean, who are the people that your heart aches for. That you strive to show love to even when it is not easy. Who are the people that you see with open eyes and a compassionate heart?

As believers in Christ we have all been giving a "calling." A purpose in our lives that is bigger that the day to day operations of normal womanhood. We have been asked to share the greatest gift we were ever given.

Matthew 28:19-20
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Mark 16:15
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

It is very clear what we have been asked to do. But what does it mean by "All of the nations?" and where do our family responsibilities come into play?

Recently I have been asked why I "waste," my time on a people that do not care about Christ. When talking about my calling to them, I was told by several people that their calling is to their family. That they are focusing on their children for the forseeable future and that they do not have time, nor see a reason to do otherwise.

My heart broke.

Not because I disagree. Our children are our "first disciples." They are our greatest responsibility to share the love of Christ with. After our relationship with Christ and with our husbands, our children should be our most important priority.

But do we not have room in our heart to love more than that? Does it really take much more energy? And is there time to waste and wait until our children are grown? Will we then say that our grandchildren are our only priority? How big will our effect be?

Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

I believe that Scripture shows us how big our heart should be.

To the ends of the earth.
That's alot of people.
That's alot of places.
That's alot of love.

I also believe that the three areas listed, Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, give a first hand example of what our circles should look like.

Our Jerusalem is our families. They are our children. Our parents. Our siblings. They are the people we see and interact with all day, every day. They are the ones we live amongst and share His love with by word and by being a living example of what a changed life looks like. This could also include your neighbors and work mates since you interact with them on a daily basis and live life with them.

Our Judea is our like peoples. They are your MOPS group, the youth group that you volunteer with, the house bound ministry you serve. They are the orphans and widows in your community. The college students at a local school. It is whomever you choose to pour your service time in with. It's important. Maybe you don't spend as much time with them as your family but your heart breaks for them and you search out ways to serve and share with them.

Our Samaria is far away. Think, really far. The stretch of Samaria meant it was several days travel and covered a large swath of linguistic and cultural differences. Where is your Samaria? What are the people that God has placed on your heart that is not nearby? I challenge you to think outside of US territory.

I have a heart for the nations. For every people on Earth. But, like many, God has placed a certain people on my heart.

It wasn't in a dream or in a chance encounter (though that happens for many people,) and it wasn't through my home church's international partnership. It was through time and prayer and me asking God to help me love the people I was among.

Maybe your Samaria has been on your heart for years. Maybe you are just looking for one now. If so, I encourage you to look up the Joshua Project and look through stats of the least reached people groups. Choose one that you and your family can pray for daily and that you could one day have contact with people from that country.

As a mom of young kids, I know how hard it is to give of yourself to so many different things. I know how stretching and tiring it is. And I know how easy it is to over commit. One of the easiest ways to keep our people group circles in the forefront of our lives is to pray for each circle over a meal or while you prepare it. I pray for my husband and kids and extended family at breakfast time, for the mom's that I lead in Bible study at lunch time or friends that I live life with, and for our people group at dinner. 

I'll be writing more about ways you can get involved in your different "circles," but if you have specific questions or want information on people groups that can be your "Samaria," please email me at brittneymgalloway@gmail.com
 

7 comments:

Emily Powell said...

WOW! I can't believe someone said that to you. That is awful to say you basically don't have time to share Christ or to undermind your calling or how you are with your family.

Rachel and John said...

Interesting Post. (I admit that I skimmed the last half, as you threw me for a loop at the your family isn't your only calling part.) I believe that at THIS stage in my life, my family IS my ONLY calling. These young years are the time to establish our Children's beliefs. If we don't do it, no one will. And i know people who have given too much to serving others while their children were young and now their children's faith suffers. John and I prayed about the timing of our third child. We prayed on whether we should commit more time to the church, or hold off for a few years and focus on our family. We were surprised when I found out I was pregnant. That was our sign from God that right now our calling is our family. Of course we still show love. Of course we still serve when we can involve our children and teach them as well. But our main calling is our family and we will not take on other church responsibilities right now. But I look forward to your future posts. I like to read how our faith differs. Thank you for this post.

Alison H said...

This is the most beautiful post you've written. What a joy to read. And what pure JOY from our Father when we are obedient to everything and anything he calls us to do! Kids AND the nations! He calls us and equips us!

Kelli said...

Find your balance sweet niece, you are doing great! Scripture is clear on our command Uncle K just preached on that yesterday. Your heart is large and it will even grow larger as you pray and love your three circles. I am praying for you and yours!!, we love you!

Sidney Galloway said...

Testing

Sidney Galloway said...

Testing

Kelli said...

Amen, sister! Of course our kids are our calling but I find myself so flummoxed when someone says something like that to me because how in the world can I disciple my kids without showing them how to share Christ with others by actively DOING it. I think one of Satan's biggest lies to young moms today is that they have to compartmentalize being called to their family and being called to ministry. Ministry WITH your family is one of the most beautiful things in the world!