“Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who are brought into close connection with you.” – Augustine
Our reach is arguably longer than that of St. Augustine, who lived almost 1700 years ago –before long distance travel, telephones and satellites helped in the delivery of ‘good to all’ through evangelism.
But his words are important to a culture of believers who would do more if they could do more … all the while forfeiting opportunities that surround them. This attitude comes across in such statements as:
- “If I had more money, I would do something significant.”
- “If I had more time, I could do some amazing things for God.”
- “If our home was larger, we could start a Bible study for neighbors.”
We have lost much ground to the works of unrighteousness with such attitudes. May God grant a change in our thoughts and words. May He give us an insight into what ‘our little bit’ could mean in the greater scheme of His Kingdom. How about these declarations:
- “We can’t make a difference in all the un-adopted children of the world, but for the one we brought into our lives, we’re making all the difference in the world for her!”
- “I may not speak to multitudes, but I have shared God’s love with someone at work who opened up to me about issues in his life.”
- “We’re not able to give a large amount over our tithes, but we’ve found a ministry that touched our hearts with its impact and we give monthly to help them make a dent in homelessness.”
St. Augustine caught the true power of multiplying the efforts of God’s people by being aware of who and what God brings into our lives. A long-distance view is great if it takes our hearts and prayers to places and situations we will never be within arm’s length of. But we must never forget the needs close enough for our personal ministry.
Prepare for adventure as you pay attention to the people close to you … whether by accident or those near you through the normal activities of your life. Minister to those, seeing them as God’s assignments brought right into your life.
“But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling
of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments
to do his work and speak out for him,to tell others of the
night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to
something, from rejected to accepted.” I Peter 2:9,10 The Message