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MAKING THE INTENTIONAL INVESTMENT IN OTHERS


Christians love to talk about all the wonderful things that Jesus did and how He changed the world. Jesus was called to go with the intention of discipling 12 very flawed men who would go forward to change the world. Jesus made an intentional investment. Jesus intentionally invested by pouring himself into 12 men for 3 years. He showed them how this “Jesus thing” was to be done. Fundamentally, the Great Commission tells us to go and be "people changers".

What's meant by "intentional investment"? What does it mean to us to “intentionally invest” in others?  How do we go about in such a way that we become “people changers”? 

TO INTENTIONALY INVEST IN OTHERS YOU MUST

KNOW YOUR CALL

We all have a call given to us by God. God has a specific purpose plan and will for each of us. Your call is your purpose and gives you your mission! Jeremiah tells us to ask God to show you your calling:

"This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." (Jer 6:16-17)

We each need to know our call. Your calling is how you will influence and change people. Ask God what your calling is! Again, the passage above from Jeremiah tells us to ask, so ask! God will reveal your call to you.

TO INTENTIONALY INVEST IN OTHERS YOU MUST

ACCEPT GOD’S CALL ON YOUR LIFE

Consider the passage below from Luke 2. You’ll recall that this incident is where Jesus at the age of 12 stayed behind in Jerusalem. He is sitting among the teachers at the Temple.

"When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."

(Luke 2:48-52)

Jesus was acknowledging His submission to His Heavenly father. He was preparing to be groomed for his call. Jesus was teaching us that there comes a time when we need to unequivocally accept our Heavenly Father as our true father and take on the mantle of preparing for the call.

The apostles accepted the call and submitted willingly to Jesus who had trained them for three years. Pentecost came and they were then anointed to go. They went out and changed the world. Paul, on the road to Damascus, was confronted by Jesus. Paul subsequently went into the desert for many years to be trained. After his time of preparation and training, Paul went out and changed the world.

Moses early years prepared him for what was ultimately to come. God waited 40 years before He interrupted Moses’ life in a most amazing way. Moses submitted to God’s call on his life and he subsequently changed millions of people. Moses became a "people changer"

Joseph’s early suffering prepared him for God’s work. He accepted God’s call on his life. He rose to be the second highest official in Egypt and proceeded to establish himself as a "people changer".

Many of us will be called like Phillip in Acts 8. Phillip accepted the call and used his training. He didn’t know it at the time, but his “chance” meeting resulted in the start of the evangelization of Africa. He followed the call and God used him to be a "people changer".  

A good friend of mine believes his call is to be the most godly husband and father he can possibly be. He believes that one of his children is called to something very special in God’s Kingdom. He wants to mentor his children so that they will accept their call and go out and be a "people changer".

TO INTENTIONALY INVEST IN OTHERS YOU MUST 

PUT YOURSELF IN POSITION TO SERVE

The stirring narrative found in Isaiah 58 tells us that by honoring the Sabbath, we are putting ourselves in position to serve. The passage emphasizes service without judgement. When we comply with the admonitions found in Isaiah 58, we are creating opportunities to intentionally invest in others. Isaiah forcefully details how we will allow God to minister to us so as to heal our own personal hurts as we express and purse our personal call by being intentional. The passage firmly conveys the message that as we encounter those who we can minister to and invest in without judgement, there is much to be gained from sincere and compassionate service.       

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”  For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isa 58: 6-14)


What about you?  Do you know your call? Do you know how does God want you to "intentionally invest" in others? How does He want you to be a "people changer?"  

N. Patrick Marica contributes incisive Christian commentary on this blog regularly. He is the President of Amherst Theological Seminary and as served as the Director of Godly Training Ministries for over 20 years. He is the author of the books: "The Walk Applied:Living the New Creation Life as a Citizen of God's Kingdom in a Secular World" and "The Walk Applied Fasting and Prayer Handbook". He has been married to Kathy since 1985; they have 2 adult daughters and an amazing son-in-law. Please feel free to comment below. You may contact Nick at godlytraining@gmail.com. Website: www.godlytraining.org. or on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/npmarica 






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