A Nugget from New Life Network
Scripture for the Day (March 1, 2017)
Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people. (Mark 6:1-6, NLT)
Most of you know us very well. We have been all over the United States and several foreign countries preaching and teaching the Word of God. We have been in every kind of event you can think of including big churches, little churches, home groups, prisons, business functions, etc. You would think we would be past worrying or caring about where we’re called to preach. However, we (and especially me) have struggled with the scripture in Mark 6 where Jesus could not do any mighty works in his own hometown and maybe some of you have also.
We have been back in my hometown of Albany, GA for 14 years now. We came back (at the direction of God) “Return unto the land of thy fathers and to thy kindred, and I will be with thee” (Genesis 31:3) to care for my elderly mother and we did that until she went home to be with the Lord. After she passed we told the Lord (many times) we are now ready to leave, but He will not let us out of this town. We have tried our best to be an integral part of several local churches but it has never worked out. Cheryl teaches a women’s Bible study every Tuesday night which has been a real blessing. I recently had an opportunity to preach at a local African American church which was also a real blessing.
In the last few days I went back and started thinking about that scripture in Mark 6 and comparing it to several other scriptures where Jesus gave instructions to His disciples and believers. The following are just a couple of those examples:
The demon possessed man that lived in the tombs that Jesus set free – As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him. And He did not let him, but He said to him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:18-19, NASB)
The woman at the well – The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city (her hometown), and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. (John 4:28-30)
The ministry launch of the disciples – And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (Mark 16:20)
I am more and more convinced that God wants all of us to minister, without fear or hesitancy, wherever He plants us, and that includes our hometown. The scripture did not say that Jesus stopped ministering. It also did not say a pastor, teacher, or evangelist is without honor. As believers, we are called to go into all the world (including our hometown) and preach the Gospel. It may not be easy, but we all need to bloom wherever He plants us.
We pray for the right doors to open in your hometown and our hometown and that we all will have the boldness to walk through them and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in power.
Don’t forget! We are raising funds for a US Marine in Albany, GA to help his family rebuild their home that was totally destroyed by a recent tornado. You can send your donation to New Life Network at PO Box 70459, Albany, GA 31708, or go to www.www.newlifenetwork.org and make your donation online.
Thank you for your help and generosity!!