It is amazing how most people desire to remain in their personal comfort zones. These kind of people never seem to want to leave the warm safety of the known for the rugged adventure of the unknown. Sometimes it means they settle for the mundane and miss the magnificent.
Not so with Nehemiah. He was the King’s cup bearer—a very cushy position. But led by a great burden and a bold vision, he traveled 800 miles out of his comfort zone to accomplish in 52 days what others had merely thought about for 100 years. The walls were built and the gates were restored around the city of Jerusalem.
Not so with the apostle Paul. The disciples at Caesarea had warned him not to go to Jerusalem because they had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would be bound, beaten, and turned over to the Gentiles. Paul’s response? Resolutely he replied, “I am not only ready to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus!” He was safe and secure at the home of Phillip the evangelist, but the cause of Christ pushed him out of his comfort zone.
Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
As fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, we have a reason to risk everything: those that do not know Christ. Over four million of our neighbors in the state of Tennessee are at risk of spending eternity outside of Christ in the awful place called hell. In order to effectively reach them, it cannot be business as usual. We must be willing to get outside our comfort zone, beyond the walls of our churches, out from under the shadow of our steeples, and passionately, purposefully risk it all in order to reach people for Jesus Christ.
My earnest prayer is that when we gather for the Tennessee Baptist Convention in Hendersonville in just a few days, it will not be business as usual but that we will embrace a powerful Great Commission purpose to see our own state as the closest mission field of lostness that must be penetrated.
It is a joy to be on this Jesus journey with you dear brothers and sisters in Christ.