I met J.E. Berry through a Facebook group for which I’m an administrator, a group for women who attended LIT, a life-changing conference put on by Lifeway a few years ago. I love the message she gives here, a message that God also taught me as I tried to understand the path He had set out for me. If this message is one you need, I urge you to buy her book, Set Free to be Set Apart (find it here) to go deeper in this topic. You can also find more of her words at her website: JEBerrySpeaks.com.
by J.E. Berry
One of my favorite parts of being a parent is sitting back and watching my kids in their environment. I love to watch them interact with each other, solve conflict without me, and simply learn how to solve problems on their own. It truly amazes me every time they use their God-given gifts to help others. I love when I witness them pray for one another or encourage one another right where they are. What is our Father seeing when HE watches us? At times it can be hard as a Christian to see our environment as an opportunity. Many times, we are too busy complaining about our environment to have an effect on it. Unfortunately.
But what if we flipped our thinking upside down? What if we looked at our environment as an opportunity to sow seeds? Seeds of love, hope, and faith. When I think of the apostle Paul in prison and how he was able to see his environment beyond what he could see with his eyes, I am encouraged to believe that we could do the same. Paul’s faith and commitment to Jesus even while in shackles meant freedom for him and salvation to even the one who held him in captivity. Wow! His obedience right where he was changed everything around him.
When looking at the great commission in Mark 16:15, we see a command to “go.” But when we look at that “go,” many times we think it’s a call to go far and wide in order to so fill this great commission. But the truth is, although ministering the Gospel far and wide is great, the word “go” that is used in that part of scripture actually means, “as you are going.” And we are going all the time!
This is amazing revelation! Because that means that we don’t have to go across the world in order to share the Gospel with someone. We can simply go to the grocery store, go to a dance recital, go to work, go home! The realization that the environment we are in is where we are going changes the game of war witnessing the Gospel. This reality takes away the excuse/hindrance of not being where you need to be in order to do what you are called to do. Mark 16 actually releases us into our world as well as the world beyond. Mark 16 makes spreading the Gospel very practical for each one of us. It releases us into the now! It releases us to show the love of Jesus right where we are, without waiting for the opportune time period. It’s always an opportune time!
For us individually, that may look very different. However, our call and purpose is still the same: to spread the love and hope of Jesus Christ. With what we have been given and where we have been placed. We have a platform under our feet that no other person has. Which means that we can uniquely affect our surroundings just by being us and utilizing the power we access in Christ to effect change. You have been given a unique opportunity to walk in purposeful freedom every single day and bring others along with you. Let me encourage you with this. You were made for this, and you are placed purposefully where you are. Christ within you is not simply for you alone. So, my friend, go where you are and preach the Gospel, be the Gospel, infuse the Gospel. The time and place to “GO” is now!
J.E. Berry is the author of Set Free to be Set Apart (releasing June 1st). Buy it here!
Meet J.E. Berry
J.E. Berry is an author, speaker, and singer/song writer. She is a beloved wife and mother of five children. J.E. has a heart for missions, mothers, and seeing people come to know freedom and purpose through a relationship with Christ Jesus, specifically those who have yet to see their God-given destiny because of lingering bondage. As an author and speaker, she explores things that hinder us from moving forward in our walk with Christ. She carries this same passion into her worship. Find her at JEBerrySpeaks.com.