But I don’t do hospitals. Oh, I visit people in hospitals. I just don’t stay there myself. Until that night I dehydrated from the flu.
My blood pressure was so low that they said they had to take me to the hospital. I’m ashamed to confess that my attitude was not the best, as this hardcore ER nurse told me they would have to admit me.
I was a grumbly, grumpy mess. That was when my dear wife whispered, “Honey, I want to remind you of something you’ve told me and others.” Not fair! I can’t argue with me!
Here’s what she said: “Don’t forget who you are. And don’t forget why you’re here.” Bam! That was my wake-up call.
As I remembered my ‘always’ mission as a Jesus-follower, I finally began to show up spiritually. The next two days were filled with opportunities to share my Jesus—in conversation and through the books, CDs, and videos we gave out.
Right before I was to be discharged, Miss Hardcore from ER popped in. She said, “Some of us have been talking, and we think we know why you were here. We think you were sent here for all us pagans.”
“Don’t forget who you are. And don’t forget why you’re here.”
What powerful marching orders for this brand new year ahead. We must make this the year when we will never forget that you are the “ambassador for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20) in your personal world. Be His face, His hands, His voice to the people you know who don’t know your Jesus.
This can be the year you step up to the ‘more’ you were made for, and the ‘why you’re here’ for every situation this year brings. You are where you are because Jesus put you there to help some of those people be in heaven with you someday!
Most of us live with the regrets of people we should have told and didn’t. We can’t have any of those past opportunities back. What we do have is the Year of Our Lord 2017 in front of us—when Jesus’ coming—or our Homegoing—is closer than it’s ever been.
What would it look like to make this a year of spiritual rescue like never before? It would include three game-changing realizations.
- Your situation is your assignment.
Paul modeled this when his situation was prison. He was cut off from his world-reaching mission and hearing of other ambitious preachers who were capitalizing on his being sidelined. Amazingly, he exulted that “what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel” (Phil. 1:12, 18).
And what does Paul do while he’s stuck in prison? Instead of sulking, he leads his Praetorian prison guards (Caesar’s “Secret Service”) to Jesus! And Paul ends his Philippians letter by sending greetings from “the saints…who belong to Caesar’s household” (Phil. 4:22).
His situation was his assignment! This is true for us today, whether that situation is medical, financial, family, or job-related, we have been assigned there by Jesus to give people a chance to see Jesus up close.
- A burden needs a name.
It’s one thing to have a general burden for ‘the lost’ or ‘the unsaved.’ However, nothing much happens until we ask God to break our hearts for one lost person we know. Who is that person you’re going to look for when you get to heaven—someone who, as far as you know, isn’t headed there right now?
When Andrew met Jesus, he immediately had a burden with a name. “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon…and he brought him to Jesus” (John 1:41, 42).
Begin 2017 with the name of one lost person on your heart. He/she is your Mission 2017!
- A prayer can change everything.
I call this the 3-Open Prayer and it’s based on Paul’s prayer in Colossians 4:3-4: “Pray…that God may open a door for our message…pray that I may proclaim it clearly as I should.”
- “Lord, open a DOOR.”
A door is a natural opportunity to bring up your relationship with Jesus. It might be something going on in a person’s life, in your life, or in the world. It gives you a natural opening to talk about the difference Jesus makes in your life.
- “Lord, open their heart.”
Pray that as He gets you ready to share, He will be getting the person ready to hear.
- “Lord, open my mouth!”
“Give me the courage…the words…the approach to tell the person about You.” You’ll be amazed at what comes out of your heart and mouth!
History is divided into B. C. and A. D. So is your personal history and mine. We were lost before Jesus came into our lives, found after He did. Someone told us about Jesus and we embraced His work on the cross for us. Our personal history was split in two as surely as the world’s history was by Jesus’ coming.
For someone you know, it’s been all B. C. He or she has been doing his or her whole life without a Savior. But that could be about to change. This could be, for him or her, the “Year of our LORD” 2017!
Remember who you are and why you are here.
Ron Hutchcraft (@ronhutchcraft) is an international speaker, radio host, and bestselling author. As president of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Ron and his team specialize in developing, authentic, relevant, and creative tools to reach people with the message of Jesus. Ron’s closest partner in life and work is his wife, Karen. They are the parents of three grown children and have nine grandchildren.