God’s people are called to be a real community/family that reflects the life of God as she engages the world. Consider Jesus’ last prayer from the Gospel of John and His commission after His resurrection.
Joh 17:11 “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. ..18-23 “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world… (20) “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; (21) that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. (22) “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; (23) I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
John 20:20-21… So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
Sent like Jesus “Incarnation”
John 1:14 MSG The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
The word “incarnation” means God became flesh and lived among people. God did not
become a text, tweet, or a Facebook comment and “dwelt among us.” God became human and dwelt among us. As our culture becomes more detached it creates emotional longing for physical presence.
I heard a story about a little boy who was frightened by a thunderstorm. His father came to his room and the boy cried, “Daddy, I’m scared.” His dad prayed over his son and said, “Son, it will be alright. Don’t forget Jesus is here with you.” After a moment of silence the boy responded, “I need Jesus with some skin on Him.”
People need Jesus with some skin on. God’s people are the body of Jesus in the earth. They are not to run away from the world and huddle in church buildings. We are not trying to escape the earth but see “Thy Kingdom come They will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
N.T. Right said, “Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven.”
Our primary calling to “Make disciples” (Mt 28″19-20) isn’t as much about formulas or simple steps. It is entering into life with people and helping them know and follow Jesus. Christians need to be embedded with people and fully present in an age of family disintegration, disengagement, and dislocation.
Our mission is the alert people to God’s life through Jesus Christ. We alert people to the reality that Jesus is ruling, not just through verbal announcement but also a living demonstration of the values and goodness of His reign right under their noses.
Philippians 2:14-16 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night
Elements of an incarnational approach to everyday living
- Active sharing of life in your neighborhood.
- Entering into people’s world and identifying with them.
- Have confidence in the gospel being communicated by both word and deed.
- Make sure you take advantage of being in places where people hang out everyday. Just like Jesus encountered the woman at the well (John 4 a common everyday place) we are to encounter people in everyday places (stores, coffee shops, parks, etc.)
- Practice hospitality which primarily means making people feel welcome (Rom 12:13, 1 Tim 5:10, Heb 13:2). It also means inviting people to be around you as well as in your homes. People don’t just want to hear us talk about the Gospel…they want to see authentic Christianity expressed through the love of Christ.
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