The Action of God comes in many forms.
We saw interesting facets of this yesterday as we examined the account of Jesus’ dinner with the Pharisee (Luke 11:37-42). There’s an amazing contrast between the Pharisee’s and Jesus’ view of what makes us clean. One man thinks that ceremony and ritual is what is necessary. One Man says it all depends on a generosity that dwells within, sometimes buried beneath layers of greed and narcissism. The heart is always full of something. We must make conscious decisions to act from within. Mission defines our identity.
Missional Church brings this into our day-to-day. Alan Hirsch says this, “Missional church is a community of God’s people that defines itself, and organizes its life around its real purpose of being an agent of God’s mission to the world. In other words, the church’s true and authentic organizing principle is mission. When the church is in mission, it is the true church. The church itself is not only a product of that mission but is obligated and destined to extend it by whatever means possible. The mission of God flows directly through every believer and every community of faith that adheres to Jesus. To obstruct this is to block God’s purposes in and through his people.”
We have a mission because Jesus has a mission. We are sent into the world to continue what He came to do in the power of the same Spirit; to reconcile humanity back to God, to partner with God in restoring wholeness to all creation. Through this Spirit we are empowered to share the incarnate love of God for all the world. But to do this we must bring the story into the culture just as Christ became human to tell the story of his love to everyone. The Church is called to do the work of Christ, to be the means of his action in and for the world… Mission, in its widest as well as its more focused senses, is why the Church exists.
When Jesus was dining with the Pharisee, he offered great appreciation for his dedication and attention to detail while sternly challenging him to think differently, to find it within himself to look beyond himself to the greater thing- caring for the widow, the orphan and the immigrant. His message is no different to you and me. It is important to maintain your diligence in giving to the church, but it loses its purity when we sacrifice the more important thing… the call of Christ is both for tithing to the church and being generous to those in need. The purity of our zeal is tainted if the needs of our neighbors are neglected.
So the question is, what is the first step? What is the next right thing for you? What challenges does this present? What things hinder your progress?
How will you bring the remedy? How will you become the change?