We have been looking at the Mission of the Church this week. We have learned that the Mission of the Church, in part, is missions. We have learned that that mission begins just outside the church door; we are all to be messengers. We have learned that part of our mission is to be a peculiar people, in that we are to be set aside for the service of God, filled with His Holy Spirit, and full of the love of Jesus; we are to be a holy people.
I have received a few messages, though, from people asking how I could say that they are not a good Christian just because they didn’t choose the path of full-time ministry.
I am sorry that I did not make myself clear. You should not go away from here thinking that I don’t believe that Christians should do any work besides preaching or being a missionary. That is not what I am saying, at all. What I am saying is this: Christians cannot separate the sacred from the secular. We are all called to be missionaries to the lost around us. We are all called to be the pastors of our home. We are called to be teachers to our children. We are called to be deacons to the poor, orphaned, and widowed. We cannot separate who we are at work from who we are at church from who we are at home. We have one life to live, and it is to be lived as the living image of God 24/7, not just from 9 to noon on Sunday.
God Understands that Even His Children Must Work
God understands that even His children must work. Peter, James, and John fished to support themselves. Paul was a tentmaker, even while he was a missionary. Even Jesus worked as a carpenter. God knows that we must work for it was part of His divine plan from creation. Adam’s job was to tend the garden and have dominion over the earth.
From the minute we wake up in the morning until the last thought in our sleepy nighttime brains, our mission is to live out Christ’s life, even at work. Do you see work as a necessary evil or an opportunity to spread the Good News? You understand, don’t you, that this is not just true of work; Everywhere we go and everything do is an opportunity to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. And it is our mission to do just that.
How do we spread the Good News of Christ? Through our love. Every one of us have the capacity to love. Allowing the love of Christ to flow out of us and reach others is how we win others to the Kingdom of God. Most of us love ourselves. Most of us love our families. Many of us love our neighbors. Few of us love our enemies. Yet, Christ commands us to love, just as He loves us. How did He love us? While we were His enemies, while we were living in the filth and shame of sin, while we hated Him, while we were denying His deity, His very existence, or hoping in our sin that He did not exist, He loved us, and died for us. In that same way, we are to love others. “A new command I give you. Love one another as I have loved you.” While we were stuck in sin, God said, “I love you, man.” In that way, through His love, you can be a missionary wherever God has placed you.
You may not think that your part in the Kingdom or God is important. You may not believe that your prayers matter, that your testimony at your workplace is significant, but it is. Is the missionary who preaches the Gospel in the tribal villages of Papua New Guinea any less important to the work of God than the doctor who treats and heals the sick in the name of Jesus in India? Is the doctor in India more important to the Kingdom of God than the volunteer who feeds the hungry in the name of Jesus in Somalia? Is the volunteer in Somalia more important to the Kingdom of God than the usher at the theater who greets people with the love of Christ? Is the Christian usher more important than the widow who faithfully prays for her church, friends, and family? We all have a job to do, and it is all the same job: wherever God has put us to work, we are to work for the glory of God. 1 Corinthian 10:31
What does it take to live out the Mission of the Church? Let’s take a look at the Great Commission and see exactly what it says:
- Believe in the Lordship, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus – “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
- Repent of your sins and ask forgiveness – and repentance for the forgiveness of sins
- Share the Good News of Jesus Christ wherever you go, whatever you do – will be preached in his name to all nations,
- Starting at Home – beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised;
- Camp Out at this altar until you are filled with the Holy Spirit – but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Christian Holiness is, perhaps, the most misunderstood concept in Christianity. Anyone who has striven to follow the life of Christ can likely tell you that it is impossible to do. No one can match His love, His grace, or His compassion. For no one but Jesus is perfect. Once the believer is filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, though, he or she is filled to the brim with the love of Christ, and desires nothing more than to please God and follow in Christ’s steps. The love of sin is gone. In its place is a love and passion for others. That is Christian Holiness. This is Christian Holiness Daily.