21 Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a missionary.
Christ sent the Holy Spirit to enable and empower us to proclaim the gospel in a gospel-denying world. Having both the presence and power of the Holy Spirit living in us effectively makes us all missionaries.
Many believers, however, still view missions as a destination, but not a distinctive lifestyle. They think of missions as a call to some exotic land. It is but a call to make our lives, our influence and impact felt everywhere we go. This sort of thinking puts us in conflict with fulfilling Christ’s command of going and making disciples (Matthew 28:19).
If we are disciples of Christ, we want to make disciples for Christ.
We don’t have to travel far to find people. They may be within our own family, our friends at work or play, neighbours opposite the road or work colleagues we interact with on a regular basis. They may be people we frequently meet at the shops or in the streets, maybe possibly even online on social media. Let us ask God for an opportunity to bless in the way we have been blessed by the gospel. Don’t see sharing the gospel as a chore, but a call to join and journey with others who have little or no knowledge of God’s saving love and forgiveness of their sins.
Sharing the gospel involves more than just presenting the truth of Jesus and His finished work. It involves building relationships where we can show love and do good to those whom God has placed in our lives. Remember, God’s salvation is not just for individuals but for families, communities and even workplaces. The God of justification is the God of justice. The focus of our missionary call is our ministry to the whole person, not just meeting spiritual needs but also human needs.
Discipleship and social transformation belong together.
Spoken love must be followed by deeds of love. For too long the church lived with the polarisation of the gospel for the lost and the gospel for the poor. As believers, we must move beyond such polarisations and grow a much more holistic expression of the gospel. In doing so, we will witness new realities of the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Application: What is the Holy Spirit saying to me from today’s scripture reading? How aware am I about my missionary call?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.