Resolutions. They seem to come and go every year in hopes that we will some how improve our lives. Whether it be financial, relational or dealing with our health, resolutions help us look forward to the coming year with optimism and hope.
But rather than resolving to just lose weight, eat right and exercise more (which usually seems to drop off our radar around February), why not resolve to live missionally? In focusing on the eternal side of life, living missionally puts into action our calling as Christians. As noted in the Great Commission, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [Matthew 28:19-20] The sentiment is continued in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This begs the questions, how then does one ‘live missionally’? I mean, not everyone is called to be a missionary in a foreign land. The term ‘live missionally’ identifies someone who simply lives out Matthew 28:19-20 on a daily basis - at school, at home, and with friends and strangers alike. So what’s the “mission?” Let’s find out!
While the term ‘missions’ is not Biblical, the principle is rooted in God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3. “GOD told Abram: "Leave your country, your family, and your father's home for a land that I will show you. I'll make you a great nation and bless you. I'll make you famous; you'll be a blessing. I'll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I'll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you."
As also noted in Psalm 67, God’s purpose becomes two-fold: (1) to restore His Kingdom, and (2) to restore mankind. This simply shows us that God is still at work and that He loves His people. So how do we fit into this “missional” plan?
According to St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” Letting your life speak as an example (for your faith) is both effective and powerful. God chooses to use us for His glory in fulfilling the promise he made to Abraham. Our response must simply be “yes Lord – use me for Your Kingdom and for Your Glory.” Here are some helpful practical applications:
Ask God for direction in being misionally-minded!
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” [Matthew 7:7]
“Pray without ceasing.” [I Thessalonians 5:17]
Be in God’s Word
Daily devotions keep us rooted in God’s Word. No matter what time of day you prefer, block out some time to spend with God.
“Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.” [Psalm 119:105]
Be an example
I’m not saying be perfect; but simply live out God’s word. Get involved at church and youth group – a spiritual family will help you mature in your faith.
Look for opportunities to serve others
They are all around us. Ask the Lord to show you opportunities in your school and community. Here are a few ideas to help you put this into practice:
- Pick a holiday and host a party. Be intentional about sharing your faith.
- Invite your friends to church or youth group.
- Grab your friends and volunteer at a shelter, a hospital, an orphanage or a place you can serve others.
- Remember people’s birthdays.
- Befriend a new student on campus.
- At lunch, sit next to someone who usually sits alone.
- The ideas are endless!
Be creative. Be bold. Live Missional!
Happy 2008 from your friends @ Virtuous Reality!