God has given so much to make us right with him. He doesn’t want anybody to miss out, so he’s given all of us the mission of sharing that good news. Mark 16:15-18 | Matthew 28:18-20
So this is our life message: that even though we were once far away from God, he saw our plight and sent Jesus, his Son, to save us from our sins and bring us back to himself. He paid for our sins in his death and gave us the opportunity to receive new life through his resurrection. Ephesians 2:1-6
Through sharing what God has done for us, we give other people the opportunity to enter the same life. If we believe that God has an incredibly good future for anyone who follows him, and that people who reject him will live with the unending misery of missing out, then how can we not share what we’ve been given?
God has reconciled us to himself and given us the ministry of reconciliation, so that he can make his appeal through us. 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 We need to be ready to share that message of reconciliation, or else how will people know it? Romans 10:13-15 The Bible tells us, “If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.” 1 Peter 3:15-16
God could do it himself, but he knows that the more we share our faith, the more it will grow and mature. If we hide our fire under a bowl, it will quickly lose oxygen and get snuffed out. If we keep it out in the open, it will continue to blaze and expand.
You can get started by asking God to give you opportunities to share the hope that you have, and trust that he will give you the right words at the right time, as he promised. Mark 13:9-11 Ask the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of those you share with so that they will be able to understand. Listen to him and go for it.
We are also given the mission to love others. God is love. When we have God living in us, love flows out of us. Because we have been shown such boundless love in God’s sacrifice for us, we need to extend that same love to others. 1 John 4:7-12 God paid an incredibly high price to bring us back to him because people are so precious to him, and he wants us to treasure them too.
In fact, Jesus said, "Love your neighbour as yourself." Matthew 22:39 He also said, "Do to others as you would like them to do to you." Luke 6:31 We need to treat people with the respect, care and blessing we’d like for ourselves.
Jesus came to meet the needs of the spiritually, physically and socially poor. He showed compassion to social outsiders, including infectious lepers. Mark 1:40-42 He honoured women despite cultural gender inequality. Matthew 9:19-26 He dignified despised cultural groups. Luke 10:30-37 He embraced the excluded, including children. Matthew 18:1-6 He didn’t avoid people of bad reputations, but welcomed them. Matthew 9:10-13 He advocated for the poor. Matthew 25:31-40 | Luke 6:30 He released those oppressed by demons Mark 1:32-34 and healed sick people, Matthew 14:14 | Matthew 15:30 even some who had already died! Luke 7:11-15 He led by serving. Matthew 20:25-28
Social justice and caring for people were major themes in the life and teaching of Jesus. He demonstrated that we are to care for the disadvantaged, the needy, the oppressed and the vulnerable. Luke 14:12-14 He told us to live generously with whatever we have – resources, skills, time, prayer, encouragement – as if we are giving to God himself. He also told us that we will be rewarded or judged based on how we treat others. Matthew 25:31-46
Love is a verb: unless we are responding to the needs of others, our ‘love’ is just meaningless words, and shows that we aren’t really living in God. 1 John 3:14-18 | James 2:14-17 Jesus said that we should be identifiable as his followers by the love that we have for each other. John 13:34-35
The entire Bible teaches us how to love. It is put most succinctly in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, where Paul lays out a manifesto of love. It’s a hot favourite for wedding ceremonies, but he’s really describing what we should all be like when God lives in us.
Living and loving like Jesus did seems like an impossible task. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, it is. But with the strength and guidance of his Spirit, we trust him to work his way of love through us. He is much more interested in our willingness to give than what we are able to give, since a lack of resources is no obstacle to him. We see that in the story of the boy who gave up his lunch for the hungry masses – and Jesus fed over 5000 people with it! John 6:1-14
Ask God to show you the needs that he wants you to respond to, and to give you his heart for people. All we can do is surrender to him, and enjoy the privilege of seeing him work through us in our obedience.