Thursday, December 3, 2020

Our Responsibility

Followers of Jesus are called to be be ambassadors and missionaries to the world. We are to represent God in this world.

As much as we would like to, we cannot escape from that responsibility. It is woven into the fabric of what it means to be a Christian. 

It is a huge and important calling to be sure and most of the time, if we are honest with ourselves, we feel inadequate for the task. We lack the resources, the talents, and the opportunities we think are necessary to bring God's message of hope and love to the world.

We feel inadequate, not only for the things we lack, but also for what we have: sin. 

Sin makes it impossible for me to properly represent God. That is one of the things the Apostle Paul was getting at when he wrote: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 2:23; ESV). 

The presence of sin my life makes me inadequate because sin distorts the image of God in my life. 

This is compounded by our lack of knowledge about the world, the Bible, and the circumstances of other people's lives. 

So let us pause at this point and confess that we are inadequate for the task for making disciples.

To this reality of being inadequate, let me add two important truths.

The first truth is that citizenship into God's Kingdom begins with being "poor in Spirit." Jesus started the Sermon on the Mount with this line; "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3; ESV). 

 To be a follower of Jesus requires the realization that we don't have what it takes to truly represent God and demonstrate His character in this world. We need to depend on God to provide us with everything that we need; from our daily bread, to patience for helping difficult people, to the words to say to those who are searching for truth.

The second truth is to be true to who God created us to be. The Apostle Paul wrote:
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:3-8, ESV)
We need to come to terms with how God created us, to be grateful for the talents and abilities that we have, and then use those skills in building for God's kingdom. It is by using our unique set of talents for God's Kingdom empowers us to make a difference in this world.

Remembering these things is important because the only person we have control over is ourselves.

While God has given us the responsibility to take His message of love and hope into the world and make disciples; He has not given us responsibility to change the hearts of other people. 

That responsibility lies with God Himself.

Therefore we do not need to worry about how people will respond to our message and service, we just need to focus on the best and most effective ways to use our talents to make disciples. 

This reality should give us a sense of relief. It isn't about the number of disciple we made, but it is about our faithfulness to God's calling.

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