The Mission We Face
I can’t help thinking about the current church bombing. I have seen photos of the devastation again today and read more articles about it. One photo haunts me. It shows a blown apart pew with blood under and around it. It makes me think about my own church. I have to ask myself hard questions like if I knew a bomb had been set off in the past in my church would I go there to worship, would I worship there the same way as before, and would it change how earnest I am with sharing the gospel with those sitting around me?
We like to complain…
We love to complain about that one person who is hard to love, hard to reach, or we just can’t seem to connect with. It seems that no matter what we do there is always that one person we just have to force ourselves to be good too. We all have at least one of those if we are honest with ourselves. I can’t help wonder if knowing the end was sitting next to us, like a bomb ready to explode, if we might find that person a little easier to love. Perhaps, as we face our own end, we might focus on our own hearts more and wake up to the fact that the other person was never the problem.
How easy it is to blame someone else or even spend time looking for fault in them, but trying to look at your own heart is hard! Only when we admit that we are avoiding letting God change our hearts can we help others find him in their hearts. You can’t expect to disciple others when you are resisting it yourself! Our mission starts in our own hearts! Here is a hard question: Have I avoided admitting my own sin nature by spending time looking for sin in others?
Confession of a MURDERER:
Once someone accused me of sin and I was blameless and shocked at the lies being hurled at me. I wish I could go back and say this: You are a murderer and I have proof of it. Of course, the person would have then felt like me because they had not killed anyone. Or had they? I wish I had said I had proof of it, that I knew for sure they were guilty. I would have said they killed an innocent man, spit on him, beat him, shamed and mocked him… I know this because I helped them murder him. His name was and is Jesus. He is the son of the living God and our savior. Together our sins murdered him. It was I; who crucified Christ Jesus.
We forget so often it isn’t about what sins we lay claim to, but about our very nature being rebellious against God. We forget our part in the crucifixion. We want to shift the focus from our sin and onto someone else. None of us like self-reflection because we see things we wish were not there. We realize we have blood on our hands. We are not worthy of the love God freely gives us. Conviction is a wonderful thing, yet it hurts and burns us. To be free it costs us our blindness. We are forced to see that which we carry with us, our sin nature.
I have been reflecting on my dear loved one’s missions. I have some beloved ones in hard places to serve. I think about what God has set before me and I realize that it is not as difficult as it could be. While we are in the stages of maintenance and improvements at my church it can be easy to lose our sight of the real mission. If the most trying thing I face this week is redoing a pew with fresh fabric or sewing up a few smocks for the kids to help keep them clean when we paint then I am not doing the right work for God. On my knees in prayer for those in need, on my feet running to help those who are hurting, and risking my own fleshly desires to serve others is where I should be. If I cast my eyes on the new parking lot, the carpet needing cleaning, or the decoration of my church instead of on the souls who need the gospel then I am the problem! You can’t fight the good fight if all you are doing is working on worldly things! It needs to be about my soul being made new so that I can show others the savior lives in me! He can’t use me if I am not his!
At The Cross
We are fast moving towards the celebration of Good Friday. Now is a wonderful time to let God clean our hearts and to focus on Jesus. Take your heart to the cross and lay it down. Let God wake you up to the mission he has before you. Make a fresh start and go forward determined to share the love of God with those around you. Praise God for the mission he has given you and pray for him to help those on the mission field who have a much harder mission to endure. Focus your heart via the gospel and be ready to shine the light of love, hope, peace, and joy onto those around you! Don’t forget the cross!
Your mission is to share what God gives you. You can’t share what you don’t have. If you have lost sight of Jesus I want to invite you to renew your love of him today. Put your eyes back on him and let him change our heart. It can be easy to become bitter, angry, discouraged, and contrite as we serve others. These things creep in when we forget the cross. We forget to look at our own hearts and let God’s word change us. Let’s refocus ourselves this Easter season by going back to the cross, opening our hearts up and looking at Jesus. This will help us with the mission of sharing the gospel with everyone. I pray you find your strength in Christ Jesus to endure till the end. May whatever comes find us all ready to meet our savior and about his business!