1 John 4:10 explains,
This is love:
not that we loved God, but that
he loved us and
his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
In Luke 10:2, Jesus says,
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to
into his harvest field.
These verses give us an essential picture of what it means to be a Christian/witness for Christ.
Just as JESUS was SENT by God into the world to rescue us from the destructive nature of sin, as WITNESSES for Christ, we are to GO or be SENT OUT to those who are lost & hurting in our world.
But in a culture where it’s only about me, the going or sending out aspect of Christian witness is agreed upon, preached, but rarely lived because the bottom line is we want others to COME to us… to me.
To comfort me,
To listen to my story,
To understand my challenges,
To empathize with my trials
To sympathize with my life, and
To praise me for my perseverance & works.
It is true that because we live in a fallen world plagued by sin, we are all wounded & broken somehow. There’s no denying that, and no one is exempt from this reality. Our pride/insecurities, perfectionism, judgments, self-righteousness, alienation, envy & fears are all symptoms of our brokenness.
But this is exactly why the Son of God was SENT into our world, so that we don’t have to wallow in our self-doubt & self-pity because Jesus was SENT to forever change our:
IDENTITY & DESTINY
Yes, some of our wounds are still there, and even the ones that are healed leave scars, but we are no longer victims of our circumstances because through Jesus Christ we transcend from where we are standing to who we are in Christ eternally and we can live that reality today.
In Christ, we are
- “Heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).”
- “More than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37).”
- “A chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession (1 Peter 2:9).”
I am not denying that what we are going through is hard, sometimes extremely unbearable, but what we are experiencing does not change who we are in Christ. In fact, it makes our identity in Christ stronger.
It is this realization that helps us to look beyond our less than ideal situations & GO to those whose identities are twisted & warped by this fallen world, and share Christ who can restore the true image of God in every person.
But in order for that to be, our eyes have to be fixed outward always.
The reason why the 1st Century Church flourished like wild fire despite heavy persecution & spiritual oppression was because they were driven by the Holy Spirit & the command of Christ to GO & be “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).”
In other words, losing sight of themselves led others to find life in Christ. And in that process of placing themselves last, what they themselves have found was life as God intended to be… life that is overflowing with love, peace & joy.
The letter to the Philippians epitomizes this.
Although Apostle Paul wrote this letter from prison, what characterizes his letter is JOY.
Although he had nothing, because of Christ he had everything.
Paul writes in Philippians 3:8, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”
Paul knew without a shadow of a doubt that he didn’t get the short end of the stick nor should we ever, no matter what kind of difficulties we are going through because what we have in Christ is always MORE!
It is only this conviction that can move us to GO OUT from my life to lives of others who are settling for less, far less.
“Should we stay or should we go?”
It depends on what we have already gained in Christ…