What would your list look like? I imagine it would be much different from mine. Our list revolves around people who inspire us, those who evoke us to be better than we are.
I want to be better than I am. I want to be inspired and evoked. I am sure you do to.
This last season of my life I have been so captured by Jesus. Not just that He loved me, died for me, and forgives me (which I have been captured by my whole life), but I have been inspired by His life, His teachings, the things that He did and said while He was on earth. It has really turned into passion for me. I have been reading and rereading the gospels trying to absorb Jesus, I have been doing crazy things like praying that I would be more like Jesus. I even started a blog six months ago where I can post my thoughts about Jesus online. (If you are reading this article online, congratulations you found it.)
But I am not alone. Many in our church have been praying the prayer that Pastor Steve taught us, “Lord, make me less like me, and more like You.” Prayer is good, but if we never learn more about what Jesus is like, how can we be more like Him?
I want to be more like Him in both my actions and my character, so the question follows, “What is God’s character like?”
OK . . . hold on . . . with that question I know I am in danger of turning this article into a book, or volumes of books, so let capture one idea and attempt to keet this to an article. Missio Dei. Literally translated it means the “Mission of God”, or “God’s mission.” It is our theological attempt to capture something of the character and the nature of God. God is a sending God. God sends and is sent for His purposes, His mission. The Father sends the Son, the Father and the Son sends the Spirit, the Father and the Son and the Spirit send the Church. All for one purpose, one mission, God’s mission, to reconcile the world back to God.
Remember Jesus words, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
Becoming more like Jesus means that I am sent, just as Jesus was sent.
Coming to Christ means we choose to join with God in His mission in the world. Missions isn’t just a department of the church, it isn’t just a line item on a budget, missionaries aren’t just people sent to foreign lands. It is something tied to the nature of God, tied to the very existence of the church. As Christians we are a sent people. We join with God in his working in Tigard, Sherwood, Beaverton, Portland, and around the world. It starts with God, we just jump on for the ride.
If you belong by Christ, you have been sent by Him to your work place, to your neighborhood, to your community to bring the kingdom of God into the hearts of all men and women.
This understanding has been profound in my life. It causes me to do things I would never dream of doing. Things I didn’t know I had in me. This coming February are church is having a “missions month.” You will be challenged to do crazy things like wash the feet or feed the homeless in Portland, have coffee with international students, take a seminar on evangelism, or make projects for the people of Honduras. I hope you will participate in some of those things as I will, but more than that, I hope you walk out of church each Sunday with the understanding that you have been sent by God to implant the kingdom of God in the hearts of all men and women as they are reconciled to God.
Seeking to become more like Jesus,