Kingdom Values (6)
Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” 2 Kings 7.9
Swallowed up in grace
By the grace of God, those four Samaritan lepers had stumbled upon an incredible boon and blessing. Figuring they had nothing to lose, they had ventured out to the camp of the besieging Syrian army in the hope they might find something to eat. What they found so astounded and delighted them, that they knew they had to tell everyone.
As we increase in the holiness of God – the result of being daily renewed in our calling from God – we enter into the new reality of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God, Paul tells us, is righteousness. Righteousness, or holiness, is the character of the Kingdom, the identifying attribute of that realm of eternal life that has broken into human experience and is being advanced on earth as it is in heaven under the watchful eye of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the power of His Spirit, according to His Word.
When, by God’s grace, we are drawn more deeply into the righteousness of His Kingdom, we know we have arrived at a place of incredible boon and blessing. For with the righteousness of God – the character of the Kingdom – come the peace of God that passes understanding and the joy of the Spirit which nothing can quench. Peace is the condition of the Kingdom, and joy is the consequence of the righteousness and peace we come to know there.
And when you know such peace and joy, don’t you just want to tell someone else?
Mission as a value
This is why the fifth value we need to establish in our conscience is mission. We are a people who have stumbled upon an incredible boon, and it is our mission in life to make that Good News known to others.
Jesus came to earth on a mission from God, to open the way to eternal life and to bring near the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. And He told His followers that, in the same way He had been sent to earth, He is sending us to the world as well (Jn. 20.21). Jesus’ mission was to embody and proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit. This must be the mission of every follower of Jesus as well.
Christians are a people with a mission. Like those Samaritan lepers we have hit upon some really “good news,” and our mission is to invite and call and summon others to join us in this blessed adventure.
But because we naturally fear what others might think of us, we need to settle the value of mission in our conscience, so that, whenever the fear of man arises, we will deal with it effectively. If we value being bearers of Good News more than we value what others might think of us, we will have no difficulty overcoming every fear of man, to press upon them the Good News of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.
Setting mission as a value
But how do we do that? How do we establish mission as a value in our souls so that, as often as the opportunity arises, we will talk about the Good News with others? Let me suggest some practical steps you can take.
First, identify the Personal Mission Field to which God has sent you. Each of us has a sphere of influence – relationships, roles, and responsibilities – in which we pass the time of our lives. This is our Personal Mission Field. By mapping out your Personal Mission Field, you will set before your mindand heartthe people God is sending you to, day by day, week after week, as an ambassador of His Kingdom (2 Cor. 5.20).
Once you’ve mapped out your Personal Mission Field, then begin praying for the people you see there every day. Pray that God’s Spirit would strive with them (Gen. 6.3), to show them the many-faceted goodness of God, to create in them an unsettledness about their lifestyle, and to implant in them a desire for something more lasting and meaningful. Pray that God will open doors of opportunity for you to show His love to the people in your Personal Mission Field, to get to know them and take an interest in them, and to share with them the Good News of what you have found by the grace of God.
Start looking for ways to show the love of Jesus to these people. Learn their names and use them. Offer to pray for them and seek specific prayer requests. Look for opportunities to listen, encourage, or help the people God sends you to each day. Let them see the hope that is in you and experience the touch of Jesus’ love (1 Pet. 3.15).
Make it your goal to tell the Good News to every person in your Personal Mission Field, and do it in a way that is sensitive to their interests, time, inclinations, and receptivity.
We’re all simply starving, leprous beggars who, by the grace of our sovereign God, have been called into a new experience of life, a life of righteousness, peace, and joy with which nothing in this world compares. And we just want others to know about it as well.
As you grow in the Kingdom and glory to which God is calling you, let the peace and joy you discover there overflow like a river of living water to share the Good News of God’s grace with everyone in your life (Jn. 7.37-39). You are a person with a mission, and that mission offers the portent of righteousness, peace, and joy to everyone you meet.
1. What do we mean by mission? Does every Christian have a mission? Explain.
2. Meditate on Acts 1.8. How many different aspects of our lives are involved in being witnesses for Jesus?
3. How would you describe the state of your mission at this time? What are the greatest obstacles you need to overcome in advancing your mission?
Next steps – Preparation: If you have not already, map out your Personal Mission Field (watch this brief video and download the worksheet that comes with it). Share your Personal Mission Field with a prayer partner.
T. M. Moore
The Ailbe Cross, which you can see in the masthead of our website, incorporates the Kingdom values examined in this series. Watch this brief video to see how all these values underlie our ministry.
Is the Kingdom of God a daily reality for you, or just something you think about from time to time? That is, have you made the Kingdom turn into a richer, fuller experience of following Jesus? Our book The Kingdom Turn can help you realize more of the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom. Order your copy by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.