Keeper of 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, those poor, starving beggars 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, when their consciences recovered from the initial euphoria, 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 and actively seeking His Kingdom – we enter 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.
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. We can feel giddy with joy at knowing the Presence of God more truly and seeing Christ and the Spirit at work within us, willing and doing of the Father’s good pleasure. For with the righteousness of God – the character of the Kingdom – comes 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 have 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 fix in our conscience is mission. 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).
Christians are a people with a mission. More even than those Samaritan lepers, we have hit upon some really good news, and our calling is to invite and call and summon others to join us in this blessed adventure (Acts 1.8).
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, our settled value of mission can override any hesitancy we might feel, and we can get on with our mission.
Put another way, if we value being bearers of the Good News more than we value what others might think of us, we will have no difficulty overcoming every fear of man, to urge upon them the Good News of God’s grace in Jesus Christ (Rom. 12.21).
Setting mission as a value
But how do we do that? How do we establish mission as a value in our conscience so that, as often as the opportunity arises, we will proclaim the Good News to others? Let me suggest some practical steps you can take.
First, identify the Personal Mission Field to which God has sent you. By mapping out your Personal Mission Field, you will set before your mind and heart the people God is sending you to, 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 help them see the futility of their lives as they are at present, and to implant in them a desire for something more lasting and meaningful. Pray that God will open doors of opportunity for you to engage these people in conversation, and to share with them the Good News of what you have found by the grace of God.
Start looking for ways to get to know these people, and to show them the love of Jesus. 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 is sending you to each week, so that they will be able to see the hope that is in you and experience the touch of Jesus’ love.
Make it your goal to tell the Good News to every person in your Personal Mission Field, believers too, and do it in a way that is sensitive to their interests, time, inclinations, and receptivity.
Look, we’re 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 when mission becomes a settled value in our conscience, we will want others to know about this Good News 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).
1. Have you mapped out your Personal Mission Field? Do so today and begin praying for people right away.
2. How has the Good News of Christ and His Kingdom affected your life? In what ways?
3. Write a prayer you can use to overcome the fear of man, whenever you feel that fear rising in your heart.
Next step – Transformation: Map out your Personal Mission Field by watching this brief video. Then download and work through the worksheet attached to the video.
All the installments in this “Strong Souls” series are available in PDF by clicking here.
We are often asked about the Celtic Revival – what it was, why it matters, how to find out more about it. Now we have a dedicated page at our website where we have posted resources on this important period of church history. Have a look by clicking here.
Need a little help understanding the Kingdom and how to seek it? Our book The Kingdom Turn can help. Learn more about this book and order a free 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.