God’s longing is to create His new family on earth. He’s working to reconcile everything through Jesus, to harmonise every relationship and to bring into being a kingdom marked by justice, mercy and love.
Jesus came to earth to bring God’s heart-desire into flesh and blood existence. He preached of this kingdom, in which:
“he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.” (Luke 1:52-53)
Now through us, his church, he extends an invitation to the world. Just like Jesus we are to embody the good news, offering to the world a taster of his harmonious family, of his kingdom’s justice, of mercy put into practical action.
There’s a common quote attributed to St Francis, which reads: “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” However this is most likely a misquote. What he is known for saying is that “it is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”
While it’s always important to back up right words with right action, neither replaces the other, they reinforce each other. Our work in the world isn’t simply to reform society while leaving hearts unreconciled toward God, nor is it to get people to believe the right things while remaining sick and hungry.
Our joy is to join God in His work of reconciling everyone in Himself and finding His mercy, wholeness and healing. This has practical implications with how we live with our Christian friends, our neighbours and even our enemies.
It’s been said “Nobody gets into heaven without a letter of reference from the poor.” How would your letter read?
Are you a “friend of sinners”, like Jesus? Are you known for mercy?
In the first church in Jerusalem there were “no needy people among them”. Is that true for us? If not, what could you do?
Wednesday 7 to Tuesday 13 December 2016 | © Jesus Fellowship Download this post as a pdf