The past five days we have been looking at how to live our lives on purpose. We don’t want to drift through life not accomplishing what God has prepared for us to do. We don’t want worldly goals that pull us away from what really matters.
First, we looked at the Greatest Commandment and said that to love God is to worship God. Next, we discussed the importance of following Christ by being a devoted disciple: the on-going process of becoming mature in Christ (discipleship) which begins with time in God’s Word – and will include other godly habits as well. And, a disciple remembers they are not alone but are connected to other disciples as the body of Christ so they are eager to fellowship with and encourage one another. Life in the encouraging body leads to seeing other’s needs and being willing to use our God-given gifts in ministry to others.
So far, we have created an individual who deeply loves God, is growing in their walk with God’s Son, has healthy connections to the church family and seeks to serve others. That is a GREAT and beautiful start! But, too often, we are content to stop right there and remain committed to just these 4 purposes – and stay inside our safe little church bubble (myself included).
When church members were surveyed, 89% said, “The church’s purpose is to take care of my family’s and my needs… Only 11% said the purpose of the church is to win the world for Jesus Christ.” (Purpose Driven Church – Rick Warren – p 82). And we wonder why the church isn’t growing. This selfish, inward focus is not healthy, and is not what God intended for us as individuals, or as the church.
The Great Commission did not tell us to just go and BE a good disciple – it commands us, “Go and MAKE disciples of all nations.” It is not enough to only be concerned for my own salvation. To truly love God and others includes a desire to share a great and glorious God with those who are lost and hurting and oblivious without Him. God wants His lost sheep found and most often he chooses to use people to do that. Only God can save the lost, but He relies on us to share the good news. Read Luke 15 to see God’s heart for the lost – and pray that becomes your heart, too.
When Jesus said, “Come, follow me” he wasn’t just inviting you to his church pew on Sunday morning. He said, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19.). He is asking you to invite others to your church pew.
Who do you know who needs to know God’s saving power and plan? Who do you know who is not ready for Christ’s return and the Kingdom of God? Start by naming them and then praying for them and watching for God-given opportunities to speak and act with God’s love and truth. Then, jump in there and do it.