Missional: an important goal or purpose that is accomplished by strong conviction; a calling; the business with which such a group is charged.
Identity :character as to who a person is; the qualities, beliefs, etc., that distinguish or identify a person.
This week RNM video series from Brody Jespersen titled “Gospel Identity” asked us the question: Who am I in relation to the Gospel Message? All people have the same response, we are all born into sin, needing to be rescued from our sin, because our sin separates us from God. Brody explained that Adam & Eve wanted their own control. We are all motivated by our own self-interests, those things that control us or that we want to control. He went on to say, in your pursuit of control you have welcomed a power struggle into your relationship; fighting and garnering control for ourselves, is our struggle with God, called Free Will. God’s desire is not to control us. True relationship with God is given freely, not forced. Because God loves us, he met us in our brokenness, offering a way back into relationship with him. We chose to be rescued. By accepting and believing in who Jesus is, our Savior, our Redeemer, the one who rescued us from our sin, we are no longer seen as broken or sinners. He is giving us a new identity.
Todd Brooks spoke during his message Sunday of our Identity in Jesus and how we should lean into that identity. In the scripture reading 1 Peter 2:4-10, we read that Jesus is our Cornerstone, we are like living stones, to be holy priests. Verse 9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priest, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession”. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. We no longer are just people, we are God’s people, a new identity is given to us because we believe.
We are a rescued people. Brody Jespersen stated, living in our brokenness is death not life. Now, we are a rescued and a redeemed people with a purpose, for something. 2 Corinthians 5: 17-21 in summary says, through Christ, God made peace between us and himself, and God gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him. So, we have been sent to speak for Christ. To be his Ambassadors, to be missional. As Todd Brooks said, to take this new life everywhere we go. To proclaim, to declare, to proclaim the excellence of Him who called you out of darkness. We are now the temple, the church, living stones in Him, our Cornerstone, Jesus. We as Easter People sometimes don’t realize the impact we make, accomplishing more than you can see or know.
Matt Chandler, in his RNM video on Identity, Go therefore… be a Mission church, a Gospel centered church. It’s through his church, his people that His Glory shines to all people. Every maturing follower of Jesus Christ is a disciple of Christ. We are to be Gospel Centered in Worship; Gospel Centered in Community; Gospel Centered in Service; Gospel Centered in Multiplication. We are called to be Ambassadors for Christ, as if God is making his case through us. To study, to pray, to share the gospel with others, just as another has prayed for us and/or has shared the gospel with us. It’s what we do every day with the gospel on our minds. In worship, our growing relationship with Jesus. In community, the crew we are running with, edified in Jesus. In service, how are we serving? Generosity? Joyfully? In multiplication, interacting, praying for those whose life intersect with our own, especially those who don’t know Jesus, pouring into others.
Our identity as Easter People in Jesus is something that God has given his church, the members of his church. Our Missional duty, corporately as a church is to stand between the lost and the Savior and mediate between God and people. We are to be a life lived in this identity every hour of every day. To be ready to give a reason for the hope and joy within us. To be a people being about God’s business and not our own self-interest. Sharing the gospel through our actions, words, our character. As people watch us, we don’t live to their standards, we live for an audience of one, God.
We have our future inheritance, let’s be Ambassador’s for God, used by Him. Missional, with the love of God pouring out of us. Identifiable as a Christ follower, allowing God to use us to call others to be Easter People who too want to share the Gospel message.
Especially through these difficult days that we are experiencing, Pastor Paula White, in an article titled ‘God Is Your Resting Place’ in This Age of Coronavirus, wrote: “God is your resting place. When there are things that feel so out of control in our life, we need each other, we need encouragement. And most of all, we need to call upon God.” “But I’ve always said that the church has never been a museum for saints. It’s always been a hospital for those that are hurting”. “We are praying for our first responders and our medical doctors, for CDC, for our president, for everyone. Not everyone has health centers, some do, and some have now become testing centers and are using the churches. We’re helping in all different ways”. (White is President Trump’s spiritual advisor and close friend.)
May we too find a way to help. It’s part of being missional. God help us, God use us, God be good and gracious to us. In his name we pray, Amen
Larry & Darlene