Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thinking Like Jesus = Missional Living (John 4:34)

John 4:34 λγει ατος ησος· μν βρμ στιν να ποισω τ θλημα το πμψαντς με κα τελεισω ατο τ ργον.

“My food is that I might do the will of the One who sent me and that I might finish his work.”

This passage arrested me yesterday.

Food is what sustains and empowers life. Life, as we know it, revolves around food. Work schedules created by the reasonable inevitably make temporal room for food. Food is important!

Jesus’ life revolved around food as well: His food was doing the will of the One who sent him. Jesus had a clear perception of His sent-ness. Do you?

Scripture teaches that God brought each of us into this world for a purpose. Paul says, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works which he prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). It’s the “prepared ahead of time” part of that verse that tells me that God has pre-planned a set of jobs He wants us to do. We, too, have been “sent” into this world on a mission. (And, no, that doesn’t imply the belief in the exist of pre-incarnate souls.)

Do you view yourself as having been sent? Jesus did. We should too. When I think of myself as having been sent by God into this world, my life—all of it—becomes missional. God’s plan is not just a framework within which I create my own mission. God’s plan, according to Psalm 139, involves every single day of my life (Psa. 139:16).

Thus the will and work of the One who sent me is to grade tests, instruct my children in the ways of God, husband my wife, prepare and give lectures, do academic research, write papers, publish, .... In other words, every part of my life that reflects God’s will (all of it!) is part of the work God has sent me to do.

This gives me purpose and meaning. It also sobers me to realize that I am responsible to finish the work He has given me. The “talents” the master has left me are not just the gifts and capacities he has bestowed. My “talents” also include my opportunities and my responsibilities.

Father, please help me to think like Jesus: “My food is to do Your will and complete the work You have sent me to do,” so that I may pray like Jesus, “I have glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4).

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