Friday, February 1, 2013

Blessed to be a Blessing!

It’s something that Jesus did. He reached out to people who were far from God in order to bring them to God. We can see this in Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman in John 4 and we see it in His interaction with Zacchaeus in Luke 19. Jesus also sought to restore God’s dream for the lives of people. Of Zacchaeus he said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:9-10). He restored the Samaritan woman to her community and the mission of God was reproduced in her heart as she asked the people of Sychar whether Jesus could be the Christ (John 4:29).

The disciples had just been in Sychar getting food for Jesus to eat but apparently didn’t say anything about Jesus that would encourage people to come out to Him. Which makes me wonder...How often are we so focused on our task and so dismissive of people that we don’t say a word about Jesus? Do we really notice the folks around us? Perhaps we should consider the possibility that the person in front of us could use a good word, an encouragement, a hand, a prayer.

However, back to the story, at the question of the Samaritan woman, the townspeople come out from town, meet Jesus, ask Him to stick around for a while and end up believing that Jesus “really is the Savior of the world” (John 4:42).

Dave Ferguson, in a free e-book, Discover Your Mission Now (click here to download), sees the mission of Jesus in these three elements: reaching people who are far from God, restoring God’s dream for them and reproducing His mission in others. Ferguson suggests that our mission as Jesus followers is to seek to do these very same things.

I don't know if you've noticed it or not...but we’ve been discussing this in the ROC community this semester. I encourage you all to read Ferguson’s book and put it into practice.  We have been seeking to articulate and follow the five missional practices that correspond to the acronym B.L.E.S.S. as a way of discovering and going on mission with Jesus wherever we find ourselves.

Doing this together is a way of being part of the blessing God stated to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3,

“I will make you into a great nation
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

God blessed Abraham to be a blessing. All the peoples on earth certainly are blessed through Abraham for the Christ is a descendant of Abraham. As followers of Jesus we continue to extend this blessing to all the peoples of the earth through blessing others by loving, by serving and by sharing the wondrous story of God's grace in Christ.

You have been so a blessing to all those around you!