“As you sent me into the world [Father], I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)
The Bible describes Jesus’ followers in a number of ways. We are called forgiven sinners, adopted sons and daughters, and beloved members of the body of Christ. All of these are key aspects of who we are in Christ.
But one of the most important identities we have is as “sent people.” Just as Jesus was sent into the world to show God’s love, so he now sends us to do the same.
After Jesus’ resurrection, his followers received the Holy Spirit to empower them for mission. As Jesus’ followers today, we are called to share the good news of Jesus in our words and actions, inviting people to place their faith in Jesus just as we have done.
Too often, local churches become wrapped up in their own concerns. Christians spend so much time running programs and dealing with internal conflicts that they have little energy to build relationships with people outside the church. It’s not surprising that many of our churches are shrinking and that a lot of church “growth” is just a result of Christians transferring from one congregation to another. Jesus’ teaching makes clear, however, that his followers are partners in God’s mission of saving people who are lost in sin. It’s not enough to simply talk about sharing our faith — it’s part of our identity in being the people God calls us to be.
Father, use my words and actions to help others understand the gospel and see their need for you. Amen.