I have been thinking lately about how does Jesus view the responsibility of His people in our divided world? Over the next few weeks, ride along as I share some of my thoughts.
Who are My People? Jesus calls us his friends if we have confessed Him as Lord and Savior. Once this confession is done, we willingly place ourselves under his authority and become his subjects, that is, citizens of His Kingdom. We stop building our own kingdoms. We become His People!
We are not to simply become citizens of the Kingdom of God and then wait for the day of our supernatural transport into eternity. We are to participate in the advancement of the Kingdom of God, right here and right now—to actively demonstrate the way of a world turned right-side up.
A privatized or individualized Christian life does not truly reflect citizenship in the Kingdom of God. What does it look like to publicly represent the Kingdom of God? Christ invites us into the discovery of the answer to those questions.
First, we are Kingdom Laborers. Following Christ is a labor of love, in that it is a life of making God’s love public. Christ describes this work as healing the sick, casting out evil spirits, and proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Kingdom laborers are carriers of the gospel and agents of transformation.
To this degree, we are all evangelists, or perhaps you might say missionaries. This does not mean we must be able to preach evangelistic messages. It means that we extend God’s love to the lost and broken around us. We pray for others. We listen to others. We are prepared to speak words of love, healing, and truth in one-on-one conversations with others. We allow others to get close enough to our lives to experience Christ.
Wherever we are in life and in whatever career field we are in, we are missionaries. I have a friend, a former high level attorney, who now spends his time networking other professionals in the marketplace, who in turn, use their skills and talents to help ministries to be more fruitful.
He also has a passion and burden for marketplace leaders to see their own businesses and the broader marketplace as a mission field. He believes that the church should be the very place where marketplace leaders are equipped to see where they work as the place to provide a glimpse of the right-side up world looks like in our current upside down world.
In too many cases, however, the church only sees marketplace leaders for their giving potential and the business insights they could contribute to the church board. In other cases, these leaders are asked to serve the church in roles that don’t fit their gifts, talents, and passions.
Of course, there are times when the work of God needs people to serve outside of the primary gifts and talents, but the church’s witness in the world suffers from not equipping people to live as right-side up people in the upside down world where they spend the most time.
Next week, I’ll continue this conversation with then how does His People, you and me align ourselves with His purposes in His Kingdom and how does a subject of the King live in light of our devotion to Him.