Wednesday, August 11, 2010
'Not heard the call,' I think you should say.
Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world." - William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army
After a long summer of being out in the fields of mission, away from home and its comforts, those words of William Booth have never felt so close to my heart. I feel the weight of a world that does not know Jesus, a world that is hurting, suffering, and dying without hope. I will come back this fall the LHC with a heart that is broken and wanting to engage everyone in the process of sending and going.
I struggle, as I believe that so many people in the kingdom have been mislead. I believe with all my heart that we are all called. Becoming a Christian is the call. William Booth was right on target as his passion for the unsaved was spoken in the quote above. God is relying on the church to send out life rafts to those sinking in the despair of the world. I understand like never before that no program, initiative, class, or sermon can do the job we are all called to as Gods people. It is our relationships with people in which God works. As Booth said, "Pulling others from the fire, listening to cries for help, walking right up to the gates of hell if need be, marching in unity to shout the truth; these are all accomplished in closeness to to others, in relationship with our brothers.
God has given us the Church as a gift that can save the world. Church is the relationship we have with each other. It is not the building, the programs, the pastor, or the organization, it is just a few, or many, gathered in the love of Jesus... in relationship. It is in relationship with each other that God's love is shown to the world. It is in relationship with each other that we are sharpened, discipled, stretched, and grown into people more like Jesus, It is in relationship that God comes and speaks to us, it is in relationship that we learn to stand against Satan, get beyond our flesh and grow towards Jesus. We must have relationship, first with Jesus to save us , then with his people to grow us and then with those in the world to see them saved.
I am in the 14th week of this summers mission trip. I am exhausted in every way... physically, spiritually, mentally, and even relationally. Yet I know with more clarity than ever that missions is simply living out what God expects from us a Christians, to build relationship to see other saved, grown and sent. In my exhaustion much of what clouds my vision most of the year, is clear, and all I see is simply a giant group of people living out relationships.
I ask for your prayer. Pray for God to help us to move into a new relationship. Maybe with someone you met for the first time on Sunday, maybe with some you sat next to at church last week but do not know well. Maybe with someone that may walk into LHC for the first time this Sunday. Pray that God would help you rebuild broken relationships, that He would give you grace and love enough to move beyond hurts. Pray that God would help you live out His call for missions, which is simply to love each other in repetitive fashion, which is otherwise known as relationship!