Jeff Vanderstelt is a pastor at Soma Communities, an Acts 29 church in Tacoma, WA.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:9-12 ESV)
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:13-15 ESV)
Missional living is living in such a way that it demands a gospel explanation that will then point back to God. Doing the things that no one else is doing.
Our behavior should not be able to be explained by saying “those are nice people”.
The motive needs to be right – we love because we’ve first been loved.
The method of how we love is fed by how we’ve been loved.
Why? We are a chosen race (remember who you were). We were not just orphans. We were orphaned enemy people.
Don’t put your hope in what you do. It is found in who He is and what he’s done for us.
What if we loved our neighbors as if they were our kids? What if we loved other kids like we love our kids?
Do your kids even know really how much God loves them?
Our lack of love for other people is based on our lack of understanding for what God did for us.
We are not called to be a replacement Savior. We are to point them to the cross.
God never calls you to do what you can do. He calls you to do what he can do.
Matthew 25 we need to remember that WE were one of the “least of these”. Our response isn’t “charity” – it is our only response to what he has done for us.