January 31 I Sunday
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” —1 John 3:18
The founder of The Peoples Church once said, “We talk of the second coming; half the world has never heard of the first.” We are given the mission to reach countless millions of people who have never heard the message of the gospel. As Christians, we are not members of a religion or a club, but members of the global body of Christ. Jesus Christ came to save people from every nation, tribe, people and language.
Jesus’s Great Commission commands us, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
When we study the Gospels, we see Jesus advancing the gospel through compassion and justice. There is a holistic nature to Jesus’s ministry, where He cares for the whole person—body, soul and spirit, which are the pillars to how we are to grow the body of Christ. If we only embrace compassion in our mission outreach, but never share the message of the gospel, we are no different than the Red Cross, who provides life-saving aid and relief. In the same way, if we only embrace justice in our mission outreach, trying to deal with systemic injustice, but never share the message of Jesus Christ, we are no different than a legal aid; they step into the gap and help people who may be marginalized and unable to afford some representation in the justice system. Conversely, if we only evangelize but do not meet the practical needs of people, we are like a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. At the core, how we share the message of salvation matters. Like Jesus, we should seek to love God and others holistically, following His command, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
Ultimately, the purpose of growing the body of Christ is not to grow for our own sake, but becoming a part of God’s global mission. When we grasp the magnitude of the Great Commission, we strive to embrace different cultures, dissolving socio-economic lines for the Kingdom. How are we participating in God’s global mission?
May we be intentional with the people we encounter in our life and holistically share the life-saving and transforming message of the gospel.
Prayer: Dear Precious Jesus, thank You for demonstrating a holistic approach to grow Your body. Give me the courage not only to share Your message of salvation but also accompany it with actions