Pastor Jonathan's Monday reflection:
It was such a joy to worship together yesterday and I truly do feel like the Lord is working something among us to reframe how we view our purpose and engage those places the Spirit has put us for redemptive influence.
All over the pages of the New Testament, and especially in Acts, we see this as the model of the church - of believers, that the greatest story ever told speaks into every arena of life and we have been made witnesses of it. People go on working, but they work for more than profit. Families enjoy time together, but they do so in light of Christ's work for them. Strangers serve the least around them, not for a burst of feeling good about their self-righteousness but because they have been cared for by Jesus.
What will this look like in your life?
We distributed some key questions to help us think through where God has placed us and they are as follows, think through them, answer them prayerfully ready to engage:
- How would you describe your vocation?
- As an image-bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work?
- How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world?
- Jesus commands us to ‘love our neighbor as ourselves’. How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?
You have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to make much of Jesus where you are and we can do so together.
There is another thing that struck me in Acts 8 that we didn't spend much time reflecting on during worship. While the Lord will certainly call many of us to move, to visit far places with the good news of Jesus (like Philip), he may also have us settle in a place to continue ministering, to endeavor for the flourishing of a city. Notice the close of our story. "But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea." Acts 8:40 (ESV)
Philip is teleported to a new place (which would be so cool) and he keeps on preaching Jesus along the way. But notice it says "until he came to Caesarea." Philip did not stop preaching, he just stopped moving. We hear later in Acts again of Philip, when we meet his prophetess daughters. So he stays in a place, raises a family and they minister together. Philip puts down roots, for sure he goes on preaching the gospel, and generations are changed.
Some of us will be sent, will go to far places to bring the cold water of the gospel. But some of us are also done passing through. We are being planted for the good of our city and the continued proclamation of the gospel and maturity of believers.
Wherever you are, planted or sent to seed, Jesus is using you for his glory, for the rejoicing of your city and the good of your family. Lean into the Spirit's power and go on preaching the word.