Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Change Agent: Changed & Commissioned by God

Whenever my Grandma wanted to communicate something serious to me she would always begin by saying, "Braddie boy, I need you to put your thinking cap on."  In other words, this is really good stuff, but it's not fluff.  You need to engage and really think about this in order to get it.

So, as we launch into this opening chapter, "I need you to put on your thinking cap."  

Got it on?  Okay, let's dive in.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ; If you have repented of your sin and by faith received Jesus as Lord and Savior—you have been brought from spiritual death (separation from God) to spiritual life. God has changed you in a radical and wonderful way! “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death” (Rom. 8:1-2, NLT). 

Through faith in Jesus, you have been adopted into God’s family as Children of light! “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God… you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light" (John 1:9-13 & Eph. 5:8). 

When you received Christ as Lord, God put His Spirit in you to confirm and daily affirm that you are dearly loved Children of God. “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom. 8:15-16). 

The Apostle Paul teaches us in his letter to the Colossians that God “rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…” (Col. 1:13). New life in Christ results in a total identity makeover! We’re not just saved from bad stuff. We’re saved unto good stuff!

We’re delivered out of darkness that we might live as children of light and help lead others to The Light. We’re rescued from a life of self-centered, small thinking—and we are given the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) which fills us with a sense of hope and purpose and empowers us to live with an eternal perspective! “For our citizenship is in heaven… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (Phil. 3:20 & 2 Cor. 4:16-18).

The mind of Christ fills us with an awareness that we’re not redeemed, forgiven, adopted and filled with God’s Spirit merely for our own benefit. We have been called by our Heavenly Father into the Family-building business! “For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new. All this is God’s doing, for he has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ; and he has made us agents of the reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:17-18, Phillips). 

We’ve been enlisted in God’s army (2 Tim. 2:3-4) that we might defeat the powers of darkness and take ground for the Kingdom of light! “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:4-5).

We are commissioned by our King as kingdom agents to go into our world and promote Kingdom life. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:19-20).

I know that’s a lot to digest. I can hear my Grandma's words ringing in my mind, “Some people are so heavenly minded that they’re not earthly good.” So how do we apply all of this to real life? What’s the game plan? What are the steps? How do we actually begin to live as agents of change for God’s Kingdom? That’s what the rest of this series is all about!

Stay tuned!

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