From last Sundays message:
Ephesians 2: 11- 13
But don’t take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything. (THE MESSAGE)
We used the story of the lepers from 2 Kings 7: 3 – 9. In this story we see a famine in the land and the lepers finding an amazing stockpile of food and clothing and silver and gold in a neighboring camp after God does a miracle and creates the sound of an enemy army coming to lay siege to the city. There was no literal army, just the amplification and shaking of the ground – special effects created by God.
They come to the moral and ethical realization that having all they have and not sharing it, would be the wrong thing to do.
2 Kings 7: 9
Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.” (NIV)
We are not doing right today, by keeping the Good News of Jesus to ourselves. And it is just that – Good News.
Missiologist Mike Frost wrote and I credited him in my message:
Those of us who are not gifted evangelists need to foster habits in our lives that draw us out into the lives of unbelievers and invite the kinds of questions that lead to evangelistic sharing. If our only habits are going to church and attending meetings, it’s not going to connect us with unbelievers nor invite their curiosity about our faith. The trick is to develop habits that unite us together as believers, while also propelling us into the lives of others. We also need habitual practices that don’t just deplete our energy and burn us out, but which re-energize us, replenishing our reserves and connecting us more deeply to Jesus. I have seen the following habits do just that. The five habits of highly missional people are: B.E.L.L.S.
BLESS: I will bless three people this week, at least one of whom is not a member of our church. Part of this has to do with generosity – eating.
EAT: I will eat with three people this week, at least one of whom is not a member of our church.
LISTEN: I will spend at least one period of the week listening for the Spirit’s voice.
MY NOTE: in my message, I used the fact that we need to listen the Holy Spirits voice, not only for our own lives, but for those we know that are far away from God. He wants them close to Himself and that no one would perish – so ask Him to show you were He is working in the lives of those you are wanting to see come to Christ. Ask Him how you might be involved with where He is already working.
LEARN: I will spend at least some period of the week learning more about Christ.
SENT: I will journal throughout the week all the ways I attempted to show people the love of Christ.
If you bless three people every week, you’re going to become a very generous person. If you eat with others, you’ll develop a greater capacity for hospitality. If you foster the habit of listening to the Holy Spirit, you’ll become an increasingly Spirit-led person. If you’re learning Christ, it’s fair to assume you’ll become more and more Christlike. And if you’re journaling the myriad ways you’ve been sent into your world, you’ll increasingly see yourself as a sent one, or a missionary in your own neighborhood. In other words, each habit shapes us around a particular missional value:
My point is this: If you want to be a generous, hospitable, Spirit-led, Christlike missionary, don’t just try to learn those values. Foster these habits! Indeed, I’m pretty certain most churches have a mission or vision statement that says they are committed to something similar to this. I also suspect most members of churches read these and agree with them in theory but have very little idea of what exactly it means for them to live these out under the noses of those who have not yet been set free in Christ. To pastors and preachers I say, you don’t have to preach these values if you’re fostering the habits. The habits will in turn unleash the values naturally.
This is a great practice and habit for each of us. I challenge you to embrace B.E.L.L.S. in your life. Thank to Mike Frost for
The most effective ambassadors of the love of Christ over the long haul are people who have given themselves permission to drink in the goodness and the grace of God.
They have come to terms with just how rich they are.
When you realize salvation, forgiveness, prayer, communion, worship, God’s power and strength…..promise of Heaven. YOU see how rich you really are……SOAK IT IN. REALIZE IT. Let your life impact others like the ringing of B.E.L.L.S.
If you drink in these spiritual blessings fully, regularly, extravagantly, it will spill over naturally into the lives of others. Let’s make a difference – this news of Christ and His love is too good not to share.
Serving with you,
NOTE: The 5 Habits of Highly -Missional People: Taking the BELLS Challenge to Fulfill the Mission of God By Michael Frost