March 28, 2007

What does it mean to live for Jesus?

This is a question that goes to the heart of being a Christian: What does it mean to live for Jesus? Or, to put more of a point on it, how does a Christian relate to those around them, and why?

I see this question played out and lived out all around the world, but I wonder if some of us do it a little too unreflectively. We should proclaim the gospel, for what else are we here for except to make disciples of all nations. Absolutely! But what about dealing with injustice? Here is where things get a bit more interesting. Do we just help the poor as a door-opener to get some preaching in as well. Are food programs only Christian if they lead invariably to gospel-preaching? Why are we feeding the poor? Because economic injustice of this sort is just plain wrong, and we need to do what we can to redress it? Or because it is a great opportunity?

Scot McKnight, on Jesus Creed, has a great blog post that helps us get to the heart of these issues: I believe he is right on, that we need to live out the gospel in all areas of our lives. This means working for justice and for what is right because it is just and right. And I agree absolutely that this type of work is a great opportunity to give a reason for the hope and love within us. But this type of work, with no further strings attached, is a great proclamation of the new reality of Jesus Christ. Kingdom living can't separate "preaching" with "living." So I hope we can all reflect a bit on what it means to be God's ambassadors here on earth. I know I need the challenge.

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