The Sharing Life

The Sharing
Life

Why should anyone hear the Gospel twice, before everyone has heard it once?

Oswald J. Smith

What Does it mean to Share in the Mission?

Not only did Jesus have a love relationship with the Father that spilled into a fellowship relationship with His disciples, but those connections also overflowed into relationships with people who didn’t know God at all. The same should be true for us.

In John 17: 18, Jesus said, “As You [the Father] sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” Can I let you in on a secret? You’re the “them” in this verse. And because you’re the “them,” you need to understand that Jesus said the Father sent Him into the world on mission and now He’s sent us into the world on that same mission.

Do you realize what that means? Evangelism—what we often call “sharing the gospel”—isn’t just for those we officially call evangelists. Mission trips and missionary work aren’t activities specially designed for the Navy SEALs of the church. Those expressions of our faith aren’t reserved for the spiritually elite. They’re the life of Jesus in us being lived through us. Because it’s who He is, it’s who we are as His followers.

If that kind of relationship with the world isn’t evident in your life, you’re missing the target. Jesus came to restore humanity’s relationship with God, to make it right again. The Bible word for this is reconciliation. Humanity was separated from God because of sin, but then Jesus came to bring reconciliation.

This is how Paul describes this concept in 2 Corinthians 5: 18–20: Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Did you notice how the apostle Paul refers to you as a follower of Jesus? You are an ambassador for Christ. He doesn’t say you will be an ambassador. He doesn’t even ask if you want to be an ambassador. He says you are an ambassador. And it’s the role of an ambassador to actively and intentionally make connections with others in the world.

Sharing in God’s mission and telling others the good news about Jesus aren’t programs of the church you can opt into or out of. They’re simply evidence of the life of Christ being manifested in your life out of the overflow of intimacy with God. If there’s a deficiency in your life in the area of sharing the gospel with others, it ultimately reveals a deficiency in your personal love relationship with Jesus. If you’re not passionate about the nations hearing the message of Jesus, then that reveals an area of your heart that doesn’t reflect the heart of Jesus.

When you’re abiding in Christ, His life is evident in your life, and what’s on His heart will be on your heart. And as we examine the Gospels, we see those who are far from God were clearly on the heart of Jesus. As followers of Jesus, we are to share in God’s mission both locally and globally.

This section is adapted from Pastor Vance Pitman’s book, Unburdened: Stop Living For Jesus So Jesus Can Live Through You. For more, visit UnburdenedBook.com.
The Sharing Life

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The following are recommended resources for further study on connecting in community

The Gospel

Following Jesus is all about relationships. First and foremost, following Jesus is about an abiding relationship with Him. It’s about that wonderful, intimate fellowship between you and your Savior. And if you think that sounds kind of simple, you’re right! It’s supposed to be simple.

The Abiding Life

Following Jesus is all about relationships. First and foremost, following Jesus is about an abiding relationship with Him. It’s about that wonderful, intimate fellowship between you and your Savior. And if you think that sounds kind of simple, you’re right! It’s supposed to be simple.

The Connecting Life

As followers of Jesus, we’re to connect with other believers. God never designed us to live out our relationship with Him apart from fellowship with His family. The New Testament knows nothing of a Christianity without community. Jesus followers who are in a love relationship with God will also have genuine love for one another.