We have daily opportunities that await us to care for one another and the lost in ways we never thought possible. I’ve shared these wave images before from Clark Little. Beautiful, right?
Imagine doing what Clark does but from a ministry point of view as a lay person! When we dive into what Jesus taught us to do as believers, sharing the good news through our lives, helping each other and others to KNOW CHRIST in an intimate and real way, we experience delights that far out-pace what materialism or secularism can offer. Genuine, feet-on-the ground ministry is the Grounded Gospel! We get to experience tastes of what Jesus must have felt as He showed love and genuine care for His sheep, His Bride, His friends. No better love than to lay down your life for your friends, and that’s what Jesus did for us, friends.
How much joy is available to us as we genuinely engage with one another and the lost? It’s endless. I know a fellow who serves men getting out of rough patches or whole lifetimes of rough patches. He labors in the love of Jesus for the “least of these” down in Merced. His name is Bruce Metcalf and I look forward to learning more from him since we will be living in Merced, CA again come this January for however long God calls us to live there. We deeply enjoy both Tuolumne County and Merced County and our amazing friends in both counties. As we dive back into day-to-day life in Merced however, we look forward to spending a percentage of our efforts with those who in no way can return the favor of giving. Bruce does a wonderful job modeling this in Merced.
There is also, however, the opportunity to care for each other. And then, we as siblings in Christ are better equipped to care for others as small poolings of believers. We have a circle of friends in Merced that we look forward to re-connecting with, but we also look forward to serving the community in Merced with those friends. If we look to our siblings in Christ merely for support and selfish taking from them, we’ll be abusing what God has given us. If we instead look to these siblings as family with whom to labor in love under Christ, enjoying our Savior and enjoying each other and enjoying serving others together – we’re starting to get what God wants for us. We receive so much more delight in our spirits as we learn to give and labor in love together.
Gospel communities on mission under Jesus is where it’s at, friends. As we labor together with our siblings in Christ, we find deeper joys than when we look to our local churches as resource centers for ourselves, places to practice American consumerism instead of COMMUNITIES WITH WHOM TO ENJOY AND SERVE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. When we get this shift, we become alive to really enjoy life the way God has designed it to be enjoyed.
Enjoy your day of DIVING INTO MINISTRY DELIGHTS, friends!