Thursday, February 12, 2015
Today’s Topic: 7 UP
Today’s Text: 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people… 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 1:15 (ESV) The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners….
What is the heart of God for all people?
A correct answer must be more than just an intellectual response – it must be a transformational truth. For if the heart of God for ALL people is that they be saved from their sin, then as possessors of the heart of God through faith in Jesus Christ for our own salvation, must not our heart for all people be the same?
Please don’t move on from that question until you have deeply and thoroughly contemplated it. Are our hearts moved by the same things that move the heart of God? Are our decisions motivated by the same compassionate love for sinners that motivates the activity of God? Are we joining God on the eternal mission He has already declared to be the singular purpose of His heart?
I have recently reviewed these questions with the Lord, and I have been humbled. I have seen the activity of my life from God’s perspective, and realize that far too many of my pursuits and passions are motivated by my mission, not Christ’s. I have come face to face with the truth that for me and everyone like me who is a born again follower of Jesus Christ there is only one mission – make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Listen, this is very serious business. We have been declared children of God and joint heirs of all things with Jesus Christ. We have been forgiven of our sins by being washed in His blood shed on Calvary’s cross as the full payment for our sin. We have been set apart as His chosen people and as such will never be judged or condemned for our sin. We have been given the Holy Spirit to reside in us – the very eternal Presence of God the Father in His fullness abiding in us. We have been granted access to the powers and provisions of God to meet every need. Yet daily we tend to choose to live by a culturally dictated and personally defined mission, rather than the mission mandated by the Master.
The last truth Jesus declared to His disciples before leaving earth was go and make disciples of all nations. It is called the Great Commission, but for so many of us it is the Great Omission. But the mission of Christ is not optional for the followers of Christ. The power of the Holy Spirit who resides in us makes every one of us a witness for Jesus Christ. Embodied in the gift of salvation is the mission to multiply. Witnessing for Christ and making disciples will happen in every one of us unless we consciously choose the only option there that hinders the mission –abstinence. The only way to avoid multiplication is to abstain from the activity that produces life. Do we recognize that the choice to abstain is a direct contradiction to the heart of God and the mission of Jesus Christ?
The Apostle Paul tells us how to get back on track with our mission.
- First, understand the heart of God for all people.
- Second, understand Christ’s purpose for coming into the world.
- Third, join the Holy Spirit in the mission of Christ, and the very first expression of partnership with Christ will be to start praying for people to be saved.
On Sunday I challenged our congregation to begin praying for people’s salvation. Everyone was asked to create a list of seven people for whom they will pray to be saved. They were also asked to pray for themselves, that they would be available to God to be the one to share the message of Jesus Christ’s love and forgiveness with those people. It’s called 7-UP. United Prayer for 7 people to be saved.
Have you made your list yet?