By Lutic Mosoane.
Most people aren’t too excited about the current state of affairs in South Africa, and probably wouldn’t look at it as an opportunity for something good. The truth is, many people are feeling lost.
We look around and things aren’t the same as they used to be, and it scares the daylights out of us. Typically when people encounter this dynamic, the tendency is to hunker down and long for what was. We long for the good all days.
It’s no secret we live in a culture that is becoming increasingly more corrupt.
Sin is rampant and excused. God’s truth is being distorted.
And as we watch this unfold in front of us, it would be easy to get stuck thinking that this means we should disengage from culture and protect ourselves and our families.
But this is not what God has called us to do. In fact, I think he’s called many of us to serve and love our country.
I am convinced that every single one of us will stall in our Christian lives until we begin to rise up and take responsibility for loving and serving our community.
If we wait until we arrive at that point where we are now ready to serve our world, we will never get there. We will stall down here for the rest of our Christianity and it is possible – don’t miss it – it is possible for us to coast out successfully avoiding things for holiness Christianity and never give ourselves to serving our world.
We are servants for the world’s sake.
This is the picture that we see throughout the Gospel of John that Jesus had been sent on a mission. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son.” He sent us His one and only Son. The very next verse, verse 17, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). That is why He sent Jesus. Jesus was sent with a commission to be the Saviour of the world.
He summarized it in Mark 10:45, “I came not to be served but to serve. I am sent to give my life as a ransom for many.” Jesus was sent. This was His whole commission sent from the Father to serve.
As Christians we need to identify with exact same mission that Jesus had identified Himself with. That is an incredible thought! John 3:16 really comes alive at this point, “God so loved the world, that He sent His one and only Son.”
Could it be that God so loved the world that He sends you and me? We are identified with the very mission of Christ. We have an identical purpose as Him.
This is a much greater purpose than living for the next rand or living for the bigger house or the bigger car. This is a much greater purpose. This is the mission that Christ gave Himself to and we are identified with.
Could it be that unity is compromised in the church only when mission is compromised in the church? And if we give ourselves to the mission, the by-product is unity? He unites us in His mission.
We identify with people. People that God has put in our lives. How can we serve with them? Instead of just teaching them the Word in a classroom, we take advantage of opportunities to go and serve with them and we empower them to serve. We enable them to serve. We help them to serve. In the process, we find ourselves in a community that nothing in this world can even begin to touch.
We are saved for Christ’s sake.
Now, what do you mean we are saved for Christ’ sake? I want you to think about it. First of all, we enjoy His glory. He has given us His glory. What is His glory? It is His character. It is His person, His power, His love.
The love that is experienced in the Trinity in the relationship between the Father and the Son is the same love that you and I know and experience and have in us so we enjoy His glory.
The whole purpose is worldwide evangelization so the world might know the gospel, the truth. We magnify Christ. We display the glory of Christ by loving the world.
The end of serving and loving the world is the earth spread with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, just like the waters cover the sea. Impacting the world is the goal of this whole picture.
So What Now…
So what now? It comes down to two thoughts that go together. First of all, my encouragement and my challenge for you is to let Jesus empower you to serve others. Let Him empower you to serve others, to be sanctified for others sake.
But then, don’t let it stop there. Let your life empower others to serve the world.
As Christians, we do not pretend that South Africa is the Promised Land. As Christians, we live as distinct people in a mission-field, Africa. We are not safe, but there are profound opportunities to live as lights and reach our lost friends around us, to show them the power of our God.
Rather than acting like we are owed something, it’s time for us to live in a spirit of thankfulness. We ought to live our lives thankful for what Jesus has done for us, in us, through us, and is doing around us. We ought to be thankful that we have the opportunity to serve others. We ought to be thankful that through the Spirit of God, we get to proclaim a message of love and hope.
This is a thankfulness based on the story of God, the One who gives us our true identity. May we live this life with humility and boldness, knowing that the One who gave us new life is about the business of making ALL things new?
When God says we should be “in the world but not of it,” this is what He means. He means you love South Africa, but you love Him more.
He means you pray for South Africa, but you listen for His voice.
He means you love South Africa like he loves it, and love the people the way he loves them.
And at the end of the day, your loyalty and citizenship is always rooted in Him.