Pursuing The Heart Of God Into Mission And Service

The scriptures describe the movement of God throughout history as he is on mission to redeem humanity. The climax of this movement is the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus.

Source: Pixabay by JacksonDavid

But the movement and mission do not stop there. Jesus reminds us that no servant is greater than their master. Jesus served to further the mission of God and bring glory to the kingdom. He expects the same from us.

Service is not an option to exercise when we feel like it or have time. It is an intricate part of who we are in Jesus.

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats

Jesus tells a parable that describes what the judgment at the end of time will look like:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ … ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Jesus–Matthew 25:34-36, 39

It is interesting as Jesus describes the standard on which we will be judged. It is not based on our theological system, but on our actions. Did we serve others who were in need? That is the sole basis of the judgment in this parable. Serving others is not optional. It is an integral part of following Jesus.

Sometimes we get so focused on what we shouldn’t do as a Jesus-follower that we forget it is also about what we do–in some ways even more so.

You see, we cannot follow Jesus, pursue the heart of God, or seek his kingdom if we do not or will not serve.

In the “old days”, neighbors would come together to serve one another by raising a barn. This picture comes from the Lincoln Log Cabin in the early 1980s. That is my Papaw in the black hat. He was a Volunteer Pioneer in the role of the community Pastor.

Why? Because God is on mission, passionately pursuing those who do not know him yet. So, if we are going to pursue the heart of God, we must pursue them as well.

Jesus came as a servant. We cannot follow him if we will not serve. The kingdom turns the worldly order upside down–the first shall be last and the last shall be first. (Matthew 20:16)

We cannot seek the kingdom if we are not willing to serve others.

This brings us to the challenge. How will you serve others today? What opportunities lay before you to be the hands and feet of Jesus today?

Pursuing the Heart of Jesus

When the Lord prompts your heart to have compassion on another person and serve them, Jesus is inviting you to pursue his heart. He is inviting you to join him in the ongoing mission he is on. As we join him on mission, we discover that we are no longer operating in our own strength but in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, while we are engaged in a missional partnership with Jesus, we find that we are able to do “more than we ever hoped, dreamed, or imagined”.

Being the Answer to Someone’s Prayer

Did you ever consider that in serving others, you may be the answer to their prayers? They have a need or a hurt that has led them to cry out to Jesus. He compassionately responds by nudging us to join him in mission and serve them in a way that meets that need or hurt.

If this is true, then the converse is also true. When we harden our hearts to the leading of Jesus to serve, we are leaving that person’s prayer unanswered.

I encourage you to ask Jesus to give you eyes to see the opportunities he has prepared for you to follow him into mission. Ask him to give you the boldness to follow through on his promptings with faith. Then you will be living out the prayer he taught us to pray:

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 6:10

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