7/14/2014 by Lucas Miller
I’ve recently had a conversation that left me thinking and quite honestly, flabbergasted. The nature of the conversation was in regards to the Christian life and how we are to live this life. As the conversation continued, it was mentioned that serving others (what I also like to call ministry) was something that a Christian can do, not should do. There are some fundamental discrepancies in this thought. The question presented is ‘shouldn’t our faith compel us to do something?’
First, the basis of our faith is Jesus, and as Ephesians 5:1 says “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children” as a result of our faith we are compelled to live a life that is distinctly similar to the essence of our faith, Jesus. I have a twenty month old daughter who, in her own whimsical way, will mimic my facial expressions. If she sees me doing something she will try to demonstrate the same action; she is trying to imitate me. The question is why? Am I forcing her to acquire the same mannerisms as her dad? No. She is mirroring what she sees her parents do. She is compelled to act like her parents, to the best of her abilities. In John 15:9, Jesus makes this curious statement “So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, theSon can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. Forwhatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” In the simplest terms, he mimics what he sees his dad doing. This brings us to the another question, what does the father do?
What God does can be divided into two sections: 1) God does what he wants, 2) God does what he wants that is instinctive of who he is. God can and will do anything and everything he wants, this is His divine nature and right. However, what God does is distinctly connected to who He is. 1 John 4:8 says “whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” The very nature of God is love, the very thing that Jesus sees the Father doing, is actions of love, hence the fact that Jesus is walking on the earth as he makes this statement. So, what Jesus mirrors to us is love. But is this enough to compel us to minster to others?
The simplistic answer is yes. This brings us back to the conversation I had. Can someone who loves Jesus, pick and choose who and when they minister to others? The foundation for such a position (as these individuals had) is flawed, for just as Christ ministered consistently, we too should live a life that is dedicated to personal ministry. There’s no exception or excuse. There’s only living in the fullness of Christ. C.S. Lewis wrote:
"The more we get what we call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become."
The idea here is that we live in Christ, or that Christ lives in us and the more we allow him to interject his life into us, the more our life will reflect the passions God desires. So the simple answer is no, we can not pick and choose how and when we are to minister, we are to minister as Christ did in his life. We are to strive to mirror him to the best of our abilities, and when we fail, repent, and try again. This is a faith that is compelling. For how can we read the Word of God and not be compelled to do something with it. As James rightly said, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22 ESV)
I would like encourage you to spend some time this week and think about your faith. Are you being compelled to mimic the wonderful qaulities of Jesus or something else? Then spend some time thinking of a way you can demonstrate a Christ-like quality to someone this week.