Friday, June 27, 2014

MISSION IT! - Living on Mission with Abraham in Genesis 18

Week 1 – Living on Mission with Abraham in Genesis 18
Living missionally is all about reflecting and incarnating the heart of God and joining with Him as agents of the Good News of redemption.  Living in this way is proof of a growing relationship with the Almighty.  Abraham displayed several aspects of the heart of God in this passage: hospitality, recognizing the image of God in others, and intercession.  The Spirit of God enables us to do the same every day.
#1 – Hospitality
Abraham was minding his own business, hanging out in his tent when he noticed three travelers standing nearby.  He could have continued to mind his own business, attempting to stay cool in the heat of the day.  (I imagine him performing the very manly “sup?” head nod of acknowledgement.)  Instead, he chose to engage the travelers and go out of his way to serve them.  He assumed the posture of a servant and asked for permission to wash their feet and feed them.  When they agreed, he enlisted the help of others (his community) to make it happen.  (Sarah, make some bread!  Servant, cook some meat!)
#2 – Recognizing the Image of God in Others
Abraham recognized something God-like in the travelers that caused him to take notice of them, to value them, and to desire to serve them and meet their needs.  It is important for us to recognize that mankind carries the Imago Dei – the image of God – because God chose to create us in His image. (Genesis 1:26, 27)  Yes, all of mankind. (Even THAT person.) This perspective will inevitably cause us to think differently and treat people differently.
#3 – Intercession
Abraham recognized God’s desire to carry out justice on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Victimized people were crying out to Him because of the wicked things they suffered in these cities.  Their cries were deafening.  It was time for Him to act.  Abraham knew that God had every right to act justly.  But, Abraham knew that the nature of God would not allow Him to destroy the righteous along with the wicked.  He hoped that his loved ones were righteous and therefore eligible to be saved. In fact, he hoped that the entire city could be spared destruction.  He pleaded with God, hoping for repentance and redemption of the people of these cities.  He asked God for mercy.  He pushed the envelope and asked repeatedly.  Will you spare it for 50 righteous people, 45 righteous people, 40 righteous… 10 righteous?  He interceded for more and more mercy and not a single request was denied.  Not once did God say, “No, my mercy does not go that far.  Enough is enough.”  We, too, can boldly ask God to have mercy, to save, to spare.
When we live missionally, we reflect and incarnate the heart of God in our daily practices.  This can only be accomplished through an abiding relationship with God.  The closer we get to Him, the more we learn to notice the needs of others and serve them, to view one another as high-value-image-bearers who are worthy of love and service, and to join with Jesus in praying (asking, pleading, interceding) for their repentance and acceptance of the Good News of redemption.  Let’s practice living on mission and get caught RedHanded – LovingOurCity.

- Pastor Angela

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