People

Mission Hearted

Chris Cartwright invites us to open our hearts for a fresh move of God on behalf of people everywhere.

Whether prompted by earthquake, flood, famine or scenes of war and conflict across the globe, we regularly see outpourings of emotion, concern and compassion moving people to reach out to those caught up in the devastation.

Recent events have dramatically reminded us of that deeply ingrained human instinct to respond, to give, to care and, if possible, to rescue.

That basic human instinct to move towards the needy comes straight from the heart of God.

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible shows that having made people ‘in his image’, seeing them marred and in broken relationship with him through sin, God took the initiative.

He moved towards us, revealing his character and nature personally, giving forgiveness, healing and renewed relationship to all who would turn to him

He is a God of mission.

This is most fully revealed in sending his only Son Jesus, to live in flesh, to go to the cross and to take upon himself the sins of the whole world.

John says in the best-known verse in the Gospels, “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life.”

As one commentator said, God only had one son and he made him a missionary.

The spirit of mission moves Jesus’ followers in every generation to live as missionaries in every context, community and culture.

It’s so important that we understand that the spirit of mission isn’t just for a select few; those we consider the professionals.

It is for everyone.

Jesus called ordinary men and women to join him in the adventure and the challenge of mission – living their lives in every place with Jesus and his Kingdom as the first priority.

He called them to be his witnesses not in occasional moments but in every moment and season of life.

He still calls ordinary people in all kinds of places to live as a people on – and with a - mission.

If you’re like me you might say ‘Amen’, but inside you’re thinking, ‘Lord, how can we live for you?’ We are weak, we often feel unqualified, unprepared and powerless.

Yet the good news is that Jesus has promised to enable us to be his missionaries in the real time/real place experience of our lives.

Firstly, he’s promised to give us his heart.

There’s a wonderful passage in the Gospels where we read that Jesus looked at the crowds that were always around him and saw that they were ‘harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd’.

In that same description the Gospel writer tells us that he was moved with compassion towards them. He was not just observing but moving, acting, changing their lives, calling them out of darkness and into light, out of restriction and into freedom.

In other words, Jesus’ compassion moved him to do something about it. And that’s what he promises us. That we won’t just be observers of the suffering, the needs, the confusion, the longing and the yearning of those around us. We’ll be moving towards them and in the midst of them with Jesus’ love and hope.

Secondly, he’s promised to give us his power.

The Holy Spirit, the spirit of mission, is poured out on those who receive Christ, to be present in us and through us in all situations, and to release the power of God and of the Kingdom in everyday miracles of grace.

It’s time for the church in this generation to receive a fresh heart for mission.

In intimate relationship and deep surrender, Jesus calls us, moves us with his heart and empowers us with his Spirit to join him in his unstoppable mission.

After a two-year absence, we looked forward last month to gathering at the Harrogate Convention Centre for the Elim Leaders Summit.

Believing that the God who calls and empowers us to join Jesus in his mission wanted to give us his heart for all people.

Our theme was ‘Mission Hearted’.

Even if you were not able to join us at the Summit, you can find the key sessions and messages on our YouTube channel.

Let me invite you to open your hearts for a fresh move of God for the sake of all people everywhere.

 

This article first appeared in the May 2022 edition of Direction Magazine. For further details please click here.

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