Our mission is to love people to Jesus.
That’s it? Surely there’s more! Not really. You see, this mission may be short & not very complex, but it is far from simple or easy.
Let’s start with the beginning
- …to love people…
People are messy. If you’re breathing, you have problems. Many people have a lot of baggage from mistakes, from sin, from different choices we’ve made, and from situations we’re in. We believe that every human being is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) which means every human being has intrinsic (built in) value no less than anyone else! God created all of us out of His love, which means He loves each and every one of us. It is first our mission to love like God loves- unconditionally and because you exist. This isn’t always easy, we don’t always do it well, and sure, it won’t always be returned, but it is a worthwhile goal. Jesus is about people, and so are we.
This also implies that we’re around people. Too often “church” has been viewed as social club where people go and Church isn’t just at a building a few times a week. The church literally means the group of people that belong to Jesus Christ, and so church is really every & any where we are. We strive to be like Jesus not just on Sunday morning when we’re at the church building but on Monday at work, Tuesday at the library, Wednesday at the coffee shop, and so on because one, Jesus commands us to be like Him everywhere, and two, everywhere we are we want people to meet us and see Jesus somehow. Which leads to…
- …to Jesus.
Admittedly, this is where this gets hard, but also this is why this is so important. When we talk about the love Christ has shown us, that kind of love is incredible. Romans 5:6-8 tells us that Christ loves the ungodly, and died for for those who are sinners- everyone. A little later in vs. 10 it says Christ died for those who were God’s enemies! Christ’s love is a love that goes far above & beyond everything else in this world, and our love for people should to. It’s a kind of love that goes an extra mile, that turns the other cheek, that gives the coat off our back, that accepts where you are without judgment, that is willing to sacrifice up to our very life for others. The word translated love through the Bible is the word agape. Agape love isn’t a feeling, but a choice to unconditionally sacrifice for others, the kind of love that God shows towards us that He gave His one & only Son that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life (John 3:16). It’s a high standard, and one that we don’t always reach, but that doesn’t excuse us from trying to reach it every single day.
To love often means action. There’s a small story in James where it talks about what if a man walks in who’s obviously in physical need, but you just say “Hey, be happy, Jesus loves you!” While that’s true, love isn’t shown just in words but in actions (1st John 3:18). It’s our job, as those who strive to be & love people like Jesus, to try to help people as much as we can. Whether it be meals, a place to stay, being with people in hard times, walking with people through dark times or celebrating with people in good times, we try to act as though Jesus would act. It’s cliche nowadays but the phrase “What would Jesus do?” actually does still apply. 1st John 2:6 says that if anyone claims to be like Jesus they should walk in the same way He walked.
“…to Jesus,” not only means that we strive to love like Jesus, but then make sure we let people we meet know why we’re loving like that and hopefully doing the things from that love that we do. We love not for our own credit, but because this is how Jesus loves, and we want Him to be seen in our lives before us, and give Him & God all the glory they deserve.
As I’ve said, we don’t always do the best job at doing our job, but we strive for these things each and every day. It is by God’s grace, mercy, & guidance can we live each and every day assured of our salvation so we can strive to be like Jesus every day. We pray that by our struggle to be like Jesus that first God is glorified, but also that we may be able to show even just one person who is looking for Jesus a little of what it means to be His, and that they will by faith become a child of God as well.