PROCLAIMING CHRIST THE SAVIOR

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2015

(Part 31)

PROCLAIMING CHRIST THE SAVIOR

April 12, 2015

Today’s readings:

Acts 4:32-35

Psalm 118:2-24

1 John 5:1-6

John 20:19-31

God created a bountiful world, with more than enough for everyone, such that there should be no one in need. However, due to sin and selfishness, there are very many people who are in need–materially, emotionally, socially, spiritually.

This is why Jesus came into the world, to bring restoration to God’s original plan. God did His part, and now we are called to do ours. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (Jn 20:21b). We are to share Christ and the love of the Father to all.

Why must we share Christ? For one thing, we are to live out the two greatest commandments–love of God and love of neighbor. Our neighbors are those who are children of God, and “we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments.” (1 Jn 5:2). What is God’s commandment? We are sent to proclaim God’s salvation to all. We are to bear “witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 4:33b).

How do we share Christ as a community, the body that God has raised to be evangelistic and missionary?

First, we are to be “of one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32a). This means that:

* we are to try to take on the very mind and heart of God, including God’s preferential option for the poor.

* we realize we are family, that we are brothers and sisters to one another, with the attendant love and care that that entails.

* we know we are co-workers and fellow servants of Christ, doing His work and His will in the world.

* we engage in spiritual warfare as comrades-in-arms and fellow soldiers in the army of God.

* we are to work at peace and unity in the body.

* we are to be humbly submitted to authority in the body.

Second, we are not to claim any of our possessions as our own (Acts 4:32b). This means that:

* we realize that we are merely stewards of what we “own.”

* we offer our time, talent, abilities, money and other resources to support the work of the community.

* we never strive for personal glory but give the glory only to God.

* our lives belong to God and we place our lives in His hands and at His disposal.

Third, we are to have “everything in common.” (Acts 4:32c). This means that:

* we strive to have a common vision.

* we work together on our common mission.

* we hold the interests and well-being of our brethren even before our own.

* we weep together in sorrows and rejoice together in victories.

What is the result of all the above? “There was no needy person among them” (Acts 4:34a). This means that:

* every person has the opportunity to meet and know Christ and thus experience his salvation.

* no one will be in need, as community members share of what they have in order to meet the needs of all.

* the poor can begin to be provided their equitable share in the goods of the world.

* there can be peace in the world.

Jesus is Savior and Lord. “The Lord, my strength and might, has become my savior.” (Ps 118:14). And because we proclaim Christ as Savior and Lord, then he has become our strength and might. Jesus sends us and for this purpose has given us the Holy Spirit. “Receive the Holy Sprit.” (Jn 20:22b). With the power and strength of the Spirit, we can overcome the enemy. “The Lord is with me as my helper; I shall look in triumph on my foes.” (Ps 118:7).

We can thus effectively proclaim the gospel. Jesus has sent us, so we are apostles. “With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.” (Acts 4:33). This is the greatest work we can do. It is a manifestation of our love for God and love for neighbor. We evangelize, so that many others “may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief (they) may have life in his name.” (Jn 20:31).

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