Going into the World with Hope
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. – Acts 1:8
The grace that has been poured out into our hearts spills out into the world as we walk among our neighbors with transformed lives. Not all are called to be Evangelists but all are transformed in a way that our neighbors will notice.
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’ – Mark 12:31
It is the love of Christ that allows us to love others. We are to be generous with our possessions and our time with those in need. We should grow in our practice of hospitality to our neighbors and strangers giving to those who ask. They are created in the image of God our Father.
Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. – 1 Thess 4:11–12
The believer is not called to draw great attention to himself by bumper stickers or screen savers but his life and work is marked by integrity and diligent work. Our attitudes toward our leaders at work should be one of respect and gentleness and bearing up with humility under pressure. It is our unusual conduct that will draw attention as people ask for the hope that is within us.
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. – Matt 5:42
The believer’s life is marked by compassion to others first in his family, then in the household of faith, and also to the world at large. We in the West must constantly be aware that we have many privileges and opportunities that others lack. We are to use our privilege and resources not ultimately for our gain but for to the good of those in need. A generous heart and hand is something that the Lord gives to us in increased measure. It is the Diaconal office that leads the Church in its ministry of mercy to the Church and to outsiders.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matt 28:18–20
Christ’s Kingdom advances as our lives and the Word of God continues to evidence forth the grace of God in Christ. We proclaim Christ and Him crucified to a lost and dying world because it is only the Gospel of Christ that can set men, women, and children free from slavery to sin and death. The discipleship process comes full circle as we go out and invite others in to “Come and See!”