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29th June 2024


Fit in But Stand Out

How does one maintain a faithful stand for the Lord whilst seeking to live in this world & win souls for Christ?
This is the challenge & dilemma that every believer is faced with & has to address.
There are four main ways that Christians have sought to take a stand historically – defence, relevance, purity & faithful presence.
We looked at purity yesterday & today we will consider FAITHFUL PRESENCE (incarnational ministry).
The incarnation of God in Christ surely must be our greatest model & best example.


But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV


The passion & motivation behind this position is to demonstrate the presence & power of Christ through incarnational ministry.
God took the initiative & came to live amongst us, as one of us, so that we might know salvation (John 1:14).
To quote some of the early Church fathers – He became like us, so that we might become like Him!! What a gift & privilege.
It is by standing alongside people & sharing life with them that you most effectively shape them & the culture they live in. SELAH

Living incarnationally means following the example of Christ our Lord & Master:

  • Staying connected with the Father by spending time daily in the Father’s presence.
  • Living with purpose to win people for Christ & see God’s Kingdom come in greater measure.
  • Dwelling among people by being up close & personal. Befriending & sharing food, fellowship & life.
  • Engaging authentically with others. Genuinely loving & valuing people from all walks of life.

Jesus mastered incarnational living & ministry & He wants to keep doing it in you, & through you.
Every Christian is sent with the cross to culture through the community of the Church.
In this way the good news of the Gospel & the transforming power of Christ can impact people & places.
This is the mission of Jesus which His people (the body of Christ / the Church) are commissioned to complete (Matthew 24:14, 28:18-20).
If Christ did it through incarnation, then we must also do it through incarnation. SELAH

Incarnational living & mission is motivated by love (John 3:16) & is first & foremost God-centred & people focussed.
It engages & keeps on engaging in authentic & genuine ways to value & benefit people. Seeking their greatest good & highest welfare.
Through maintaining connection with the Father purity & passion is maintained. Intimacy with God leads to influence & impact with people.
The purpose & goal is primarily to win people rather than arguments. Bearers & bringers of the gospel & the kingdom.
Just as Christ did where necessary confront without compromise but have the grace to disagree well.
There is nothing more relevant than a person or place being touched & transformed by the presence & power of God. SELAH
In this way FAITHFUL PRESENCE (incarnation) embraces & expresses all the positives of the DEFENCE, RELEVANCE & PURITY approaches.
It is all about embodied presence. Christ in You being taken to the nations. Hallelujah!!

For Reflection

  • In what ways have I modelled incarnational living & ministry?
  • Are there any ways in which I am can provide more of an embodied presence as a Christian?
  • Meditate upon how we are called to model incarnational living & mission.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that You so loved this world & it’s people that you sent Your Son Jesus to die for it, & them,
That You were in Christ reconciling this world to Yourself and redeeming people from every tribe, tongue & nation.
Jesus, thank You that through the incarnation You came to live as one of us, as a human being,
And that you died for all humanity so that I could know salvation.
Holy Spirit teach, train, equip & empower me to follow & walk in the way of Christ,
Incarnationally sharing life & mission to enable others to come to know Jesus, & His salvation.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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