Encouragement from Resonate Global Mission

Encouragement from Resonate Global Mission

Today’s encouragement comes from Resonate Global Mission.

“I think I can, I think I can. . . .”

You might remember from your childhood—or have read to your children—the story of The Little Engine That Could. It’s widely used to inspire hard work and disciplined perseverance. The emphasis is on personal achievement of an objective. In contrast, the final words of Jesus to his disciples as he handed over his mission to them communicate a very different message: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…”

Jesus’ followers were called not to fulfill a personal goal, but to surrender their very lives in pursuit of God’s purposes in God’s world. “Witness” is an English translation of the original Greek word that also means “martyr,” one who attests to something with his/her life. And for those first believers, confessing Jesus as Lord meant risking persecution and possible death.

Jesus’ followers were called to carry out God’s mission not by sheer personal resolve, but by the power of the Holy Spirit – “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Finally, the testimony they were to bear was not an individual endeavour, but one to be carried out as a community (the “you” in Jesus’ words refers to all of them; it is plural).

What then does this mean for us as Jesus’ followers, today? What might it look like for us to be witnesses of God’s love in the world?

Like those first disciples, we are sent into our families, neighbourhoods and city to live out not our personal agendas, but God’s reconciling, peacemaking, life-giving purposes—even if doing so brings us judgement or risk. We are sent not in our own strength, but in that of God’s Spirit. And we are not sent alone, but as a community of believers. Rather than gritting our teeth and panting, “I think I can,” we join with the apostle Paul and other Christians throughout the ages, acknowledging that we “can do all this through Him who gives [us] strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Let us be empowered by the Spirit to join Jesus on mission.

Nick

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