The journey God calls us to take with Him is unique to every believer but has four common movements. Crosswinds have a strategy to help people through these movements. We, as Crosswinds, will faithfully REACH people with the love and message of Jesus Christ as they take the step to BELIEVE. We will RAISE them to follow Christ as they discover what it means to BELONG to Him and His church, as well as BECOME who they were created to be. We will RELEASE them to partner with God to BLESS others by advancing His kingdom.
As we look at the final movement of being released to bless others, what we are really speaking of is living sent lives. This concept of living sent, and blessing others is firmly established in Scripture. Listen to some of the last words Christ spoke to the disciples before ascending to heaven: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (Jn 20:21). The encounter between Jesus and the disciples took place on the same day the tomb was found empty. He finds the disciples together, and it was good that the disciples stayed together. Jesus told them that when He departed, they must love one another, which assumes that they would stay together (see: Jn 15:17). He also prayed for their unity after their departure (see: Jn 17:11). This command was fulfilled, and prayer was answered, at least in the days immediately after His crucifixion.
Jesus might have gone anywhere and done anything after His resurrection, but He wanted to be with His people. He sought out His people. Not only does Jesus go to be with His disciples, but what He says is particularly noteworthy. First, Jesus says, “Peace be with you.” After their desertion of Jesus on the day of His crucifixion, the disciples probably expected words of rebuke or blame. Instead, Jesus brought a word of “peace,” reconciling “peace.” Jesus’ words, “Peace be with you,” is an assurance that there is no cause to fear, and that all is well: for they (see: Lk 24:36) were alarmed by His appearance.” Think about it. Jesus came to His fearful, faithless disciples, and stood among them, speaking a greeting of peace. What is the implication for each of us? At times we may not feel worthy, and we aren’t, but Christ still comes to each of us and desires us to have peace, peace with Him, and true God-given peace in our life. The resurrected Jesus brings peace.
Jesus adds to “Peace be with you,” these words: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Jesus gives His followers, then and now, a mission to continue His work on this earth. This was the commission to do what Jesus had already prayed for in John 17:18 (remember Jesus’ high priestly prayer): “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” This means that both then and now, disciples are sent after the pattern of the Father’s sending of the Son. This means that Christ-followers are sent ones – missionaries, after the Latin verb “to send.” Every believer is called to live SENT LIVES. Jesus sends every believer into the world on mission. Jesus was sent to seek and save the lost (Lk 19:10). We are sent to do the same, sharing the love and message of Christ so that they, too, will be saved.
Practically speaking, I believe every believer ought to have a person pouring into his or her life. Every believer ought to have someone they are pouring into. And, every believer ought to have someone they are sharing the love and message of Christ with the hope they will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is how those sent live.
It is my privilege to serve with each of you. Let me pose a few questions. What is your next step on your discipleship journey? Who is your one (who is pouring into you…who are you pouring into…who are you reaching out to with the love and message of Christ)? Are you willing to live a SENT life? Let’s encourage one another to take our next step in our discipleship journey as sent ones. Soli Deo Glory (Glory to God Alone)!