The Heart of an apostolic disciple
Discussion/devotional thought of the day:
“After twenty centuries, we have to proclaim with complete conviction that the spirit of Christ has not lost its redemptive force, which alone can satisfy the desires of the human heart. Begin by feeding the truth into your own heart, which will be perpetually restless, as Saint Augustine wrote, for as long as you don’t place it entirely in God.” (escriva)
Over the years, in different denominations, I have that the proclaiming fo the gospel – the sharing of Christ’s mercy and love, is the responsibility of the pastor/priest/church planter/missionary. It is they who are supposed to have the zeal, the wisdom and the knowledge that will lead the billions of people on this planet to Christ, and their preaching will be used apostolically by the Holy Spirit to cut open hearts, to cleanse the sin and repressed anger (as others sin) to bring to life and faith those who would know the promises found in Christ.
Pragmatically I have struggled with this – as some of the greatest apostolic hearts I have seen in young children – for they simply love God, trust in what is promised and tell people about that. I’ve seen it in retirement homes, as eyes barely able to see the pages of scripture and voices confined to wheelchairs share their faith with those around them. I’ve seen it in the jails, where a man in his seventies – who had heard a sermon that reminded him of God’s love – asked permission of the chaplain to share what he heard – for he was under the impression that he wasn’t allowed to, he wasn’t good enough, that God couldn’t use one like him. Given permission to share the grace he knew – but struggled to accept – he filled the chapel the next night….
Anyone who walks with Christ, who trusts in Him in this life and for the next – has a treasure that grows as it is given out – it is the richest of treasures – for it gives that which we need.
We confess that the church is one, its holy, it is catholic (in other words it is more than us, or our congregation, or our brotherhood/denomination) and it is apostolic – but that doesn’t just mean it is founded on the teachings of the apostles, It also means that we are part of the apostolate – all of us, those sent by God to be salt and light in a world that needs something to save and preserve it, to reflect His light into the darkest, slimiest, most putrid of places – lives those who sin… – and then rejoice as they are cleansed….we all pastors/priests/laypeople…. children, the elderly, the intelligent, the average, the simple – we all are sent into this world…
Lord – help us this morning – to realize who You are sending us, and give us the wisdom to reflect Your love and mercy to them… that they may be sure that they are welcome in your presence…. AMEN.
Posted on June 11, 2012, in Devotions and tagged apostolate, Apostolic, Church, church planters, Evangelism, faith, life, Missional, missionaries, pastors, presence of god, priests, proclaiming the good news, trust. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.