We have been studying and practicing Jesus’ relational life and rhythms. He lived UP with the Father, IN with his followers and OUT toward the world. In this season of Advent, it is a perfect time to observe and reflect on how Jesus lived OUT. He came into the world he created and became like the people he formed in his image.
His whole life and purpose was to save and set people free, to bring hope and provide salvation to people separated from God. He lived OUT toward the world so that we could be IN relationship with him!
John 1:1–18 NLT
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it….
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God…
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son….
From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
Jesus is Immanuel, God with us! Jesus’ birth and life is the living expression, the best example of living OUT toward the world. That is who he is and what he did. He came to us!
John 20:21 NLT
…“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
We get a clear picture of what Jesus meant when he said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you…” when he sent out the 72 people in groups of two in Luke chapter 10.
Luke 10:1–6 NLT
The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.
“Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’ If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you.
Jesus revealed a key here; persons of peace. A person of peace is someone who is prepared to hear the message of the gospel. They are open and receptive to whatever God will give you in the moment. There will be people who will be receptive and people who won’t. Don’t worry so much about people who aren’t receptive to you and the One who sent you. Focus on those who are receptive. Focus on those you can build relationship with. Focus on those who seek you out because of what they see in you.
Jesus was very intentional to never force himself into a situation or a person’s life.
“Christ didn’t run after the rich young ruler because he knew the young man’s heart wasn’t ready. Jesus knew and let him walk. Jesus never ran after anyone. Instead, he made himself available to those willing to wholeheartedly seek the Way to God, the “Trust about God, and the Life found in God.” —Michael Simpson, Permission Evangelism
In this advent season, in every season actually, we are to be on the lookout for persons of peace.
What if we prayed each day, “Lord, bring a Person of Peace across my path today and give me the grace to speak your words to them”?
OBSERVE / REFLECT / DISCUSS
- Do you make time for relationships with non-Christians?
- Do you have a heart for people who don’t know Jesus?
- Do you recognize persons of peace in your life?
- Are you willing to take risks and get out of your comfort zone?
PLAN / ACCOUNT / ACT
- Pray and ask God to bring a persons of peace across your path this month.
- Consider inviting someone else (or other people) to pray this with you so you can encourage and challenge one another.
- When you recognize a person of peace and have an encounter, tell someone about it and ask them to pray with you for that person.