Building a community of faith through God's faithfulness in North Minneapolis

From Pastor Aaron’s Desk…

Whoever abides in Jesus, ought to walk in the same way in which Jesus walked. Beloved, according to 1 John 2:5-6, this is the vision of life followers of Jesus are to fulfill.

If we have a genuine relationship with the triune God, our lives will be undergoing transformation. We will reflect, more and more, the character of Jesus. Love for God and others will increase. Humility will grow. Obedience to God’s word will deepen. These are a few of the individual attributes (Galatians 5:22-23 provides a list of other ones) that will be evident in our lives if we have genuine fellowship with Jesus.

When you look at Jesus, you see his faith, love, and obedience, but you also see specific roles (functions) that Jesus fulfilled in his mission. Below are some of those roles that were part of Jesus’ mission. These roles of Jesus provide direction as to how we are to live our transformed character (love, humility, obedience) as his followers on mission with him.

Creator: “By [Jesus] all things were created…all things were created through him and for him” Colossians 1:16. We do not create from nothing as God does. But being made in God’s image and walking with Jesus, entails that we are to create good for others.  I love this quote from Dorothy Sayers that reminds us of the biblical importance of the work of creating. “The Church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours, and to come to church on Sundays. What the Church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables.” For those that literally create with your hands. Are you creating that which is good? True artwork? Beautiful music? Praiseworthy cabinets? Friends, in your home, have you considered how you create a place of hospitality? Teachers, how can we help support you in what you need to create a good environment for learning as you teach the next generation?

Light: Jesus is the light of the world. His disciples are to be light too (Matthew 5:14). Light exposes and removes evil (See Ephesians 5:8-14). I was thankful to hear of the light being shown recently on the sex-trafficking that is associated with the Super Bowl. That dark side to hosting an event like the Super Bowl, is often not brought up or dealt with. But in MN, churches worked with the government to expose this darkness. Brothers and sisters, how can you shine light where you are?

Servant: Jesus is the suffering the servant, who gave his life so that we might live eternally. Being Jesus’ disciple entails taking the role of servant in each of our relationships. How can we be life-giving (the vision of what our service should achieve) in our relationships? Take a moment to make a list of the people you interact with this week (or should interact with) and then ask God to help you come up with one practical way you can serve each person this week. For example, if you are in school, can you seek to serve a fellow student in your class? Maybe this means more time spent helping your peer learn a concept than you would normally invest in schoolwork.

Prophet:  Jesus is the prophet of God. Greater than speaking God’s truth, Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). To walk as Jesus walked entails that we are called to speak God’s truth in all of our life. Our actions and words are to reflect reality. Walking as a prophet doesn’t mean predicting the future. Instead it means true actions and words that testify to what is wrong and what is right in the spheres of life we are in. This first takes self-examination, asking God to reveal areas we need to change to reflect God’s truth. Then it usually takes courage and confidence in God to speak for what is right in a world that often lacks a moral foundation.

Priest, Healer, and King are three other roles to briefly consider.

The function of a priest was interceding for others. Through Jesus’ redemptive work for us as the high priest, we can now draw close to God with full assurance (Hebrews 10:19-23). Because of this, Christian can intercede with God through prayer for others who may not know God. Are you praying for your workplace? For your family? For your neighbors?

Jesus healed physically and spiritually. How can you walk as Jesus and bring healing through words of encouragement and deeds of care in your neighborhood? Have you told those you know about the healing that can be found in the gospel?

One part of reflecting Jesus as a king is using the power we have been given to bless and strengthen others. What are some others? How does this change how you lead?   

In your different spheres of life (home, work, play, school, neighborhood) would you consider how you can live out all these biblical roles and by doing so, image Jesus, and witness to him by how you live? When you do so, you walk as Jesus walked on his mission.

This is what God calls us to in 1 John and this is also what the world desperately needs. As Dallas Willard writes, “The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who…are identified as ‘Christians’ will become disciples – students, apprentices, practitioners – of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner of human existence.”

Learning from Him,

Pastor Aaron