As followers of Jesus Christ, we are all called to live sent. The early church in Acts serves as a powerful example of what happens when believers are filled with the Holy Spirit and passionate about continuing to do and teach what Jesus did and taught. They experienced exponential growth, miracles, and a powerful sense of unity. They understood that their purpose extended beyond the four walls of the church.
In contrast, when we become overly fixated on the comfort and routines of our church gatherings, we risk quenching the Holy Spirit’s fire within us. We may inadvertently create an environment that caters solely to our own needs and desires, where the primary focus becomes preserving our traditions and maintaining the status quo. In doing so, we limit the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and hinder the growth of God’s Kingdom. When we become too comfortable within the walls of the church, there is a risk of unintentionally shifting our focus inward, neglecting the mission that God has entrusted us with.
God’s desire is for us to be a light in the world, impacting and influencing those around us with the love and truth of the Gospel. Jesus Himself commanded His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. God’s calling is for us to LIVE SENT, and that involves making disciples in the places where we live, work, and play. This calling necessitates that we step outside the confines of our church gatherings and actively engage with the world around us.
But what does it mean to live sent? How can we carry the Gospel where we live, work, and play? Acts 3 provides us with a powerful model for living sent. It showcases the example of Peter and John, who served as ambassadors for Christ as they went about their daily routines. They didn’t compartmentalize their faith to the church gathering; instead, they actively engaged with people in the midst of their everyday lives. This model teaches us that living sent is about being intentional in our interactions and relationships, seizing opportunities to share the love and message of Jesus. It’s about being Christ’s representatives in our homes, workplaces, schools, and communities.
- Engage People
In Acts 3:1-2, we see Peter and John continuing their traditional Jewish ritual of prayer at the temple. This act holds a profound lesson for us. Peter and John recognized that their role as witnesses of Jesus went beyond the walls of the church; it required them to be among the people, engaging with them where they were.
We must recognize that the transformation of our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and cities is not going to happen because of our church. Rather, the responsibility rests on each individual within the church, including you and me, carrying the Gospel to people near to us but far from God.
Engaging with people as we go about our daily lives is a powerful way to fulfill this calling. We encounter countless individuals who are spiritually lost, broken, and searching for meaning. It is through our interactions with them that we have the opportunity to share the hope and truth of the Gospel. Where God placed YOU on the map is where He wants YOU on mission.
As we engage with people in our daily lives, let us remember that we are not alone in this mission. The same Holy Spirit who empowered Peter and John in Acts 3 is available to us today. He equips and empowers us to carry the message of hope and salvation to those around us. We can rely on His guidance and strength as we step out in faith to share the love of Jesus.
Let us be intentional about engaging with the people we encounter as we go about our daily lives. Through our genuine connections, acts of kindness, and proclamation of the Gospel, we can make a lasting impact on individuals and communities. By living out our faith in this way, we become true ambassadors of Christ, fulfilling His calling to make disciples and extend His Kingdom to the ends of the earth.
- Meet Needs
Acts 3:3-10 tells the story of a crippled man begging for money outside the temple. While the majority of people passed him by without a second glance, Peter and John saw an opportunity to make a difference in his life.
Peter and John did not possess the wealth or resources typically associated with meeting the beggar’s request for money. However, they understood that they had something far more valuable to offer—the transformative power of the Gospel. By looking directly into the beggar’s eyes and acknowledging his presence, Peter and John conveyed that they saw him not just as a nameless beggar but as a person of worth and dignity. Peter’s words, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6), revealed their understanding of the power and authority they possessed as followers of Christ. They recognized that the greatest gift they could offer was the opportunity for this man to experience the life-transforming love and power of Jesus.
As the man responded in faith, his physical healing became a visible demonstration of the spiritual restoration that is available through Christ. He not only walked but leaped and praised God, experiencing a complete transformation that amazed all who witnessed it. This miraculous event served as a powerful testimony to the saving and healing power of Jesus.
The story of the crippled man in Acts 3 teaches us a crucial principle: every individual matters to God, and therefore, they should matter to us as well. It is a reminder that God’s heart is filled with compassion for each person, and He desires that we share in His concern. He calls us to see beyond the external appearances and societal labels and recognize the inherent value and worth of every individual.
As followers of Christ, we are called to carry the Gospel with us wherever we go. We are entrusted with the mission of embodying Christ’s love and grace to those around us. Like Peter and John, we may not always possess material wealth or grand resources, but we have something far more valuable—the message of salvation and restoration found in Jesus Christ.
By recognizing the worth and significance of each individual we encounter, we can make a difference in their lives. We must be willing to step outside our comfort zones, engage with those in need, and offer the hope of the Gospel through both our words and actions. As we extend kindness, compassion, and the message of Jesus, we become vessels of God’s love, agents of transformation, and ambassadors of His Kingdom.
- Proclaim the Gospel
In Acts 3:12-26, Peter seizes the opportunity to boldly proclaim the Gospel to the astonished crowd following the miraculous healing of the crippled man. With conviction, Peter directs their attention to Jesus, emphasizing that the same Jesus who brought physical restoration to the man also possesses the power to save their souls. In his proclamation, Peter addresses the fundamental issue of sin, highlighting humanity’s separation from God and our role in the crucifixion of Jesus. He also proclaims the good news that Jesus willingly laid down His life as a sacrifice, paying the penalty for our sins. He emphasizes the resurrection, declaring Jesus as Lord and the source of true life. Peter offers a message of hope and redemption, inviting the crowd to repentance and the experience of forgiveness and spiritual refreshment through faith in Jesus Christ.
There is a popular Christian saying, “Preach the Gospel. Use words if necessary,” which carries the idea of living in such a way that our lives point people to Jesus. I appreciate the intention behind it, as our actions and character should reflect the transformative power of the Gospel. However, the saying is incomplete and does not accurately convey how the Gospel works or how God redeems sinners.
The Gospel is fundamentally good news, and news isn’t truly good unless it is shared. While our lives should emulate the Gospel through good works and godly living, they alone cannot effectively communicate the fullness of Jesus’ substitutionary death for sinners or the redemption offered by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Therefore, it is crucial to recognize that preaching the Gospel and using words are both necessary. We must not neglect actively sharing the Gospel verbally. It is only through our words that we can articulate the truths of the Gospel, proclaim God’s love and forgiveness, and invite others to respond in faith. The Gospel message requires clear communication of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Of course, our lives should be consistent with the Gospel we proclaim, but our actions alone cannot fully communicate the depth and significance of the Gospel message. Both our words and our deeds work in tandem to convey the transformative power of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
So, while we strive to live out the Gospel in our daily lives, let us not neglect the importance of using words to proclaim the good news. Preaching the Gospel and using words ARE necessary because they provide the clarity and understanding required to fully grasp the message of salvation and to respond to God’s invitation to enter into a relationship with Him.
Our neighborhoods, workplaces, social circles—these are the fertile grounds where we have the opportunity to shine the light of Christ and make disciples. When we confine our faith to the comfort zone of the church, we limit the transformative power of the Gospel. Instead, let us embrace the call to live sent, intentionally seeking opportunities to share God’s love, offer hope, and be Christ’s ambassadors in our everyday lives. By doing so, we fulfill our purpose and become instruments of God’s Kingdom expansion, making disciples and transforming the world around us.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to live sent. We are called to engage people, meet their needs, and proclaim the Gospel wherever we go. We must never forget that one person matters to God and should matter to us. Our communities will be impacted when we open our eyes to the needs of people around us and engage with them in Christ’s love. By living sent, we become agents of change, bringing the power of the Gospel to those who need it most.
Just as Peter and John did, we can incorporate this model into our daily lives by keeping our eyes open to the needs of others, being ready to offer a helping hand or a listening ear. It means being bold in proclaiming the Gospel, both through our actions and our words. Living sent requires a shift in perspective, viewing our daily routines as divine appointments and opportunities to make a difference for God’s Kingdom. By embodying the principles of Acts 3, we can become effective witnesses for Christ in the places we live, work, and play. We can truly live out our calling to…live sent!