If my mission is to bring Christ’s life to people, it is important that I know the attributes of his life. If I know what these are, this should also be the attributes of my life. Because, as he is, we are in this world (1).
Last week I focused on some of these attributes in one of Jesus’ seven “I am” statements in John’s gospel, and I included the “I am” as one of the attributes. “To be” is a vital part of our identity as human “beings” – and it is equally important when I speak about my identity in Jesus Christ. First of all, “I am” in him. It should not start anywhere else. The challenge is to keep this in mind all the time. Before Jesus sent out the twelve disciples, we read that:
Jesus called His twelve disciples to Him…
It is gives a clear signal that our calling is first and foremost ‘to Him’. Very often the ‘sending out’ – the commissioning, is seen and defined as ‘the’ calling; however, the sending out is a consequence of that calling, and the fact that through responding to it, we have become his body. It is something the love we experience in Christ ‘compels us’ to do (2).
The core of the call is always ‘to’ Christ and to be found ‘in’ Him. If we forget this, many of us will still go out and serve. The consequence of this can easily be a confusion of identity and we start seeking confirmation in the results rather than relaxing in the truth that we are in the world as He is in the world. And if I don’t know who I am and start to question my own identity in Christ, how can I then lead people to the great “I am”?
The remedy is simple:
Every day I come to him who calls me to himself, the one in whom “I live, move and have my being” (3).
‘Manna’ for today:
I am called to Him
(1) 1 John 4:17b
(2) 2 Corinthians 5:14
(3) Acts 17:28
Words by Colonel Jostein Nielsen.