Guest Blogger: Chip Dean
This week we talked about how every Christian can be the “Light of Jesus” in our community of Hampton Roads. The way God called my wife and I to move to Hampton Roads and minister at Liberty, even through all the phone calls, interviews and tours, was by one phrase that Pastor Grant said. “We want to see the loving arms of Jesus wrapped around Hampton Roads.”
That was a vision that my wife and I could give our lives to. In the same way, we believe that every Christian can contribute to vision that God has given all of us at Liberty. It will take more than pastors and more than a staff to reach the 1.7 million people of Hampton Roads. In order to reach Hampton Roads, it will take every Christian contributing to this God-given mission!
In Philippians 2:9-16, Paul tells the church that we are to “shine as lights in the world” (2:15). As we look through this whole passage, Paul doesn’t just tell us to shine our lights, but he shows us how to shine our lights. I’m so thankful that Jesus is “The Light of The World” and it’s His light that shines through us! Let’s look at what lights up our lights in order to be the “Light of Jesus” in Hampton Roads.
Paul tells us that God’s glory is not a “what,” but a “Who.” “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). God is most glorified when we are bowing our knees in submission and using our mouths in profession that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all life!
Let me encourage you to start every day physically or spiritually on your knees before Jesus as your Lord. Start every day either out loud or from your heart professing that Jesus is your Lord. These are simple ways to show that Jesus is the most awesome part of your life. When Jesus is our awesome, then He can use us to reach Hampton Roads. Every Christian can contribute to our vision of reaching Hampton Roads when Jesus is our AWESOME!
Paul commends churches who not only obey God when the Pastor is around, but also when the Pastor is absent (Philippians 2:12). When Jesus is their awesome, their obedience doesn’t depend on who is around. When we obey God, even away from our church, then we become the church among our community.
Our community needs to see our obedient actions worked out in front of them. Aren’t you thankful that it’s God’s work in us that works out His actions in front of them (Philippians 2:13)? When Jesus is our awesome, then His light shines through our obedient actions to reach Hampton Roads. Every Christian can contribute to our vision of reaching Hampton Roads by our Christ-like ACTIONS.
Not only our actions, but our community needs to see our Christ-like attitude. Paul challenges us to “do all things without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:14). When our community hears us complaining, they hear us saying that our God is not good enough. When our community sees us arguing, they see us saying that our God is not loving enough.
Instead, when we are tempted to complain, we need to praise God for what we do have. When we are tempted to argue, we need to show the same love to others that God has given us. Every Christian can contribute to our vision of reaching Hampton Roads by our Christ-like ATTITUDE.
This is nothing new. When Paul wrote this thousands of years ago that our awesome, our actions, and our attitudes will shine as lights in a world that is starving for God (Philippians 2:15). He encouraged us to “hold fast to the Word of life” until the day Jesus returns (Philippians 2:16).
In fact, the Apostle John writes later about a vision that God gave Him of what eternity will really look like. He said that he saw a great multitude of people from every nation, people group, and languages from around the world. He said they wrapped around the throne of the Lord Jesus in worship.
Liberty, lets never forget that the vision God has given us is His same vision He gave John about eternity. Just like heaven, we are calling the multi-ethnic people of Hampton Roads to join us in worshipping Jesus. Just like heaven is Jesus inviting us into His home, He is calling us to invite people into our homes for Connect Groups, fellowship, and witnessing.
By the four simple words: Awesome, Actions, Attitude, and Afterlife, I believe that every Christian can contribute to our God-given vision of reaching the 1.7 million people of Hampton Roads for Jesus Christ!