Mission: CORE

Here is regular friendly reminder to head over to Proverbial Thought for today’s devotional thought from the wonderful book of Proverbs!

This has been an interesting couple of months. I have led you through the Four Core Facts (Jesus’ death on the cross, the despair of the Disciples, the change in the Disciples, and the conversion of Paul) and the Four Core Values (Desperate pursuit of God, diligent prayer, consecrated heart, focused life) for the youth group I work with, led by our wonderful youth pastor, Jesse Bollinger (www.ferventyouth.org).

After learning about why the Christian faith is true and what that means for the Christian (the Core Values), that leaves one important thing to cover:

The CORE Mission:

The Core exists to make a worldwide impact for Christ through fervent prayer and by living consecrated lives.

It is true that this was all covered over the past two months. It is also true that sometimes we just need a concise reminder of important things, that little thing to kickstart or restart us into action.

As has been discussed over the past couple weeks, things seem to work well together and often need each other to work well.

The Reason

If Jesus of Nazareth really is Jewish Messiah, the Son of the Living God, then everything He said and did really happened and really matters.

If Jesus really died to take away the sins of the world, the world has a reason to love God and needs to know.

If Jesus really rose from the dead and conquered the grave, the world has a reason to hope and needs to know.

If Jesus really said it requires repentance and belief to be saved from their sin, then the world needs to know.

If Jesus really is God, He deserves our hard work and worship.

The way (Small “w”)

The most efficient way to share the message of Jesus Messiah with the world (also known as sharing the gospel, which means “good news”) is also one of the most difficult things in life … but also the most worth it.

As discussed over the past month, it takes a life focused on the desperate pursuit of God. This means needing a consecrated heart, a heart dedicated to finding and loving God wherever He may be. It is easier to know where God is moving, to dedicate your heart and stick to the dedication of your heart to God, and focus on following and serving God when you are in constant communication with God.

It can easily be argued, therefore, that this all hinges on communication with God.

It must first be understood that God always initiates contact first. We come to God, because God seeks us out. He even reminds us again and again when we forget Him, yet He still likes us to come to Him.

Coming to God is reading the Bible, spending time with other believers, and praying.

When done with a sincere heart willing to be changed by God’s love, grace, and majesty, it becomes easier to give our hearts and lives completely with joy and to know when and where God is moving. We also have a growing desire to share the love, grace, and majesty of God with others.

The Hard Part

This sounds rather easy, though. We simply need to grow closer to God and share Him with others.

Yet, consider this:

  • Reading your Bible means setting aside time from watching your favorite show.
  • Praying means setting time aside from hanging out with friends, seeing that movie, and … learning to be quiet. (Trust me, it is way more difficult than it sounds, especially in our culture)
  • Helping and sharing with others means risking rejection, hurt feelings, and being taken advantage of by others, even loved ones.

The Core

It may be hard, but as I said, this life means time with other Christians. The Core may be the name of the youth group, but we all need to be in a “Core”. Jesus had His 12 Apostles, and of those He was closer to Peter and the brothers James and John. These were Jesus’ core group.

Your core group should include Jesus at the center and some with whom you are close, those who can hold you accountable and lift you up when you fall or are feeling sad, defeated, or stressed.

Most importantly, your core group is where you draw closure to our Lord. As a group you are able to grow in knowledge, grow in compassion, grow in grace, and grow in love. It is most effective when you are also reaching out to others. Not just Christians, but especially to non-Christians and/or those in need (the Bible usually says “the poor, the orphans, and the widows”).

GO!

The moral of the story: the Core Mission is to obey Jesus command to “go and make disciples of all nations” through constant communication with God and by growing in love and grace through study, fellowship, and reaching out to others.

So go! Get to know God better. Grow closer to others. (Matthew 22:36-40)

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