SAVED AND SENT
A Series by Kymone Hinds
I am sure I am not the only one it has happened to. I have composed important emails, to send to coworkers, my boss, people that I minister to. I put all the details that were necessary in that email and checked all of the spelling and grammar to ensure I made the best impression. And then I waited. I was waiting for a response from the other person. Waiting for an answer to my question and I did not receive it in a timely manner.
When I followed up by phone call or text, the other person informed me that they never received the email that I had spent all that time working on. Well I did what we all do. I go into my email and look at my outbox only to realize I never hit the sent button and that email stayed for days or hours in the draft folder. I know I am not the only one that has happened to. That email was saved but not sent. And it did not have the effect that it should have had because it never was sent.
As we discussed in the last issue, God is calling the church to love the world – the people in the world, and hate the world – the value system of the world. So how does the church accomplish this?
First we recognize that God calls the church out of the world using the gospel. The good news of what Christ has done for us. Not good advice of what we should do to live a better life, but the news that because we could not do anything good, Jesus came and lived a perfect life and gave us credit for it. And that news calls us away from the value system of the world into this body God has formed that’s living by a new value system.
1 Peter 2:9 says this:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
The church has been called out of the world by God using the gospel and that’s how we are saved. And by the same power of the gospel, God continues to call the world out of us. That’s a continuous process to form our hearts to be like His heart.
But God does not only call the church out of the world. He sends the church back into the world. In John 17 we find Jesus praying for His church. He is getting ready to go to the cross and we find His longest recorded prayer. In this prayer He prays for the church.
Let’s look from verse 14 – 18. “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”
Jesus is praying for the church. He says the world will hate the church. He says don’t take them out of the world but keep them from the value system of the world. Sanctify them through your truth. Continue to get the worldly systems out of them. And then He says, I am sending the church back into the world.
Jesus calls us out of the world, so He can send us back into the world. He calls us away from that value system so we can go back and reach others who still live by that value system.
For God loves the people of the world so much that He chose their well being over the safety of His Son. And He says to His church, now go reach them, go tell them.
God is a sending God. He sends the Son into the world. The Son sends the Spirit into the world. The Father, Son and the Spirit send the church into the world. God has a mission to reach people in our world and He has called us, the church, to be a part of that mission.
And many of us as Christians are like that email I talked about earlier. We are saved, but we are not sent.
Each of us has to embrace that individually and collectively there is someone God is sending us to reach, serve, and share the gospel with. The reason we work where we work and live where we live is because there is someone in that circle that God is sending us to.
What if we prayed and asked God to move us out of the draft folder? Ask God who He is sending you to and then live life in a way that allows us to interact, build relationships and be the good news to people around us.
I started playing basketball at a local YMCA a few years ago. I was out of shape and was not confident in my skill. So I was honestly playing defense on offense. I did not want to get the ball passed to me because I was afraid I would mess up. I was unfit and not confident in my ability.
And that’s how I had lived before I moved here to Memphis. I lived closed off to others. I did not want God to send anyone to me.
But then I realized that because of the gospel, I am already empowered and have all I need, I learned to live open. I live now with new eyes asking God to show me who He is sending my way. I have intentionally began to engage in activities like running with others so I can meet people in my neighborhood. I have begun reaching out to invite neighbors to family celebrations. I am equipped by the gospel and now I want God to send me to people and send people to me.
It’s time we lived saved and sent.
Kymone Hinds, his wife and their three energetic children live in Memphis, TN.
He pastors two churches - Overton Park SDA and Journey Fellowship.
Hinds also speaks and writes regularly on different life issues.
You can connect with Kymone via twitter (@kymonehinds) or on his blog at kymonehinds.com