Core Values: Engagement

In Matthew 22, a lawyer among the Pharisees asked Jesus a question intended to trick Him. He said, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

This Sunday is the last in our Core Values series. The grand finale? Engagement. In other words, it all comes down to this: loving God and people with everything we have. This is how we connect people to God’s indelible grace, and it’s how we are reminded of our own need for His all-encompassing grace time and time again.

You and I carry the Holy Spirit and the aroma of Jesus everywhere we go - our homes, our neighborhoods, our cities, and our world. What does it look like for you and for me, in our context, to truly engage with people, to live missionally, to make much of Jesus, to make BE salt and light in our world? 

In other words, how do we live out Jesus’ greatest commandment? How on earth do we love like this?

It feels overwhelming, doesn’t it? It feels like it requires so much effort. I mean, do I need to go halfway around the world to do this? Do I need to create some grand ministry that reaches as many people as possible? 

If God is calling you to these things, absolutely. Let us know how we can partner with you!

But truthfully? The vast majority of ministry happens in the seemingly mundane. The vast majority of mission happens in the ordinary spaces of the day to day. The great lie the enemy wants you believe – the one he whispers over and over again is this: you are irrelevant. There’s no way you can have a real impact where you are. He gets you to look at people around you and think, “Why can’t I go there, or be like that, or do those BIG things for the Lord?” And we get lulled into complacency. We miss out on the opportunities right in front of us.

Here’s the truth, Christian: you have purpose because God’s indelible grace has imbued your life with meaning. 

Look around you. 

Put down the phone. 

Look past the distractions.

Love God, and love the people in front of you intentionally.

This is engagement. This is mission. This is the whole point of life.

Sometimes it looks like wrangling your kiddos in the midst of chaos. 

Sometimes it looks like welcoming a foster child into your home. 

Sometimes it looks like caring for an aging parent. 

Sometimes it looks like asking your server at lunch how she is truly doing.

Sometimes it looks like laboring at the same job, day after day, year after year.

Sometimes it looks like refusing to give up on a spouse who has betrayed your trust.

Sometimes it looks like sitting in a hospital waiting room with friends who are grieving.

No matter where you are, or what season you’re in, God has placed people right in front of you and promises to bring hope in the midst of hopelessness. Your role? To love them as He does. He is glorified in this simple, yet sacrificial act.

So let’s love, Bridge family. Let’s love people into God’s indelible grace, from Alton to Africa and everywhere in between, for our good and for His glory.

With great joy and love,