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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

The Lordship of Christ

By L. John Bueno
Feb. 6, 2011

In his first public address immediately after the Holy Spirit’s outpouring, Peter proclaimed, “Let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36, NIV).

The key to that verse centers on the lordship of Jesus. At the time, Jerusalem was a spiritually hard city. Scripture records that Jesus didn’t perform many miracles in Judea because of the people’s unbelief, and Jerusalem was the pivotal spot in Judea. And yet, in response to Peter’s message, 3,000 people accepted the lordship of Jesus Christ and received Him as Savior.

Wholehearted recognition of Christ’s lordship was the distinguishing characteristic of the Early Church. Without reserve, believers committed themselves to everything Jesus taught while He was on earth. Since Jesus’ life and ministry affected every area of humanity, His Church took on the responsibility to reach the lost, plant the church, train disciples and touch the suffering — just as He did. These four facets of the Early Church’s mission are the four pillars of Assemblies of God World Missions as believers today present the lordship of Christ to a lost world.

All four pillars support the mission of the Church. Complete focus on one pillar to the exclusion of the others results in imbalance. Obedience to Jesus’ lordship means that we will obey what He said, what He taught and what He asked us to do. It is an all-inclusive mission.

Just before He ascended back to heaven, Jesus told His followers to preach the gospel — the key ingredient in reaching a lost world. As they did, new churches would be planted as the number of believers multiplied. Still the work was not complete. Jesus also gave the disciples responsibility to train others to obey His lordship, just as they were doing. And interwoven in this process was Jesus’ own example of compassion. He personally touched the sick and provided for the hungry. He even took time to bless any child who came to Him.

The Church’s mission is intended for the whole world. Our commitment is not just to one area or to people with easy access to the gospel. This doesn’t eliminate the need to preach in the United States and other “reached” countries; all lost people need Christ. Neither can we ignore certain groups because they once rejected the gospel or are considered too hard to reach. Jesus’ command includes every person and every part of the world. His mission involves going to every corner of the earth to find those who don’t know Him.

Any great move of God begins as followers of Christ recommit themselves to obeying what Jesus said. Recognizing His lordship is more than singing about His majesty. If we are true worshippers, we will carry the message of Christ to the lost of our world and help meet the needs of the suffering.

During His time on earth, Jesus ministered to the sick and destitute. But He also showed care and compassion toward Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, the publican and the rich young ruler — people who seemed to be in control of their lives. His approach was all-inclusive; He never rejected people because of who they were or what they did. He cared for Mary Magdalene, a woman filled with evil spirits, as well as prominent men like Nicodemus and the rich young ruler.

Through His actions, Jesus showed us that we are responsible to reach people wherever they are, regardless of background, ethnicity or status in life. He is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

As a church, we are called to reach the whole world with the whole gospel. Jesus gave us the pattern to follow and taught us the pillars upon which to build. As we recognize His lordship over our lives — and our Fellowship — He will give us the power and wisdom to bring His mission to completion.

L. JOHN BUENO is executive director for AG World Missions.

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