Feb 07, 2011 Future Grace: Cultivating the Missionary Spirit of Jesus
Originally posted on May 27, 2005
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
The word “ethos” means the spirit and attitude that characterizes a community of people. Every group has an ethos. Fear, pride, service, compassion, openness, prejudice, generosity, and suspicion are all examples of attitudes a group can take on as its ethos. The question is, “What is the ethos of Grace Community Church?”
The Attitude of Jesus
Philippians tells us our attitude (ethos, characteristic spirit) is to be that of Jesus. He emptied Himself of His privileges as God, He humbled Himself by becoming a man, and He went to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Philippians 2:7-8). He did this for God’s glory and for our good. We could say that Jesus’ attitude was missionary in nature. His ethos was sacrifice and service for salvation.
Cultivating the Missionary Spirit of Jesus
It is especially critical in this time of building and locating on our new property that we cultivate the attitude of Jesus in ourselves. As I have shared in previous Words of Grace e-messages, without a missionary spirit, our efforts to build a building will not result in the expansion of Christ’s kingdom. With a missionary ethos, our buildings will be used to build people and to glorify God.
1. To cultivate a missionary spirit we must be filled with the Spirit of Jesus. Read the gospels to catch the heart of Jesus. Hear Him call you to an affection greater than self and a service great enough to expel the power of self. Take His kingdom as your priority. Believe Him and yield to His Spirit.
2. To cultivate a missionary spirit we must be in touch with people. Talk to them, listen to them, and hear their heart. Jesus did this. Look at people as they are, not as they would have you see them. People do not have their lives together; they are in need of Jesus. Let their need stir your spirit.
3. To cultivate a missionary spirit we must be consumed with the gospel. Meditate daily on the grace of God in Christ. Think often on the richness of your salvation. Celebrate in worship the mercy of God toward you. Remind yourself that the Missionary God came to you in Christ to make you right with Him.
4. To cultivate a missionary spirit we must be on guard against the water bucket of sin that threatens to dowse the flame of zeal for God’s glory and the salvation of others. Whenever you sense the sins of self creeping into your mind and heart, call them out, renounce them, and return to the heart of Jesus.
May the attitude of Grace be that of Jesus.