1.) Lavish the love of Christ on the next person you encounter.
We most often think of “changing the world” in numerical terms. Sold out stadiums, seven digit bank accounts, at least 20,000 Twitter followers. Something big and brash and bold.
Before we accept this as the standard model for world change, we need to consider God’s strategy for global revolution. Jesus didn’t go out seeking large crowds and celebrity status.
He began and grew His entire ministry by loving one person at a time.
At any moment He wanted, Jesus could have called down fire from Heaven bright enough for the whole world to see, commanded all the nations to come and worship Him, and they would have come.
Instead, He stopped and had lunch with a vertically-challenged, tax collector who was spying on Him from a tree. Got down in the dirt to give sight to a lone blind man. Stopped a procession of thousands to speak to a single, unclean woman. Went out of His way to encounter the town harlot at the community well. Wrapped Himself in a towel and washed one pair of stinky, disciple, feet at a time.
If He wanted to, Jesus could have healed entire crowds at once with a whisper, or a single nod of His head. Instead, He beckoned the sick and the dying to come and encounter Him one by one.
Why? We serve an intensely personal God whose goal is to establish an intensely personal relationship with us. Jesus didn’t die for the concept of changing the “whole world.” He died to change you, and me, and your hair dresser, and the man stuck in front of you in traffic, and the woman taking forever to use her food stamps at Walmart.
What if we understood what Jesus understood--
We change the world when we change one person.
Heaven throws a party not when we gain a bigger audience, but whenever a single lost soul crosses the threshold from darkness to light, and becomes a child of God.
Individual PEOPLE are the big deal to God.
If you wanna go big, start “small.” What if the biggest, bravest, thing you could do for the world was to show Jesus to the next person you encounter, even if you get no recognition for it?
2) Lavish the love of Christ on the next person you encounter.
Admit it. You’re kind of disappointed that point two is the same as point one. Perhaps you were looking for something more exciting, adventurous.
Understand that God is not asking you to shrink the size or scope of your dreams for changing the world. He is simply asking that they take a different shape.
Rather than looking like a faceless globe, charity project, or one million hits on youtube, let your dream take the shape of the people God has placed in your life.
Ambitious Christians quickly fall into the trap of disillusionment when our plans for making a difference fail to reach more than a handful of people. Our enthusiasm withers as we discover that hardly anyone wants to read our blog posts, listen to our music, or help enact our grand ideas.
We might be devastated, but rest assured that God is not. Perhaps He is simply holding back the floodgates until we grow to understand what is most important.
Only when we make loving people a priority, can God begin to use us in the “big” ways He intends.
We will NEVER outgrow our calling to love people. Our individual giftings are merely outlets meant to be used to love people better.
The next time you feel frustrated that you don’t have a current platform to reach millions, remember you have something much more precious--you have the people around you.
3) Repeat Steps 1-2 Indefinitely.
You know you saw this coming.
God’s plan for changing the world hasn’t evolved since Jesus left. He is an excellent Strategist. His call to love selflessly, which was originally given to 12 people, has turned into a global phenomenon that now includes over 2 billion followers.
We are mistaken, however, if we believe this means that we can leave the responsibility of spreading His message to a handful of “super” Christians. His plan for touching and transforming individual souls only works when Christians everywhere choose to actively participate in this strategy of loving on one person at a time.
The whole system crumbles when we choose to leave the hard work up to other people, or try to skip over this “small” business of loving people for more glamorous forms of ministry.
If you are in Christ, God has placed a supernatural line up of people in your path who are in need of His touch. Can you imagine what would happen if Christians across the globe began to take seriously the call to love their little corner of the Kingdom into life?
...I think we could change the world.
Even the gates of hell wouldn’t stand against us.
How will you change the world today? Who will you love?
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- Jesus' call to love others' selflessly-John 13:1-17; 34