Monday, February 22, 2010

Joseph's Missional Life

(Disclaimer: I am aware that this lesson from the Scriptures is for me, first and foremost. If my life had to be spotless in an area before I could speak, write to, others about that area, I'd never have anything to say.)

Back in the fall I introduced my church to the term "missional living". I loosely defined it as "looking for and taking advantage of opportunities for the gospel everywhere we go." In other words, to live with a missional mindset means to be on the lookout in even the most mundane, daily activities (like going the grocery store or taking a walk in your neighborhood) for gospel opportunities.

I saw a great illustration of this as I was reading through the book of Genesis last week. Joseph had been placed in an Egyptian prison and had every reason to sulk about what a bad hand he'd been dealt. But when he saw a baker and cupbearer for Pharaoh looking downcast, he resisted self-absorption and took an interest in them, asking why they were upset:

"When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, 'Why are your faces downcast today?' (Genesis 40:6-7)

From that simple question, Joseph found out that it was a pair of dreams that were troubling these two men, and he went on to share with them how his relationship with God enabled him to address their need.

What a great reminder: it doesn't take anything earth-shattering to live missionally. All it takes is enough love for God and compassion for people to ask others how they're doing when something appears to be troubling them. Just showing simple concern for another hurting person could create opportunities to bear witness to the glories of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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