This chapter is a hinge in the book between the opening foundational theology of fallen but redeemed people in God’s world and he work of ambassadors of Christ applied to counselling. It was really helpful to be reminded that Christians live in a different reality to lost, spiritually blind people, because we have seen Christ.
It seems we are getting to the place where the rubber hits the road as the end of the chapter sets the scene for us as Christ’s ambassadors. We are to love, know, speak, do with those who God puts in our life, from spouses and children to neighbours and people at church, to deal with the sensitive issues of the heart.
Here’s the highlights for me from the chapter:
Don’t be shaped by the expectations of others. Follow Christ’s example and focus on the heart. [p96]
Starting with your heart means understanding and submitting to God’s calling, which will shape your life and relationships. God has called us to nothing less than incarnating Christ to others. I am to be rooted in the Word, and zealous to bring the living Word – Christ- to lost, blind and struggling people. You and I are called to put flesh and blood on who Christ is and what he came to do. [p97]
The problem is not that God is not here or that he is inactive; the problem is that we don’t see him. Our perspective on life is often tragically Godless. [p98]
Christian unity is has a greater goal than enjoyable friendships. The goal is for the world to see and know Christ. [p102]
1. The message of the King
2. The methods of the King
3. The character of the King
Here, once more, God is intent on owning our hearts unchallenged. He is not content with theological knowledge or participation in church programmes.[p108]
Suppose God opens your eyes to a harvest of bad fruit in a friend’s life. Perhaps it is a conflict in her marriage, a broken relationship…Whatever the circumstances, your goal should be that God would use you to produce a harvest of good fruit in your friend, even though she may remain in the exact same situation with the exact same people.
However, one of the things you will quickly discover is that when most people seek change, they seldom have their heart in view. They want change in their circumstances, change in the other person, or change in their emotions. They think that if “things” would change, they would be better off. [p109]
Love, know, speak, do. More to follow…