• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

What’s it take to be intentional?

In our TC4u group last Thursday, we were talking about how the Gospel practically works itself out in specific acts of obedience in our lives. We are no longer slaves to an ‘ought to’ or ‘should do’ mentality.  The Gospel frees us to a life of thankfulness that issues in acts of kindness and service.be intentional[4]

How does that work out in actual practice? Let’s take the issue of intentionality. How do I be intentional without turning it into a ‘law’ I must live out?

Several thoughts came quickly to mind:

First, drinking deeply from the example of Jesus would fill my heart with that heart desire to move towards others. Francis, a member of the WTGA, drew this out in a recent devotional that he shared with the members of the WTGA.  In talking about John 4, he showed how Jesus turned away from a vibrant ministry to encounter others needing the message of the kingdom, and in particular a lost and needy woman in Samaria.  Jesus was regularly ‘going out of His way’ to connect with an individual who was open or seeking.  I don’t like interruptions in my planned schedule, but Jesus ‘saw’ interruptions as a means to intentionally connect with others.

Second, as I allow others to intentionally enter my world and learn to receive from them, it will move my heart to want to do the same with others. Intentionality is a ‘two way street’ and learning to be intentional can come from watching others be intentional or being on the receiving end of that intentionality.

Finally, the command is clear, but my heart is stubborn. Praying for God to move my heart by driving me deeper into the Gospel would issue in thankfulness for His love and push me towards others.  The Gospel reminds us that we truly need Jesus ‘every hour’. Without His work in our lives, we are lost in a sea of selfishness, lacking the desire to move towards others and invest in them.  Praying the Gospel into our lives and asking others to pray with us to this end should melt our hearts and begin to move us out towards others.

Being intentional, in the Gospel, without allowing it to become a law for us, pushes us to God and to others for help.

 

2 Responses

  1. Yesterday I saw this kind of Gospel intentionality in action at the Summit Church in Raleigh/Durham. I went with my son to pick up an inmate from a local prison who became a believer three years ago and is growing as a disciple through the intentional ministry of a group from Summit. My son went through training and screening so that weekly he can sponsor an inmate to attend church followed by lunch as part of Gospel community.

    J served in the military for 9 years before committing a felony and being incarcerated for the past 12 years. Next July he is scheduled for release. As a sponsor my son is required to get clearance by Wednesday and then drive the 30 minutes each way on Sunday to sign out an inmate. J received a job offer as part of the prison release to work program, but after four weeks he is still waiting. My son exercised further intentionality and contacted the prospective employer to find out why required forms had not been submitted. The employer said he had not received the forms and the administration seems to have lost track of the employment offer. Knowing how much my son is allergic to “hassles,” I rejoice to see him exercising intentional service contrary to his selfish nature because of being discipled with Gospel motivation.

  2. Thanks for this good and helpful example which underscores that intentionality may mean numerous efforts of moving towards others!

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