"Apostolic Mission: Sent to Live in His Love"

by Catherine Brown

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
1 John 4:10

Having just returned from a recent ministry trip to Uganda, my heart is full to overflowing with the many blessings God poured out during that time. During my two weeks in Kampala, I learned much about God's love from my precious African family. I had the privilege of speaking and ministering at a pastors/leaders conference with some 700-800 in attendance. By God's grace I was also able to minister with my colleagues in prisons, remand centres and orphanages.

Holding a little baby who had been thrown away into a garbage bin because of the desperate poverty of her mother has a way of focusing one on the things that are important in life. This is not a criticism of the poor woman who abandoned her baby. How can we point a finger of accusation at a person who is hurting so deeply and in such great need? So often the way we see the problem is the problem. However, God's love gives us a different perspective on life and the trauma that poverty can bring to others.

As we move forward in this new apostolic wave of grace that is being poured out around the globe, I am more than ever convinced that God is teaching us to walk in His love. God is love. His mission is love. His mindset is love. His command is love. His majesty, His justice, His might, His compassion, His righteousness and His holiness are all expressed in His love. How I long and pray that we, as Believers, would be baptised daily in the outpouring of God's perfect love; for it is in being filled to overflowing that His love is able to spill over and touch every other human being with whom we have contact.

Jesus, our Apostle and High Priest (Hebrews 3:1), was sent so that we might receive salvation. The apostolic function of being sent from the Father relates to the saving of the entire human race. Scripture teaches us that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. Jesus was sent to be our Saviour and to bring us into personal relationship with God. We are saved so that we might be sent to reveal the love of God expressed in Christ to a hurting, dying world.

The "Proof" of Love – God Sent His Son

"This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him." 1 John 4:9

Perhaps you may have heard the phrase, "prove it" when someone is less than convinced on a matter. I have found that not-yet-Christians occasionally struggle to understand that God's love has no gimmick, no "catch," no hidden agenda or secret clause. In His kindness, God foreknew that this might come up in conversation and so we rely on the proof of God's love - Jesus was sent to the Cross from the Father in love. Sending flows from God the Father's heart, and Jesus' sacrifice at Calvary gifts us life in abundance.

When we realise that we can live in and through Christ's finished work at Calvary, we come to an experiential understanding that our life-blood is in being a "sent" one.

The Origin of Love

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God..." 1 John 4:7

"We love because He first loved us." Verse 19

In this world there is a confusing and sometimes horrific array of what "love" looks like and how love is expressed. It is therefore important to anchor our understanding of love in the purity of the origin of love. As John teaches us in Scripture, true love comes from God alone. God is the origin of love and His unconditional love is a sanctuary from every other kind of conditional, demanding, abusive and perverse love that the spirit of the world attempts to dupe lonely and hurting people with.

Beloved saints of God, we carry within us the most powerful force on the earth – His love! We can only love because God first loved us and in knowing this love we are exhorted to show one another love.

Lavish Love – a Gift from the Father

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1

Love is God's gift in grace to us and grace has no end and knows no bounds. I pray that each child of God who reads this article will receive a fresh revelation and impartation of the lavish nature of God's love. Lavish means plentiful, generous, abundant, sumptuous, copious, bountiful, prolific, fulsome, extravagant, over-the-top, lush, luxuriant, abundant and rich!

It is this most amazing, outrageous grace of love with which we have been lavished in God's kindness. God has heaped His love on us, literally pouring it out on us. He immerses us in His love and covers us with His love. We are overflowing with this lavish love. It's time to share it and give it away!

It is my conviction that inherent in God's grace is humility and by living in the outflow of this grace we attain a place of sonship and security. When we position ourselves to serve Jesus, then the compass of our hearts become attuned to His perfect love. If God is setting the direction of our steps, then He will also direct the footsteps of the righteous in His perfect plans and purposes.

The Cross Must Be Central to Our Understanding of Being "Sent"

"This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
1 John 4:10

Jesus was sent to suffer for our sake and to take our place in many divine exchanges at the Cross. He was forsaken so that we may be accepted. He took our sin, our sickness and our poverty and exchanged them for forgiveness, health and prosperity in the Kingdom of God. When we consider what the Lord suffered for our sakes, we realise that the Cross is the epicentre and ultimate expression of the Father's love expressed in Christ to us .

Sending is sacrificial, and produces fruit that will last for all eternity. Jesus walked in obedience to His Father's will and embraced Calvary at the core of His understanding of what it meant to be a son serving in a "sent one's" capacity and so, too, must we. Sending is about the multiplication of God's love. In being sent, we become Kingdom ambassadors with a harvest mission and a glory canopy over us of the finished work of the power of the Cross and the Blood of Jesus. Amen!

His Love is a Lifestyle

"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:16b

God didn't just give us His love for the moment of salvation. God's love is intended to be our lifestyle and our permanent focus and flow. When we realise this important truth, we will not be walking to strive to love others. Love is a gift that our Father has given to us as His children. We don't produce God's love. We receive grace, we embrace the Holy Spirit and we can, therefore, live in God's love 24/7 and 365 days a year.

God's miracle-working love is relevant in every situation, circumstance, culture and people group on the face of the earth. God's love is the antidote to every war, every kind of hate and all societal problems. God's love is the only lifestyle that doesn't carry a "government health warning!" In fact, God's love is unparalleled in its Governmental authority and untouchable in the purity and power of its global jurisdiction.

Jesus is the King of Love

"Jesus looked at him(the rich young man) and loved him..." Mark 10:21 (emphasis added)

"When He saw the crowds He had compassion on them..." Matthew 9:36

Jesus is the King of kings and the many aspects of His kingship as the Lord Jesus Christ are acknowledged throughout Scripture:

Jesus' kingship was confirmed when speaking to Pilate, "You are right in saying I am a king." (John 18:37)

Jesus' Kingdom was confirmed, "My Kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36)

As the King of kings, Jesus decreed love to His disciples, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)

Jesus is a Teacher of Love

"'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?' Jesus replied, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.'"
Matthew 22:36-40

"You call Me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am." John 13:13

Jesus taught by lifestyle modeling. In other words, the Lord demonstrated God's perfect love in all that He spoke, thought and did. As a Son serving His Father, Jesus gave us the perfect blueprint: when we give God precedence (first place) in our lives by living out the mandate of the two Great Commandments, He sets a precedent (something original and brand new) as we reach out in His love.

Giving God's love first place causes our hearts to overflow with God's, and other people (our neighbours) become our priority. We are therefore enabled to be apostolic ministers because of His resurrection love. Hallelujah!

Jesus is a Servant of Love

"...I am among you as One who serves." Luke 22:27

"The kings and the Gentiles lord it over them…but Jesus said to them, 'You are not to be like that.'" Verses 25-26

Jesus taught His disciples not to lord it over people, but rather to serve them. If we are to walk in God's love, we must do so in the posture of sons who are serving in God's love. Servanthood is not about the language we use on our lips but about the language of God's love expressed through our heart motivation and responses to life, discipleship and mission.

Jesus is a Shepherd of Love

"When He saw the crowds He had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36

"I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father – and I lay down My life for the sheep."
John 10:14-15

A good shepherd will leave ninety-nine sheep to go and search for just one sheep that is lost. Whether we are sent to one, one hundred, one thousand or one million, the principle of the heart of our Shepherd King is to seek and save the lost.

Jesus is a Son of Love

Jesus walked in total obedience and surrender to His Father's will. At Gethsemane He said,"Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." Luke 22:42

As sons of God and heirs with Christ, we too are sent out in obedience to live in the power and purity of God's love. The heart of apostolic mission is to accept and know that we are sent and commissioned in God's love. God bless you as you go in His name!

"Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.' And with that He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.'" John 20:21-23

Yours in the love of Christ,