a brief intro to “LIVE SENT”

You are a letter. An email. A message. Your everyday life is more than just a story being written. Your very life is a letter. You were created to receive and send a message intentionally into the lives of the people you do life with daily.

Simply stated, you were made to know life abundantly, and life abundant happens when you live beyond yourself. No longer is it enough to ask the question, What am I supposed to do with my life? In fact, “no longer” is not appropriate. Your life was never intended to just be about you. It’s never enough to simply ask questions about you, with regard to what you are supposed to do or what you want most to do.

A better question would be this: What’s my part in this epic called humanity? The people whom you encounter every day actually need you. They need you, and you need them. We all need each other––to know each other. And, our lives both complement and supplement one another.

That’s how humanity works. Together. I am shortchanged, in fact, when you are not all you were intended to be in relationship with me. You are shortchanged when I am not all I was intended to be in relationship with you. It could be said that I don’t love you if I don’t deliver into your life the message written in me and through me.

That’s how love is demonstrated and how relationships happen and how people find abundant life as they were intended to find it.

The Sender (God) delivered His message to us and then writes His message in us and through us for us to deliver to others. He sends us. We are His letter of love into the culture around us to the people whom He loved enough to die for. He asks us now to love in the same way.

In the Garden, His message was obvious. He loves us and made us to know His love and walk with Him. To Noah, His message was a bit more emphatic. People had become so selfish. They no longer were even thinking of God, remembering that He made them. So, He cleansed the earth with a torrential rain. Those who believed His message remained.

To Abraham, His message was very moving. Literally. He told Abraham to follow Him to a place that He would show Abraham. God was establishing a people who would both hear His message and be His message unto all the world.

To Moses, His message of compassion burned with passion, communicated through a bush on fire that was not consumed. God had heard the cries of His people from Egypt. He longed for them to cry out for Him in all times, not just times of trouble or for some favor from Him. Nonetheless, He intended to rescue them before they cried out, before they were trapped in themselves. He told Moses to go and rescue them. He sent Moses, but with a message that this was just temporary rescue. The ultimate Rescuer would ultimately come.

Through the prophets, His message was more direct, but still loving. Trumping the beliefs that God was cold and distant, He came near through the prophets’ messages. He told them how much He hated all the religious show. That’s not why He made them. He didn’t make them so that they could protect their image, but so that they could live in His image. To love. To know. To be. The I AM desired for them to be in complete life connection with Him. The prophets repeated something Moses said. They exclaimed that the ultimate Rescuer was coming. The One whom God would send, they were to trust Him. Follow Him. He would be the ultimate message of God’s love.

And then the One who was sent, came. Jesus.

Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21). In fact, sentness is a theme throughout the stories of Jesus that are found in the New Testament of the Bible. He emphasized how He was sent with a message. John even called Him the Word––an ultimate message or complete communication from God. Just the fact that

God would put on human skin and walk among us, be Emmanuel, indicates how important sentness is to God. The message would continue.

Paul attempted to explain the teachings of Jesus further, introducing a very picturesque and challenging metaphor in 2 Corinthians 3. There, he defended the focus, authenticity, and credibility of the message he delivered and the ministry he lived. He said that the people who received from him this message of Jesus were now letters written by the Spirit of the living God. Their very lives were a message that God penned without a pen. He etched it into their lives.

The message continues to be sent today. The Sender continues to write His message as He always has. Better said, He does more than write or type it. He embeds it. Not on tablets, but on our hearts.

And so, you are a letter. I am a letter. If we follow Him, He continues to write His message in our hearts and through our lives. And, we live sent as a letter from God to culture, sharing the same message He has been delivering all along: I love you. I am near. Follow Me.

[taken from “chapter 0 _ an intro” in the New Hope Publisher release of LIVE SENT: you are a letter]

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