Thursday, July 25, 2013

Don't Miss the And

An excerpt from...

Don’t Miss the And

By Hubert Harriman, President
July-September 2013

Don't Miss the And
Sometimes I will hear or read something that grabs me and drives my thinking for long periods of time. Such was the case when I heard a reference to a statement by Jim Collins, speaking to what he called “The genius of the and.” The word and is a common word, yet a critical word. Without it, we can miss the whole. As I studied its use in Scripture, I began to see this as “The Power of the and.”

There are many such connections, and I encourage you to read the Bible looking for them, but let me speak to one that is deeply troubling in our day. It’s the disconnect between “faith and works” (James 2:14-26). Dallas Willard speaks of this as a disjunction between faith and life, where “transformation of life and character is no part of the redemptive message.” Troubled over this disjunction, he asks, “Can we seriously believe that God would establish a plan for us that essentially bypasses the awesome needs of present human life and leaves human character untouched?” (The Divine Conspiracy, pages 38-41).

Our aim in missions is to send those who go in response to the prayer Jesus taught us to pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed [holy] be your name….” The word hallowed is in the active voice, meaning this is more than honoring Him with words. This is honoring Him with actions—serving Him “in holiness and righteousness [justice]…all our days” (Luke 1:75 NIV). This is Christian character that works. Is this what Jesus meant when He said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”? Yes! And we can ill afford to send anyone with less. The world has seen enough sinners with their self-seeking, self-satisfying, and self-centered ways. Why send them another one? It’s “The Power of the and!”

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