Oftentimes just before waking up in the morning, I feel the Lord drop a word or a thought into my spirit like He did just this past week. Two words, that’s all it was. But those two words have been pounding like a drum inside of me since. The words are “life exchange!”
A great part of the ministry emphasis of Mutual Faith is centered on life exchange, and we extend this same invitation to you as well. To be more specific, Paul wrote to his friends and spiritual family in Rome and said, “For I want very much to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, to be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (Romans 1:11, 12; Holman Christian Standard Bible)
What Paul was saying so many years ago to his Roman family in the faith was that he felt pressed in his spirit to be with them in order that they might experience an exchange of life between them. Not to be redundant, but I like how our friend Eugene Peterson embellishes this passage in his paraphrase bible, The Message. He writes, “…I so want to be there to deliver God’s gift in person and watch you grow stronger right before my eyes! But don’t think I’m not expecting to get something out of this, too! You have as much to give me as I do to you.” (Romans 1:11, 12; The Message)
Just today, Nancy and I were sharing a passage from Acts 3 together, where Peter and John were approaching the temple at the “hour of prayer”. They were confronted by the request for alms (we called it panhandling in my day!), by a man who from birth was severely handicapped and unable to walk. When he asked them for some money, Peter and John expressed that they didn’t have any, but what they did have they would be more than happy to share! That’s when they said to him, “In name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” This is such an amazing story, and this is not the time to further expound on the explosive miracle that occurred in this man’s life in response to the daring faith of Peter and John. But what I do want to highlight are the brief comments made in reference to this passage from The Voice (translation) which you can find, by the way, on biblegateway.com, which says:
“Although this young and thriving church has no political influence, property, fame, or wealth, it is powerful. Its power is centered in living the gospel. The people value one another more than any possessions. They come together as a large, passionate, healthy family where it is natural to pray and share all of life together. The kingdom of God is blossoming on earth as these lovers of God embrace the teachings of Jesus. In the days ahead, the church will lose much of this initial beauty and appeal; it will become consumed with a desire for material possessions, cultural influence, and power.”
Sadly, these words depict a very true and accurate history of much of the church to date, evidenced by much of what we see around us labeled by many as Christian, or church, or the like. But the beautiful thing is there remains a passion in the heart of every true Christ-follower to walk in this kind of intimacy and innocence, joyfully exchanging the life that only He can give between one another.
That is what we are about, and we trust that you are too! We pray for you reading this short and simple view into our lives and ministries that your heart for God and His people will be unrestrained from the entanglements that too often trump the main thing from being the main thing! Receive His life today, and share it with as many and as often as He calls upon you to do so. And don’t forget there’s something in that exchange for you as well!