Do three purposeful deeds today (Friday Soulfest)

In today’s Friday Soulfest (for more on Friday Soulfest, see below), I want to talk about one of the most fascinating discoveries I made when I was doing research to write Luminous. It can lead to a profound shift in our thinking.

As I was writing, I remember pondering how sin wrecked God’s world, and he went on a mission to make everything right. I knew theologically that part of this mission was the Father sending the Son to become a human being. As I was chewing on that, I looked again at John 3:16-17.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Then I wondered, “Doesn’t this word ‘sent’ show up in other things Jesus said?” I found a reference. And then another one. I ended up going through all 21 chapters of John, marking every time Jesus made some comment about being sent by the Father. What I found astonished me. There were 42 times Jesus talked about being sent between chapters 3 and 17 of John. That’s 42 references in 15 chapters, or almost 3 times a chapter! That really struck me. I haven’t counted up Jesus’ references to “eternal life” in John, but I doubt it is as many as 3 times per chapter.

That’s why I make such a big deal about “sent-ness” in chapter 2 of Luminous. And I couldn’t help but ask the question, “If Jesus continually thought about being sent, why don’t we?”

If I know myself and other fallen people, I am pretty sure it’s because we don’t really like the idea of being sent. If we are sent, it means we have to live by someone else’s agenda instead of ours. That really cuts against the grain for contemporary Westerners, who are adamant about being our own masters.

Our preference for radical independence doesn’t change the fact that Jesus said to the disciples, “Just as the Father sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21). Following Jesus means giving up our independence and devoting ourselves God’s mission to bring about love for God and people in this world.

All of which leads me to a simple, thought-shifting exercise you can carry out today. This is from chapter 2 of Luminous:

Do three deeds of sent-ness. Do three deeds today, small or large, for no other reason than that being sent is your purpose. To go deeper, make this a daily assignment for the next month.


About Friday Soulfest… How better to head into a weekend than a soulfest? That’s a festival for your Luminous: Living the Presence and Power of Jesus. With these posts, I hope to give you springboards for communing with Jesus. He’s the one who puts the fest in our souls!
soul, and it means connecting with God in deeply happy-making ways. Throughout 2014, I will be posting excerpts and prayer exercises from my book


  1. David,

    I will ask Jesus to send me my three deeds today.


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