After his death, Joshua spent most of his life conquering more land up to this time when his retirement was certain.
It is then that the Lord spoke to him with this very challenging reminder of the unfinished task.
As we continue in the work of ministry, it may be possible to feel that we have accomplished so much and so tend not to see what is still undone. After many years of intense missionary labor, there remain numerous people who need to hear about the Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross for their sins. These people still sit in the region and shadow of death (Mt. 4:16). This is not only in the majority world, as may be thought, but also in the so called ‘civilized, rich and Christianized but spiritually starving world.
The mission of the church is to free the world from the dominion of Satan and the slavery of sin and all other bondages. This liberation is the main Gospel for the mankind as seen from the mission of Christ; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor, he has sent me to proclaim freedom to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed.” Luke 4:18. “Go into the whole world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15, 16.
Salvation in a biblical context does not mean escape from the wrath of God and the salvation of individual souls in the hereafter only. The salvation which Christ offers in his incarnation (life, death, resurrection and ascension), is a comprehensive salvation which involves the individual’s soul, body and community now and in the future. Salvation in the African context, also, means addressing issues that hinder Africans from reaching their full potential. These include oppression, neo-colonialism, poverty, disease, ethnic tensions, starvation, and racism.
Jesus refused to separate the love of God from the love of neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31). We can express our love for God better by serving our fellow human beings. We cannot claim to love God in our hearts and at the same time turn a blind eye to human greed, hatred, political brutality, and child abuse. It was to identify with these issues that in Matthew 25:34-40 Christ assumed the role of a hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, and imprisoned person.
For this reason, salvation means an ongoing commitment to turn from the less human conditions to God’s intended human condition. It is a progressive humanization of society based on "being more" rather than having more, thus restoring meaning and wholeness to society and to the entire universe.
May the passion of our heart be like the one that was in Caleb, “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I am still as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.” Joshua 15:19, 20, as we battle for the salvation of people and their God intended dignity.
In his Vineyard,
N. Karugi Gitau