Have you ever met someone who had an immediate and positive impact on your outlook for life? In my life such meetings have been rare but they have happened. I was recently blessed when I met a friend of a friend while out at lunch. Our introduction began in a normal fashion:
“Kevin, meet my friend, Brady.”
“Kevin? Hi! Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you, too!”
We exchanged the normal pleasantries, asking each other how long we had known Chad, our mutual friend: are you married, have any kids, etc. Then the conversation turned to work.
“So, Kevin, what do you do?”
“I’m in the import business.”
Chad turned to him with a shocked look on his face. “Did you lose your job at the bank? You’ve been there for years! What happened?”
Kevin smiled at him. “Yes, I still work at the bank but Brady didn’t ask what my job was. He asked what I do.”
He turned to me to explain, “Although I work at a bank as a job to provide for my family, what I have been charged to do by my Creator is be an importer.”
Kevin must have notice the puzzled look on my face because he went on.
“For the past few hundred years Christianity has made finding salvation the goal of their evangelistic work: once a person is saved then their work is done." He wiped his hands together as if finishing a task. "The Bible, however, describes salvation as merely the introduction to much greater work: the import business. Believers are supposed to import G-d’s holiness and righteousness into this world.”
“In the heavenly realm of G-d’s kingdom everything that is said and done is imbued with G-d’s perfect holiness and righteousness. Because of the fallen state of our earthly realm, G-d has withdrawn Himself from it… to some degree. It says in James 2:5 that ‘G-d has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs to the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him.’ James was talking about you and me! We are heirs to the kingdom.”
“Although we live in the kingdom of this world (for now) we are citizens of G-d’s kingdom. It's like we're traveling abroad on business and our job is to import holiness and righteousness from our true kingdom, G-d’s kingdom, into this world. As Christ said in Matthew 5:16, ‘Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.’ Although Christ’s kingdom has not yet been fully established on the earth (that won’t fully happen until He returns) we are members of His kingdom now and, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can live our lives in a way that reflects that truth."
Kevin grinned and said, “OK… technically speaking we have two jobs. We need to be importers and we need to teach others to be importers as well.”
We continued our conversation for a while and then parted ways. I left our meeting blessed and encouraged… and with a new understanding of who I am in G-d’s kingdom.
Hello! Nice to meet you. My name is Brady and I’m in the import business.