INCARNATIONAL LIVING by Ron Roy

A shout out to those of you who are living cross-culturally, either in the United States or internationally.  I applaud your concern, call, connection and acceptance of the challenge to live with a lens greater than your own comfort zone. I consider those who choose to interact and even live cross-culturally as a Lifeline of hope, grace, love, and friendship as they live and tell the Jesus Story.

Dear Incarnational Lifeline.

  • You are the bridge that people learn to walk over to get to Jesus.
  • You are the light that helps guide the lost out of their darkness.
  • You are the song that lifts people toward the True Source of Joy.
  • You are the voice inviting others to celebrate His presence.
  • You are living out His Name as you make Jesus real in practical ways.
  • You show that there is hope even during hopeless situations.
  • You are a road sign pointing persons to the One True Way.
  • You are that breath of fresh air for the one crippled with fear and doubt.
  • You are that listening friend concerned enough to share your Hope and Love.
  • You are the sail that catches the wind of the Spirit toward the next opportunity to connect.
  • You are the source of encouraging words to the needy heart longing for affection, affirmation, and acceptance.
  • Your life reflects: harmony, hope, love, calmness, power, purpose, joy and faith.
  • Your life instills: vision, endurance, patience, dependence and wisdom
  • Your life conveys: Christian principles, values and the Standard to base life on
  • Yes, Incarnational Lifeline, you are the one in the trenches.  That is why today, I want to Thank you.

Thank you because you:

  • Look for ways to connect lostness with the Lord of Light.
  • See ways to connect the helpless with the Lord of Hope.
  • Listen for ways you can bridge the hurts of others to the Source of Comfort.
  • Show people how to trust in Jesus through your own – – –
    • Life-style
    • Decisions
    • Family Life
    • Priorities
    • Friendships
    • Attitudes
    • Actions
    • Handling of conflict
  • Remember,      Don’t worry about life being “Fair”
  • Remember,      Don’t focus on what you are missing, but be concerned for people,

and what they are missing, JESUS!

  • Remember,      Don’t keep score, or keep up with your losses.          Release them!
  • Remember,     Don’t keep a “you did me wrong list”                        Rip it up!
  • Remember,      Don’t let anything, or anyone, hinder your testimony EVER!
  • Remember,      Don’t separate the spiritual from the secular.

Living as an incarnational lifeline means that:

Your heart is with you in your adopted country and culture.  You have unpacked and that includes your own heart.  It is not divided. Your own heart is at home and at rest, it isn’t on a journey back to where you came from.

Your life-style is lived in the NOW.  You are open to minister to others and be ministered to in NOW time. Some call this the Samaritan Principle.  The opportunity for service is now, not after the course, when the next term has started or is over, but now.   An incarnational lifeline has learned the “clock” of their host culture, if the host country even has or uses clocks.

Life is embraced as a journey of living in a different culture. Life is an adventure of reconciliation for his/her own life as well as those with whom he/she serves.

Hurt, pain, suffering, disappointment are part of the life of an incarnational missionary.  But these are not just his/her personal experiences. The incarnational lifeline feels the hurts, pains, suffering, disappointments of his/her host culture.

Being an incarnational lifeline means a life of service and saying no to selfish desires. The incarnational lifeline knows that he/she is a servant first, a servant second, and a servant third. He/she knows what it is like to play the “second violin” while others learn to take the lead.

“My way” may not be the “accepted way” is a principle the incarnational lifeline has learned.    Adapting to the culture when you are in the minority and saying no to judgmental and prejudicial feelings are marks of an incarnational lifeline.

An incarnational lifeline is one who desires to Reflect the love of Jesus, Mirror the values of Jesus, Hold up the Standards of Jesus and Allow His Light to illumine and be reflected.

An incarnational lifeline understands that his/her call is one of unlimited trust and obedience and that the harvest is in the hands of Jesus.

Incarnational life liners learn how to “read faces,” “read hearts,” “read lives,” and don’t simply try to convince their host culture of Truth.  They earn the right to be heard, by living and showing the message as well as telling the Gospel story. Truth is caught as well as taught.

Incarnational life liners, live with purpose, direction and vision.  They are willing to witness anytime, anywhere, to anybody as God leads in the heart language of the people.  Learning the language is seen as a vital part of the lifeline mentality of being incarnational.

Living the incarnational lifestyle, really is a God intentional way of saying “I Love You.” If you are a cross cultural life liner, in a way you are God’s love letter to your host culture.  He is telling them how much He loves them, not just by sending Jesus, but also by sending you to tell the Jesus story.  I trust that the love of God is flowing through your life ever more deeply, richly, embracing life and others with the very heart of God.

  • Who will read God’s letter, (your life) today where you live?
  • What will be their impressions of the Life Line pointing them to Jesus?
  • What is hindering you from living as an incarnational lifeline?

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