In the middle of a pandemic, when your every day to day is suddenly flipped on its head, it’s pretty easy to start contemplating life and its purpose – specifically your own. Who am I? What am I doing? Why am I here? If you are a believer, the answer is simple. Your mission is Christ’s mission.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”Matthew 4:19
During a recent sermon by Calvary Church’s Steve Dang, he said, “When we place our faith in Christ, we don’t go into ministry, we are in ministry.” In other words, when you accept Christ, you accept the mission of God. And God is in the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). From the time of the The Fall in Genesis 3, God has been working to win us back to Him. He did this through Christ, and He has passed this mission on to us. You may have heard it called The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) or as Mark puts it more succinctly, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (16:15)” The Gospel is simply the good news about Jesus Christ and what He’s done – the message of reconciliation.
“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”
When I first read these words by Charles Spurgeon, I had a minor panic attack. I knew his words to be true because Jesus Himself said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) And His last words to the disciples (and to us) were itself a command, the commission alluded to before: “Go…” But I’m not equipped to do this! I know I’ve been following Jesus most of my life, but I’m not a missionary! I’m not, as Pastor Steve Dang cheekily put it, an “AP Christian.” Missionary work is for the elite. You have to have training and special gifts from the Spirit and commission from the church, right? And, like, isn’t that an outright job or career? I don’t have a degree in being a missionary, I’m just a mom. Am I an imposter? How do I live on mission?
It’s easier than I’ve built it up to be in my head. Jesus explicitly told us! “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35) The answer is love. In fact, when confronted by the Pharisees about what the greatest commandment is, Jesus answers: to love God and to love others (Matthew 22:34-40).
John elaborates on this in his first letter when he says, “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (4:19-20) Loving God is loving others. Humanity is God’s creation, His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). We bear His image. He cares deeply about us and wants others to care too. If you’re a parent, I bet you can relate. You care deeply about your children, and when others love on them, it feels as if they’re loving you directly. For example, this spring, we celebrated our friend’s daughter who was having her sixth birthday during the quarantine and was feeling a little down about it. Afterward we received a message saying: “I love you guys. I love how much you love my kids. Thanks for celebrating Hannah today. As much as it meant to her, it meant even more to me. Love you, friends.” Caring for the things God cares about is loving Him.
When we are on mission, when we are loving others, we get to take part in His story. According to Ephesians 2:10, He has uniquely placed and gifted us. You are a masterpiece and a tool with a purpose. He is your purpose and mission. It couldn’t happen without you. I’ll share more on this, next time I write. Until then, how are you living on mission?
How are you living on mission?
My primary mission of late has been to encourage others to carry out theirs.