Mission

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I saw Midway last night. The film shows the many critical decisions that led to that critical sea and air battle which turned the tide of the war with Japan. The courage of the pilots who flew into storms of lead, who kept flying and fighting even as they saw so many of their colleagues perish, is set against the backdrop of their sense of mission.  They were convinced that IF they did not carry through on what they were trained to do and bring about the destruction of the Japanese fleet that the very fate of the United States was in the balance. The mission became more important than personal safety, family, or friend.

Christians are given a mission by Christ Jesus that is every bit as compelling as any mission ever carried out by a military unit, with consequences that far exceed those of any battle in any earthly war! That mission involves the eternal destiny of human beings, the defeat of evil in this world. Before leaving His disciples, Jesus gathered them and gave us this charge – “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20, NLT)  That is the mission statement of the Church.

The mission does not change. The ‘how,’ however, is ever adapting to the needs that we find in our time, with the resources given to us.  Christ is preached from pulpits and across dining room tables. We make disciples while we  drill wells, care for the sick, and build schools.

Ed Stetzer writes –The mission and responsibility of the church includes both the proclamation of the Gospel and its demonstration. From Jesus, we learn the truth is to be proclaimed with authority and lived with grace. The church must constantly evangelize, respond lovingly to human needs, as well as “seek the welfare of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7) By living out the implications of the gospel, the missional church offers a verbal defense and a living example of its power.”

While that might sound tame compared to flying a fighter plane in an air battle, it truly is not. Serious Christians who embrace the mission of Christ do so at great personal cost. Accepting the call to serve (not all will be full-time pastors or missionaries) where you live involves a hard choices, possible rejection, and daily death to self-interest. Have YOU stepped up, presenting yourself for service?  Great cost equals great reward. When Peter reminded Jesus that “We have left all we had to follow you!”   Jesus answered with this  declaration – “I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.” (Luke 18:28-30, NIV)

Is your life a living demonstration of discipleship?
Do your words and actions, your choices, your investment of time and energy, invite others to join you in pursuit of the Kingdom of God?
The questions are not without merit, my friend.  The world is constantly plunging toward death and God has given us the prescription for healing and life.

Our word from the Word today changes the metaphor, but keeps the urgency.  Jesus had led His disciples into Samaria, a region considered beyond hope. There, at a well, He met a woman who desperately needed hope and change. She found it in Him. He challenged those men who walked with Him to see their mission! “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” (John 4:35-38, NIV)

The world, beginning at your front door, waits for hope, for life.
Will you help them find Him?

________

For The Sake Of The Call

Nobody stood and applauded them
So they knew from the start
This road would not lead to fame
All they really knew for sure
Was Jesus had called by name
He said come follow me
And they came
With reckless abandon they came 

We will abandon it all
For the sake of the call
No other reason at all
But the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call

 Empty nets lying there
At the water’s edge
Told a story that few could believe
And none could explain
How some crazy fishermen
Agreed to go where Jesus led
With no thought
For what they would gain
For Jesus had called them by name
And they answered

 We will abandon it all
For the sake of the call
No other reason at all
But the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call

 Not for the sake of a creed or a cause
Not for a dream or a promise
Simply because it is Jesus who calls
And if we believe we’ll obey

 Drawn like rivers
Are drawn to the sea
There’s no turning back
For the water cannot help but flow\
Once we hear the Savior’s call
We’ll follow wherever He leads
Because of the love He has shown
Because He has called us to go

We will answer 

We will abandon it all
For the sake of the call
No other reason at all
But the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call

Steven Curtis Chapman © 1990 Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Songs (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.)

Greg Nelson Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

Sparrow Song (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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