On a mission from God

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Down deep most of us want to have a purpose, a mission in life, to know: “This is the reason I exist.” Yes, I’m old enough to remember the Blues Brothers, Jake and Elwood, who made a punch line out of the phrase “on a mission from God” in the original Blues Brothers film. But, disciple, it is no joke!

We exist to know, love, serve, and glorify God; all of us, not just pastors and religious professionals. The mission is the same. How we carry it out will be amazingly varied, depending on His calling, our gifts, and opportunities.  Some serve Him by making a Christ-centered home where children learn of His love. Some may be artists who turn people’s hearts to Him with their work. Some may make Him known by their steady integrity at work.

After Jesus called the Twelve who were His first followers, Matthew tells us that He sent them on a mission to the surrounding towns. “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:37-38, NIV) “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8, NIV)  I confess when I first read those lines this morning, I found them almost beyond my comprehension. “Raise the dead?” Really?

I may not be resurrecting any actual corpses these days (you can argue that with me if you want) but I am speaking life into those who are dead to God, who receive the Spirit and are ‘raised to new life.’ I am pointing those who are without hope, sick in despair, to the hope that Jesus offers. That grace that I am given in Christ, I now offer to the world in which I live. How I pray that my words and life are living proof of His Kingdom Come!  And, you are called to this mission, too.

Jesus was traveling through the spiritually dead region of Samaria when He paused at midday near a town well. He sent His disciples off to find some food and while they were gone a woman whom we would call ‘dysfunctional’ showed up. The fact that she was getting water at midday shows that she was an outcast, avoiding the social interaction that would be inevitable in the morning when everybody came for water. He spoke with her at length and she came to believe, made whole and new.

When the disciples returned and found out what had happened they were full of wonder.  Jesus, using the metaphor of the harvest, told them they needed to look around and see the opportunities that existed! “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.” (John 4:35, NIV)

People around us need Jesus. We are messengers with a mission – to make it plain that God’s kingdom is here.  Pastor Bert Montgomery says it like this: “Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit into his followers, yet too many of us haven’t realized it yet. We’re still in a dream of “unforgivenness.” Alas, we are unforgiving of the sins of the world, unforgiving of the sins of others, unforgiving of our own sins; therefore sins are retained, sins continue to control us. We live as though Jesus remains in the tomb. Jesus wants to wake us from the dream. Jesus wants us to “make a profession out of this consciousness.” To live in the resurrection, to live in the consciousness of God’s forgiveness of the whole world which God so loves.”

Yes, because He lives, I live as eternal being, reconciled to God, filled with hope, on a mission from God!

Today, pray a simple prayer – “Lord, open my eyes to the opportunities near me and send me.”  Then, courageously follow Him. Show love. Offer hope. Speak life. Pray with and/or for that person who hurts. Share Christ and lead someone to give himself to Jesus. In those choices, you will find a new reason to be and joy of being a partner with God in saving the world, one life at a time.

Our word from the Word reminds us of the mission. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20, NIV)
___________

Lord Of The Harvest

Lord of the harvest
Place Your fire in me
Use me Lord to touch this land
To set the captives free
Lord of the harvest
Anoint my lips I pray
To boldly speak Your words of truth
To help men find the way

Lord of the harvest
The harvest fields are ripe
Touch Your people with Your pow’r
And send Your fire now
Lord of the harvest
The labourers are few
Lord raise an army by Your pow’r
To work this day for You

Send Your fire
Send Your rain
Holy Spirit come again
Come in power
Fall like rain
Holy Spirit come again

Mark Cole © 2000 Mark Cole/GT Music

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