10 Aug When Mission is Received, Mission is Given
People were made to live for God and to love God. The great theologian Augustine affirms, “our souls are restless until they find their rest in thee.” Indeed, we were made to know God, worship Him, and enjoy Him forever. Those who receive the love of God for themselves and all its benefits are often the ones who are motivated to take the same love to others. Missions is born out of a personal encounter with God. Consider the story of Isaiah in the temple in Isaiah chapter 6 or Saul on the road to Damascus in Acts 26.
When we look at the Bible with this perspective in mind, we understand that God doesn’t just love people, but he also changes people and gives them the ability to love Him in return. God’s love and grace leads us to turn away from our self-reliance and back to dependence upon God. In this respect the Christian worships God and obeys Him not in order to earn God’s love and acceptance, but because he has already received God’s love and acceptance.
Jesus wants us to encounter Him in a life-changing way. This isn’t something new, God has always been doing this restoration work in people’s lives. Jesus quotes from the prophet Isaiah in Luke 4:18-19,
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Jesus wants us to understand and experience the good news about Him. He offers to free us from sin and everything that keeps us from the goodness of a life in relationship with God.
Within every heart is a drama being played out with eternity in the balance. God cares about each person, each story, and every nation on the planet. The Bible states in Ephesians 2:10, that “We are His workmanship, created in Christ to do good works.” The word for workmanship in the original Greek is an interesting one. Poiema comes from poieo – “to do.” This is the same root word from which we get the word “poetry.” This word would often be used in ancient pottery to describe works that were not only functional, but beautiful. With this in mind, when God says you are his workmanship, He means you are his masterpiece. His plans for you are full of purpose, beautiful and wise.
Living for God’s Story
A Christian can choose to live for something other than God’s story, but it will always be something less fulfilling and less significant than what God has in mind. The more we become acquainted with God’s story as it is revealed to us through the Bible, the more we will understand the part we play in it. When we receive the mission of God for ourself, we are invited to join God in His mission for others.
The story into which God invites you is one that goes far beyond your own relationship with Him – it is a story played out through all of time over the whole earth, and He has given you a part in it that no one else can play. The part in the story God has for you is an exciting, abundant life filled with adventure, meaning, and purpose. Your story is part of a Greater Story.
Find your role in God’s mission.