Made for a Mission
-- "In the same way that You gave Me a mission in the world, I give them
a mission in the world." John 17:18 (Mes) "The most important thing is that I
complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me..." Acts 20:24 (NCV)
God is at work in the world, and He wants you to join Him. This assignment
is called your mission, and it is different from your ministry. Your ministry
is your service to believers in the Body of Christ, while your mission is your
service to unbelievers in the world. God created you for both.
mission is both shared and specific. One part of it is a responsibility you share
with every other Christian, and the other part is an assignment that is unique
Our English word "mission" comes from the Latin word for "sending."
Being a Christian includes being sent into the world as a representative of Jesus
Christ. Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
clearly understood his life mission on earth. At age 12 he said, "I must be about
my fathers business," and 21 years later, dying on the cross, he said, "It is
finished." Like bookends, these two statements frame a well-lived, purpose-driven
life. He completed the mission the Father gave him.
The mission that Jesus
had while on earth is now our mission since we are the Body of Christ. What he
did in his physical body, we are to continue as his spiritual body - the church.
What is that mission? Introducing people to God! The Bible says "... Christ changed
us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends
God wants to redeem human beings from Satan and reconcile them to
himself so we can fulfill the five purposes for which we were created: to love
him, to be a part of his family, to become like him, to serve him, and to tell
others about him. Once we are his, God uses us to reach others for these five
purposes. He saves us and then sends us out. The Bible says, "We have been sent
to speak for Christ." We are the messengers of Gods love and purposes to the
There are a number of reasons why you need to take this mission
Jesus Commands us to Continue His Mission
us not only to come to him, but also to go for him. Your mission is so important
Jesus repeated it five times in five different ways in five different books of
the Bible. It is as if he was saying "I really want you to get this!" Study these
five commissions of Jesus and youll learn the details of your mission on earth
- the when, where, why and how.
In one of these instances Jesus said, "Go
to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name
of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I
have told you."
This Great Commission was not given to pastors but to every
follower of Jesus.
Note that these words are not the Great Suggestion.
Your mission is mandatory, not optional, if you are a part of Gods family. Jesus
said, "Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not
fit for the Kingdom of God."
You may have been unaware that God holds you
responsible for the unbelievers that live around you. The Bible says, "... you
must warn them so they may live. If you don't speak out to warn the wicked to
stop their evil ways, they will die in their sin. But I will hold you responsible
for their death." You are the only Christian some people will ever know and your
mission is to share Jesus with them.
Your Mission is a Great Privilege
Although it is a profound responsibility, it is also an incredible
honor to be used by God. Paul said, "God has given us the privilege of urging
everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him." Your mission involves
two great privileges: working with God and representing him. We get to partner
with God in the building of his kingdom. Paul calls us "co-laborers" and says,
"We are workers together with God."
Jesus secures our salvation, puts us
in his family, gives us his Spirit, and then makes us his agents in the world.
The Bible says, "We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and
women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right
between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God;
he's already a friend with you."
Your Mission is the Greatest Thing
You Can do for Someone
If your neighbor had cancer, or AIDS, and you
knew the cure, it would be criminal to withhold that lifesaving information. Even
worse would be to keep secret the way to forgiveness, purpose, peace, and eternal
life. We have the greatest news in the world and sharing it is the greatest kindness
you can show to anyone.
One problem that long-term Christians have is they
forget how hopeless it felt to be without Christ. We must remember that everybody
needs Jesus, no matter how contented or successful they appear to be. Without
Christ, they are hopelessly lost and headed for eternal separation from God. The
Bible says, "Jesus is the only One who can save people."
has Eternal Significance
It will impact the eternal destiny of other
people, so its more important than any job, achievement, or goal youll reach
during your life on earth. The consequences of your mission will last forever.
Nothing else you do will ever matter as much as helping people establish an eternal
relationship with God.
This is why we must be urgent about our mission.
Jesus said, "All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one
who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all
work comes to an end."
The clock is ticking down on your life mission,
so dont delay another day. Get started on your mission of reaching out to others
now! Well have all of eternity to celebrate with those weve brought to Jesus,
but we only have our lifetime in which to reach them.
Your Mission Gives
Your Life Meaning
William James once said, "The best use of life is
to spend it for something that outlasts it." The truth is, only the Kingdom of
God is going to last. Everything else will eventually vanish. Knowing that, why
would you give anything else a higher priority?
Paul said, "My life is
worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesusthe
work of telling others the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love."
If you fail your mission, youve wasted the life God gave you. On the other hand,
if just one person will be in heaven because of you, your life cannot be considered
You werent placed on earth to do nothing or just live for yourself.
God invites you to participate in what hes doing in the world. Whenever you see
God at work, its an invitation to join him.
Gods timetable for historys
conclusion is connected to the completion of the commission weve been given.
Today, theres a growing interest in the second coming of Christ and the
end of the world. When will it happen? Right before Jesus ascended to heaven the
disciples asked Jesus this question, and his response was quite revealing.
said, "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his
own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and
you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
ends of the earth."
When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus
quickly switched the conversation to evangelism! He wanted them to concentrate
on their mission in the world. Jesus said, "The details of my return are none
of your business. What is your business is the mission Ive given you. Focus on
Speculating on the timing of Christs return is futile since Jesus
said, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor
the Son, but only the Father." Since Jesus said, "Even I dont know the day or
hour," why would we try to figure it out? What we do know for sure is this: Jesus
will not return until everyone he wants to hear the Good News has heard it. Jesus
said, "The Good News about God's kingdom will be preached in all the world, to
every nation. Then the end will come." If you want Jesus to come back sooner,
focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.
Your Mission will Bring Glory to God
The night before he was crucified
Jesus reported to his Father, "I have brought you glory on earth by completing
the work you gave me to do." Will you be able to say that at the end of your life?
Its what you were created to do and should be your life goal.
the Life Dedicated to His Kingdom
Jesus said, "More than anything else,
put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours
as well." The secret of being blessed by God is to participate in his agenda for
the world - to be a part of what he is accomplishing on earth.
of praying, "God bless what I want to do" pray "God help me to do what youre
blessing!" Each morning pray "Father, I know youre going to doing some amazing
things in the world today, and Id like the privilege of being included in some
Fulfilling the mission you were made for will require you to
abandon your agenda and adjust to Gods agenda. David prayed, "Turn me away from
wanting any other plan than yours." Your mission begins the moment you say "yes"
to God in obedience, faith, and love.
Can you think of any valid reason
to prevent you from making that commitment? The Bible says, "Give yourselves completely
to God--every part of you--for you are back from death and you want to be tools
in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes." Why dont you pause and
commit yourself to this purpose for your life right now?
This article originally
appeared in Rick Warren's Ministry ToolBox, a free, email newsletter available
from pastors.com. Used by permission.
The Ministry ToolBox is for
ANYONE serving Jesus Christ. For a free subscription, you can sign up at www.pastors.com.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback
Church in Lake Forest, CA., a congregation that now averages 16,000 in attendance
each weekend. Rick is also author of "The
Purpose Driven Church," and founder of
Pastors.com, a global Internet community for those in ministry. You may reprint
this article in your publication with the following attribution: From Rick Warren's
Ministry ToolBox, a free weekly e-newsletter for those in ministry, www.pastors.com.
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