Summary: The phrase, "Living on Mission with God" is a pretty flexible phrase, but serves as a great missions concept. This sermon focuses on believers making missions and evangelism and service to God a focus of their lives.
Living on Mission with God
March 16, 2014
TEXT: Mark 8:34-36 – “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
I’m not that great with coming up with catchy themes for things like missions conferences. Yet there ought be a theme for a mission’s conference to give it focus, right? So I asked Dr. Bob Schindler if he wanted to choose the theme to plan a set of sermons around since that would be easier than adjusting his sermons to a theme I’d chosen. At least that sounds better than saying, “Bob, uh, I’m a dum-dum with not an ounce of creativity. Can you do my job for me?”
Well, he wrote back and said, “Let’s make this the theme ‘Living on Mission with God.’” I’ve heard this slogan for years, but to be honest, I didn’t have a clue what it meant. So I wrote him back and said, “What in Sam’s Hill does THAT mean?” He was surprised by my ignorance, I guess supposing I was otherwise a genius. But his answer still didn’t make it very clear to me, so I went online and found out that this popular term means a whole lot of different things to different people.
Illus. – It reminds me of when I was a kid, how much my brother and I loved to play baseball. But sometimes there were only 2 of us, and when it was…it didn’t work out so well.So we created our own rules to make it work.
For instance, we had ghost-runners; imaginary runners in our place and it worked something like this: If you hit a ball up to about the distance of the pitcher’s mound, the ghost runner got an automatic single. From the pitcher’s mound to the end of the infield was a double, pushing any ghost runners on base forward two bases. Halfway in the outfield was a triple, and past that was a homerun. It required an umpire to settle close calls, but since there was just Tim and I, I got the first call, Tim got the second call, and we swapped back and forth. The ghost runner idea was pretty handy, but family lore has it that since I was the oldest brother, I would always be changing the rules to my advantage so I could win.
The problem for my brother was that with the rules always changing, it was hard for him to know how to play and how to win. But it worked out pretty good for me sine I rigged them to my advantage.
So I’m sure that since Dr. Schindler chose the theme, he’ll have his take on it, specially adapted to suit his sermon series. But after researching the theme, I realized it’s very biblical and fits perfectly the theme of the missions conference, so here’s my take on it, specially rigged, of course, to fit my own take.
I. FIRST, IT MEANS BEING IN STEP WITH GOD’S PROGRAM.
The whole story of the Old Testament is a story of redemption, leading up to Christ in the New Testament who would be our redeemer…the one to save us from our sin.
• The very first chapters of Genesis tell the narrative of mankind’s turning away from God and of God’s reaching out to sinful man in love and mercy.
• Adam and Eve sinned, but there was forgiveness through the shedding of blood and a promise of a coming Messiah who would destroy Satan (Gen. 3:15).
• God chose a simple herdsman named Abraham to be the father of a people called Israel through which this Messiah would someday come.
• In His promise to Abraham in Genesis 12, God promised that through his descendants all the earth would be blessed, another prophesy of a coming Savior.
• The rest of the Old Testament records one prophecy after another of this Messiah.
Though there are many teachings in the Old Testament, the one salient theme above all is that God had a program, a mission: to make provision for those in sin to come to God. So it’s true: “history” is really “His story”—God’s story of redemption. Evangelism, sharing the Gospel, missions, bringing people to God—THIS is the PROGRAM of God; God’s eternal PLAN; God’s MISSION in the world.
To be on mission with God is to work for, breathe for, pray for, long for, sacrifice for and LIVE FOR what is closest to God’s heart—bringing sinners into His grace and love.