Summary: As humans we have a purpose and through Christ we have a mission.
Thanks to all of you who have hosted or participated in 40 Days of Purpose groups this fall. The final small group session of 40 Days is this coming week. We’re hoping and praying that all of the people who have been in a group during these 40 Days (about 1300) will stay in a small group. Ideas?
Your current host will keep on leading in their home.
Your leader will continue to lead but meet in someone else’s home.
Someone else would be open to facilitate.
You could merge with another group nearby.
We have some great materials for you to use. You will find sample copies at the 40 Days table. We’d like all hosts to turn in the card you received in the mail to let us know what you are going to do. Thanks, again!
These 40 days have gone fast… at least for me.
We’ve looked at the fact that life is preparation for eternity. We’ll do four things in heaven forever. And God wants us to practice these things here on the earth.
Worship – knowing and loving God.
Fellowship – learning to love each other.
Discipleship – learning to become like Jesus.
Ministry – learning to use my SHAPE to serve others
That brings us to the fifth purpose. It’s really the only purpose we can only do on earth. #7 We were made for a mission. Jesus once prayed:
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.
John 17:18 (Msg)
Notice the phrase “in the world.” Last week, we talked about how we are to have a ministry in the church. We also need a mission in the world. A ministry is to believers. A mission is to non-believers.
As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.
John 20:21 (NASB)
My mission is evangelism.
My fifth purpose is evangelism. Evangelism is simply sharing the good news about Jesus. And God says, “Once you understand the good news, I want you to pass it along to others. I want you to share the good news.”
When you see the phrase “good news” or the word “gospel” in the Bible it’s
translating a Greek word, “euaggelion.”
We get our word evangelism from this word. It’s good news.
Once I know the good news – that God loves me in spite of my sin, that Jesus died to pay for my sins, that I am forgiven when I turn form sin and trust Jesus, that Jesus sets us free, and that God has a purpose and plan for my life – then God wants me to pass it on.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim the good news (there’s our phrase) to the poor. (Now, just what is that good news?) He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives…
to set at liberty those who are oppressed…
Luke 4:18 (ESV)
Liberty. Freedom. God wants to set people free!
Where am I supposed to share the good news?
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Acts 1:8 (ESV)
Look at that word witnesses. God’s not looking for defense attorneys. You don’t have to defend God. And He’s not looking for salesmen. You don’t have to sell God. All He’s looking for are witnesses. A witness is someone who just says what he’s seen. “I saw this and I saw that. That’s all I know.” That’s all God is looking for. He says, “I just want you to tell people what’s happened to you. Tell people what I’ve done in your life. Tell ‘em about the difference I’ve made in your heart.”
Where? I start at home to the people close to me.
I go to people nearby who are culturally different.
And I go to those who everybody else.
Why does God want us to do this? Because people are bound. People are enslaved.
They are not free. And God is building a family of free people. He wants more and more people to be free to be His children – to love Him, to glorify Him, to spend eternity #23 with Him. He wants people to be set free from addictions, from past hurts, from sin and selfishness and Satan. That’s why Jesus came.
God has chosen you and He’s chosen me to complete the mission of Jesus. He’s saying, “I want you to finish it!”
Maybe you’ve heard the story about Jesus returning to heaven after dying on the cross and rising again. An angel comes to Jesus and says, “OK, now what? Who’s going to fulfill the mission now that you’re here?” Jesus says, “I left my followers to do to carry on the mission.” And the angel says, “Your followers? They are so unreliable. What if they don’t get it done? What’s plan B?” And Jesus says, “There is no plan B.”