Summary: We were made to ’go out’.
Made for Mission
Purpose Driven Life #36
May 22, 2004
Why are we here? That’s the common question of our generation and of our age, and reflects the deep quest, and yearning, of us all for meaning in and to our lives. We, who are baby boomers, are coming to a time in life when we’re finding that all the energy and effort toward gratifying ourselves has not given us what we want; so, my generation is beginning to look for meaning in different ways. The young, today, are looking for meaning, and the result is that we’re seeing more of an involvement in other people, and a turning away from questing so much for money and more of a looking for relationships and meaning there. Why are we here?
Over the past 35 messages in this series, we have come to understand how God wants to redeem human beings from Satan and reconcile them to himself so they, including we, can fulfill the five purposes he created us for. We’ve been created to love him, to be part of his family, to become like him, to serve him, and to be involved in his work of reaching others. We’ve come to see that once we are his, God uses us to reach others. He saves us and then sends us out. We are the messengers of God’s love and purposes to the world.
All of these five purposes have to do with relationships, and spring from the two great laws of Christ- that we are to love God with all our being and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. These two great laws have always been- from creation, they were in force. They were codified, in a special and temporary way, for a carnal people at Sinai. But contrary to what we used to say, the Ten Commandments were NOT in force from Adam. Something far greater was and we’ve come to understand that and the temporary nature of the Ten Commandments, and all the other laws of which they were the center.
Today, we begin our last five messages in this important series. (I’ve never in 30 years of ministry given or been involved in a 40-part series before- yet, the responses from it have been greater than I’ve heard, ever, so I believe we have all been helped.) These last five messages focus on the fact that we are made for a mission. We’re made, of course, for a wonderful relationship with God that has us joining in his family and belonging there (the church) and has us becoming more like God and Christ, as we mature spiritually. We are to minister to one another- we are to serve one another. But, we are not to simply stay here, loving God and loving each other forever, although that would be easy. The church, and the mission of our Father, is not about our just going to church together forever and ever and simply encouraging and helping one another. No! As comfortable as that might be, there’s a world out there in dire need for the one thing that will bring the solutions people need to the issues of their lives. That is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. So, from the comfort and strength of the church and the family of God, we must go out on mission to other people and help them to experience what we are experiencing, but must not hold to ourselves. There is NOT only a limited amount of God’s goodness to go around. It’s unlimited, and there’s more than enough for everyone, so we don’t need to be chintzy and cheap about our reaching out to others. People around us are so very needy.
Do you see the needy people around you? How does it show around you? Let’s consider this together for a few moments. How do you see these needy people? (For my part, as I get to be in schools some, I see kids who, apparently, have money, but who are missing love, and who act out and disrupt classes because they’re desperate for attention. For them, bad attention and being sent to the office, for instance, is better than no attention at all.)
What about you? How do you see the needy people around you? (Get comments.)
Judith was telling us, over dinner a few days back, about the ongoing war in Pincourt. You knew about the war in Iraq, right? But you didn’t know there was a war in Pincourt, did you? There are tensions between English and French youth and, apparently, a week or so back, one came out the wrong door at the mall, which stirred a battle and a fight between the two sides.
We’ve a task to reach these people. One thing Gary Moore and I talked about is the floor our faith gives to us. Some people have to face some awful circumstances, like he and Tamara, but without hope, and that turns into despair that can go down and down and down. We have a floor and don’t have to move into despair. Doesn’t everyone need to know that and have that? I think so.