Summary: God created us to not only serve within the church but out in the world
“WE WERE MADE FOR A MISSION”
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Welcome back to 40 Days of Purpose; it has gone by fast. There has been a lot of content, a lot of material, but it has gone by extremely fast. You will want to take out your outlines at this time if you want to follow along. It might be helpful. This week we are on day 36. Today is day 36. There are five more days and we are done. The five purposes really sum up what Christianity is all about; what God desires to do in our lives is summed up in those five purposes
What have we learned about those purposes? One thing we have learned is that the key to life is God. The starting point for making meaning out of our life is realizing we are created by God. It is all about God. It is the first phrase in the Bible in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God . . .”. We learned also that the image for life is not an hourglass, the sands of time simply running down, but actually life is more like a gym, a health gym. This is preparation for eternity. How we do in this life determines what happens in our next life. God is using this life to make that determination and also to instill practices which we will use in eternity for all time.
For those practices we have covered so far the first one is worship, simply loving God back. We love God back through corporate worship, through personal worship, and through acts of obedience. We learned about fellowship. Fellowship means simply that we need each other. We were created for each other, not to be alone. We learned that the third purpose is discipleship, meaning God desires to restore us in his image. God is more interested in our character than he is in our comfort. Last week we learned that the fourth purpose is ministry. We were not created to consume, but we were created to make a contribution. All four of these purposes can be used for all eternity. We will practice them in heaven as we are doing on Earth. This fifth purpose, however, is one that is limited in time. It is not one that is practiced in heaven. It is simply a purpose which will be expressed here and now. It is captured in John 17:18 and here is what it says. Jesus said: “In the same way that you gave Me a mission in the world” [this is Jesus praying to his Father in the final prayer in Gethsemane], “I give them a mission in the world.” Note the phrase “in the world,” this is something that takes place in the world. Last week we talked about ministry to believers, today we are talking about mission to unbelievers, mission to those who have not yet come to a saving knowledge of Christ. We all have a specific mission and we also have a common mission.
Today we will be talking about our common mission. What is that common mission? That common mission is captured in Acts 20:24. Paul says it very well and it is listed there. The most important thing is that I complete my mission: the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to tell people the good news about God’s grace. You’ve probably heard it differently -Matthew 28:20 is the common one. The great commission was to go into all the world and make disciples or, better said, it really is a participle. It begins with a participle: as you go, as you go out in your daily life, make disciples, tell others about me.