THE MISSION OF GOD
Consider this central question: What is God’s mission on earth?
In the most simple and profound terms, it is:To seek and save his lost creation. The story that unfolds in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is about God creating the universe in all of its splendor and beauty.
Adam and Eve are tempted and sin enters the world in the Garden of Eden (read Genesis 2 and 3 for all the details). From that moment on, God’s focus and purpose is to redeem his creation, so that relationship between God and his people is fully restored.
Today, reflect on how much God loves the world and all that he is doing to redeem it. Here is a passage from Psalm 24 that will help:
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. - Psalm 24:1-4
JESUS AS THE VERY HEART OF MISSION
Peter responded, “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)
Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah gets to the heart of mission. To become missional as a church and as individuals we much be consumed by the person of Jesus.
Jesus is the heart of mission. How?
- He is THE very incarnation of God’s grace to the world (we celebrate this at Christmas).
- We are forgiven of sin and brokenness through Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross and because he overcame death.
- He is the living God, and is actively giving life to people.
As you consider being “All In” at Living Word, reflect on how you are following Jesus. Make some notes on these reflection questions:
- How has Jesus been the center of your life this week?
- What are you trusting him for specifically at the moment?
Pray that God would remind you that Jesus is the “Messiah, the son of the living God” and that he calls you into his Living Mission!
THE QUESTION FOR THE AGES
Jesus asked his disciples two questions in Matthew 16:13-20. The first is, “Who does the world say that I am?”
They answered, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (Matthew 16:14).
These were all important people in God’s missional plan. They all have one thing in common: They point to one who is greater who will come to save his people. That person is Jesus Christ.
What does our culture and the people around us say about who Jesus Christ is? Is he just a good teacher, an inspirational person? Or is he ignored?
The second question that Jesus asks is the most important question we will ever answer: “But who do YOU say I am?”
Our destinies are sealed with the answer to this question.
Peter boldly responded, “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.”
The rabbis of Jesus’ time would have told you that Peter’s answer was incorrect. The “right” answer should have been that the Messiah is God’s anointed one, a military-type leader who would usher in God’s Kingdom shalom.
Instead, Peter is led (by the Holy Spirit) to describe Jesus in the most intimate, personal terms possible. Jesus is God’s Son – his “only begotten Son” (John 3:16). He is the Son of the Living God, as opposed to the many false gods that compete for our hearts.
The choice is crystal clear: Choose the Son of the Living God or choose the false pagan gods.
- Choose life or choose death.
- Choose hope or choose despair.
- Choose the eternal or choose the temporary.
The heart of mission is what Jesus asks us again and again, “Who do YOU say I am?”
ENLISTED INTO GOD’S MISSION TODAY
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
Reflect: Take some time to consider the great truth that you are created uniquely by God for mission.
How do you relate to that?
How are you responding to the fact that God is preparing for your contribution to his Kingdom work?
Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones
Jesus stepped out of his comfort zone to fulfill God’s mission to seek and save his lost and broken creation. Now we are called to follow Jesus in stepping out of our comfort zones as well.
Jesus never lived by the motto, “Better safe than sorry.” Neither should we. Becoming a missional church demands that we do the opposite of “better safe than sorry.”
- We dream and pray and hope for people who are far from God coming to know and love and serve God (remember all the names of people written under the carpet outside the Main Auditorium!)
- We step out in faith to go across the city or into another culture to build relationships with people different than ourselves.
- We pray and give and serve those who need God’s grace and mercy. We bless our neighbors, we bless strangers, we bless enemies.
ALL IN ... RIGHT NOW
Living Word Community Church is US! It is a plural WE, not ME. We must be ALL IN together to become …
The REAL Church… The DEEP Church… The RADICAL Church… The MISSIONAL Church
This is our calling in the Kingdom of God!
How I Will Be Involved on Mission in 2019:
- I am giving financially to Living Word on a regular, consistent basis.
- I am giving to the 2018 Living Word Christmas Offering to bless ministries in York County and around the world.
- I am praying for family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and others who need God’s grace through Jesus.
- I will volunteer as part of Seasons of Service this Christmas.
- I will invite a friend(s) to one of our Christmas Eve services.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Songs We Sing
Other Messages in Series