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#1: Christmas is All About Mission
Read these familiar texts again: John 3:16; John 1:1–14; Luke 2:10–14, 28–32. In each passage notice how global the good news is in its focus and scope.
The story of Jesus begins with the incarnation. His name shall be called Emmanuel, God with us. Why is God with us? The answer is in a name. The name is Jesus, which means the Lord saves (Matthew 1:21).
In the Gospel of Matthew, the wise men (Magi) from the east come looking for a newborn King. These wise men are foreigners. Gentiles. Pagans. Astrologers. Magicians. The most unexpected people become the most welcome people, while the very rulers and priests in Jerusalem are NOT interested in the Messiah.
The Gospel of Matthew opens with a genealogy that has four unusual (and really, controversial) names in it: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and the wife of Uriah, Bathsheba). The names are controversial because women are included in what is typically male-only genealogies, they all have some sexual sin associated with them, and the four women are NOT JEWS. They are foreigners! This is the lineage of the Missional Messiah born to Mary.
Matthew will end his Gospel of King Jesus with the final command to take this good news to the nations—the good news of a Messiah-King.
May you celebrate every Christmas from this time forth as a missional holiday of God’s love for the whole world.
#2: Palm Sunday is All About Mission
Let’s get the Old Testament context we need to understand Palm Sunday. Read Psalm 2. It is an Enthronement Psalm that celebrates the installation of a King.
Then turn to the minor prophet Micah (near the end of the Old Testament) and read Micah 5:4, a prophecy about the future Messiah. Finally, look a few chapters later to Zechariah 9:9–10 and another prophecy of the coming King.
All this helps you understand the background and context of Palm Sunday. The people of Israel were looking for a King who would restore Israel by defeating all the nations around Israel. That is the anticipation of the crowd when Jesus enters the city.
Now read Luke 19:28–44 and witness the entrance of King Jesus to the city of God. But what a King! What an entrance! What a mission! It is like nothing the people could have ever expected. For King Jesus comes as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) in a place where there is no peace and for a world that does not know peace.
King Jesus comes to bring shalom to the world. King Jesus comes to be the King of Kings who will bring shalom and justice and flourishing for all the nations.
Finally, read Philippians 2:5–11.
“Behold your King,” Pilate would soon say (John 19:14). Ha! If only Pilate really knew what kind of King is before him and what this King would soon do to bring his Rule of Peace to the world.
May you celebrate every Palm Sunday from this time forth as a triumphal missional entry by the Prince of Peace.
#3: Good Friday Is All About Mission
As you can tell, in this week’s devotional we have you reading a little more of the Bible, and we are not giving a lot of reflection guidance. We want you to be simply imprinted with the continual missional theme of the highpoints of Christ’s life and ministry.
Read Romans 1:14–17 to see how the Apostle Paul understood the gospel of God and who the gospel (good news of salvation) was for.
Now read Romans 3:9-18 to see the broken, sinful status of the entire world.
Now read Romans 3:21–26 and Romans 5:1–11 to see what Jesus did on the cross for the entire world (Jews and Gentiles).
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dewell in him (Jesus), and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. - Colossians 1:19–20
His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross by which he put to death their hostility… you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people… (see all of Ephesians 2:14–22).
May you participate in every Good Friday from this time forth as a Friday that is good for all the peoples of the world.
#4: Easter Is All About Mission
Read the thrilling First Sermon by the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:21–41. Pay attention to the message of the cross and the resurrection. Remember, as Peter is preaching this message, he is preaching to a wide group of people who have come from many nations (see Acts 1:8–11 for a partial list of those nations).
Peter can hardly contain himself. Jesus is alive—forever! Death could not hold him. Sin could not defeat him. Satan lost. Evil is undone. Jesus is victorious. Christus Victor (Christ the Victor) the ancients used to say. Resurrection life is now bursting forth through all the world.
Now read Acts 4:8–12 and see once more the good news of Jesus the Messiah is for all the world. There is no other name by which mankind may be saved. There is no hesitation, no embarrassment, no political correctness that is afraid to offend people with a statement of reality and truth in this passage.
Finally, read Acts 26:15–32, where Paul talks powerfully of the resurrected Christ, risen for the salvation of all people (vs. 23).
King Jesus is risen from the dead. That is the game changer. That is the wild card. Resurrection happens. Crucifixion and resurrection are for all the peoples of all the world. It is a unique message of a unique work by a unique God. There is no one else in any of the religions who makes a claim to do such a thing as Jesus did.
Get the word out. That is what a Missional People and a Missional Church does. Shout it from the housetops (in that culture, they had flat, open air roofs). Jesus is risen from the dead. The good things of God are running wild through the world.
May you celebrate every Easter Sunday from this time forth as a Resurrection Day that is good for all the peoples of the world.
Follow the Biblical Paradigm
reJesus + reMission = Missional Jesus
The Missional Messiah is the HEAD of his BODY (or church). A Missional Head has a Missional Body (or Missional Church). A Missional Body is composed of Missional Parts. A Missional Church is made of Missional Followers.
Any church that is not a missional church is only pretending to be a church. Eventually, that church will become a mission field in need of being reached. The history of the church shows this to be true.
Any follower of Jesus who is not a missional friend-worker with Jesus becomes self-focused, inward looking, and misses out on the most essential calling there is. The history of spirituality shows this to be true.
Called to be commissioned. Blessed to be a blessing. Invited in to be sent out.
Doing the Greater Things of Jesus in the world God loves.
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