On a Mission from God
Mark 1:16-20; Luke 19:1-10; Luke 8:38-39; John 20:21
Everyone wants a life of meaning and purpose. Meaning and purpose are inseparable. The meaning you give to life will shape what you believe your purpose in life is. If life is about acquiring the most possessions, wealth, status, security, celebrity, experiences, attention, approval, or ___________ (fill in the blank), then your purpose will increasingly revolve around getting more of what you have decided is the meaning of life.
Jesus comes along and radically redefines the meaning of life. The meaning of life is about the life, ways, and will of God becoming your life, ways, and will. Then the purpose in life is about doing the will of God (John 4:34, 17:4). The meaning of life is about the Kingdom of God and, therefore, purpose in life becomes seeking that kingdom above all else (Matthew 6:33). The meaning of life is about love—loving God and loving others. Therefore, purpose in life becomes living a life of love (Matthew 22:26-40).
You want a powerful purpose that makes a difference. You are invited by Jesus into that powerful purpose of doing God’s will for the sake of others who are in need. That is the essence of a life of meaning and purpose.
There are some people God calls to dislocate from their current way of life and relocate into a fulltime life of serving the purposes of God. That is what the disciples experienced when Jesus called them in Mark 1:16-20. As you reread that passage, notice that Jesus initiates and they respond immediately.
Most of us are not called to dislocate. We are called to stay where we are as the servants-ambassadors-missional friends of Jesus and make a daily difference right where we live and work. That is what Zacchaeus experienced (Luke 19:1-10). He was utterly transformed by Jesus and immediately went to work doing good. That is what the Samaritan woman experienced in John 4. And that is what the man who was freed from demonic possession experienced in Luke 8:38-39. Stay where you are and share the good news.
Whether you relocate or remain right where you are, Jesus is sending you to love, bless, repair, and heal the world. You are on a mission from God, a mission of God, and a mission for God. That makes your life beautiful.
As you read each chapter this week, keep these reflection questions in mind:
• What does this chapter teach me about Jesus’ character?
• What does this chapter teach me about what Jesus is doing?
• What difference will reading this chapter make in my life?
• What does this chapter tell me about what Jesus wants from me?
Then pray and look to “practice the presence and pursue the purposes of Jesus” according to what you have read.
This chapter focuses on following Jesus while still loving money. The parable of the shrewd manager reminds us that we cannot serve God and money. What are the masters in your life? Are you serving Jesus alone or does something else have your attention and affections?
Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem when he heals ten lepers. But only one—a Samaritan—returns to thank Jesus. Once again, Luke is reminding us that Jesus shows care and attention to those who are on the margins of society.
Have you noticed how often Jesus mentions the problem of wealth? Following Jesus will require sacrifice. For some, like the rich man, the sacrifice will be too great. But for those who do sacrifice for the Jesus Way, blessings will follow (v. 30).
Jesus’ teaching led to a lot of debates, especially among religious people. At the end of this chapter, Jesus make a bold statement: “Before Abraham was born, I Am!” By using the present tense and not the past, Jesus is basically declaring himself God. Are there any bold statements of Jesus that you have trouble accepting?
- Songs We Sing
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