There are many nights after I tuck my kids in bed that I long to crawl in bed myself to drift off to sleep… at 7:30pm. I know, lame. But my eyes are so heavy, and my energy levels are completely spent. The thought of slipping into bed makes me want to sing and dance and shout all at once… if only I had the strength. In my day, I have spent myself and there is simply nothing left to give. Yet there is dinner to clean up and laundry to be folded. Book bags need to be prepared and homework checked. Toys need to be picked up, the cat fed, and lunches made. Anyone else out there with me? Do you ever get to the end of your day and feel like there is still so much that needs to be done? Maybe it’s when you leave the office, there are still those e-mails that need to be responded to or those calls that need to be made or the planning for tomorrow’s meeting. The list of things “to do” just never slows down.
And yet in John 17:4 Jesus prays to the Father and says, “I have brought you glory on Earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” Jesus completed the work that His Father had given Him to do. I mean, as Christ-followers, this doesn’t, and shouldn’t surprise us. Jesus was perfect. Of course, He completed His work. Of course, He completed His assignment.
And while this could very easily discourage me that here again lies another example of where I fall short and where I miss the mark, it does quite the opposite. I am so encouraged by the life Jesus lived. I love reading about Him in the Gospels. I love learning about how He carried Himself and interacted with people and lived with intentionality. I love knowing that He completed the work that God gave Him to do. He was focused and driven by the mission.
A little further on in John 17:18, Jesus prays for His disciples. He says, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” “Them” as in His disciples, Christ-followers. To be like Christ is to follow in His footsteps, to model our lives after Him. Jesus went. He went to the lost, the hurting, the sick, the broken. He gave of Himself. And He has sent us also into the world.
In Mark 16:15 Jesus tells His disciples to “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation”. It doesn’t say, live in a holy-huddle and never interact with the outside world. He doesn’t tell us to only interact or talk of Him to other believers. He tells us to go into ALL the world. We are commanded to take the Good News OUT… outside our church walls, outside the safety of the people we know and interact with.
Remember, Jesus went. And so should we.
Everything Jesus did, he did in accordance to what the Father instructed Him. He brought glory to God by doing the work He was called to do. We can also bring glory to God by completing the work God has given us to do. I’m not talking about making beds or lunches, cleaning a house, fixing a car or mowing a lawn. There is work that He has given us to do that goes beyond our day to day routines. He has given us work in sharing the Gospel with that co-worker, building that relationship with your neighbor, discipling that group of young girls, pioneering a ministry, going to that unreached people group.
Not that our good deeds or completion of work earn us anything, they don’t. But God reveals Himself and His glory to ALL people in order that He may receive glory from ALL people. Our works are an act of worship unto the Father. Our works are a love response to all that He’s done. Our works are also an act of obedience.
Each one of us was put on this Earth for a purpose. When God created you in your mother’s womb and knit you together, He had a plan in mind for your life. He gave you gifts and talents and numbered the hairs on your head and counted your days. Everything about your being and make up was calculated and thought through. But what if that plan was more about God than it was about you? What if that plan was wrapped up in something much bigger than you and your life?
Our God is alive and active today. He is on the move. He is still revealing Himself to the nations through ordinary people like you and me. He is still working through the Church to bring ALL people to Himself.
If the Gospel has come to you, it is so that it may flow from you. The Gospel is not meant for us to carry around in our pocket and hold tightly to make us feel good about ourselves. It is meant to be shared with the world. God’s desire is that all men would know Him and worship Him. If they don’t know Him, they can not worship Him. How can they hear unless they are told?
Church, it is time that we take hold of the Great Commission… as Hudson Taylor infamously stated, “not as option to be considered but a command to be obeyed.”
As Christ-followers, it’s an act of worship to engage in missions by sharing Christ with the world. We bring glory to Him as we proclaim His name. We bring glory to Him as we do the work He has called us to do.
If you have never considered what a life on mission looks like or you are hungry for more in your walk with the Lord, then join us at our Mission Conference coming up on November 9th and 10th here at Community Bible. We are going to explore what it means to live on mission, to Testify of His goodness, and how our story is ultimately for His glory.