Grace for a Purpose Driven Life Chapters 36 & 37

May 29, 2004

I.  You Were Made For a Mission

- As part of the army of God – as a soldier of the cross – you have a mission to fulfill

- Both Jesus and Paul gave very clear statements indicating they were on a mission:

  • John 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.
  • John 17:18 - As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
  • Acts 20:24 - But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

“You were made for a mission. God is at work in the world, and he wants you to join him. This assignment is called your mission. God wants you to have both a ministry in the Body of Christ and mission in the world. Your ministry is your service to believers, and your mission is your service to unbelievers. Fulfilling your mission in the world is God’s fifth purpose for your life.” – p. 281

- While I’m not sure I’d make that much of a distinction between the two words:

> the only time in the NT that the word for mission gets translated that way is:

  • Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, taking along with them John, who was also called Mark.

mission = [the Greek word diakoni,an(diakonian – from the root word for diakonos or DEACON!] – the idea is one of ministry, service; contribution, help, support

Point: Our ultimate purpose is to glorify God – but we have a mission to be the salt and light God wants us to be so we can win people to Christ and equip them to be more faithful disciples!

- It’s keeping the MAIN THING, THE MAIN THING!

- At age twelve Jesus said, “I must be about my Father’s business,” (Luke 2:49) and about 21 years later, dying on the cross, He said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30).

 “The mission Jesus had while on earth is now our mission because we are the Body of  Christ. What he did in his physical body we are to continue as his spiritual body, the church. What is that mission? Introducing people to God!” – p 282

  • 2 Corinthians 5:18 - Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

- Let’s think about some different aspects of this mission:

A.  The IMPORTANCE of your mission

- Think about this for a minute:  God doesn’t HAVE to use you, He CHOOSES to use you!

Input: What are the implications of that truth – i.e. God chose to use US!

[various answers]

>  one is: to demonstrate His ability to use ‘idiots’ (ha!) – honestly, that His strength might be perfected in our weakness

>  we are stewards of the truth – He entrusted to us the message of the Gospel!

- One problem long-term Christians have is that they forget how hopeless it felt to be without Christ.

Input:  What was it like before you trusted Christ? [Don’t have to go into the gory details, but anybody willing to share a recollection of your hopelessness?]

Point:  Your mission has eternal ramifications – the lives of many depend upon your faithfulness

> but I thought God elected people – He does, but we don’t know who is and who isn’t elect (that’s not our job) – but God makes it very clear about us sharing the truth and helping people come to know Christ!

Q: Who do know around you that doesn’t know Jesus – what is your plan to reach them?

B.  What It COSTS to fulfill your mission

Input: How would you answer that issue – i.e. the cost for you to fulfill the mission God gave you?

[various answers]

- One answer is this: submission to God’s authority!

>  To fulfill your mission will require that you abandon your agenda and accept God’s agenda for your life.

> that’s exactly what Jesus did – and so should we!

  • Luke 22:42  "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done."

- Paul described this process and/or choice very clearly:

  • Romans 6:13 - and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
  • Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Input:  What has God promised to do for those who honor Him?

  • Deuteronomy 11:26-28 "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today; 28and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.
  • Galatians 6:7-8  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

 

- This is called the Law of the Harvest – and it is always at work in our lives!

  1. The RESULT of your mission

- The result of you fulfilling your mission shows up on a lot of different fronts:

1)  God is glorified

2)  You get rewarded for your faithful service

>  think about that for a second – God saves you, fills you with His Spirit, gives you His sufficient Word, places you in a local church with other believers and pastors to help you, He gives you all the grace you need, and then . . .  REWARDS YOU at the Judgment Seat of Christ!!!!

3)  Lost people are saved from eternal torment in hell!

- We really need to focus on 2 Pet 3:9:

  • 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Point:  If you want to be used by God, you must care about what God cares about – next to being glorified, what He cares about most is the redemption of the people He made. He wants his lost children found! Nothing matters more to God; the Cross proves that.

- Let get honest and ask a hard question:

Q:  What fears have kept me from fulfilling the mission God made me to accomplish? What keeps me from telling others the Good News?

 

II.  SHARING Your Life Message

- If there is one aspect of our Mission it is this:  PASS IT ON!

> Pass on the truth of what you’ve learned – of what you know – let other benefit from what God has taught you (don’t hoard it – share it!)

- it’s similar to what Peter and John faced right after the Day of Pentecost – when warned/instructed/threatened NOT to tell anyone about Jesus:

  • Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;20for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."

Q: Are YOU like that?  Is our CHURCH like that?

- There was a church in the NT whose testimony stands out very strongly  – this was not a perfect church, but for the teaching they had, they were outstanding!

- It was the church at Thessalonica (cf. 1 Thes. 1:1-7)

- Then Paul said this:

  • 1 Thessalonians 1:8 - For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.

- I like the way Warren divided up a life’s message into four parts:

[If time, have the class answer each of these questions]

  • Your testimony; the story of how you began a relationship with Jesus
  • Your life lessons: the most important lessons God has taught you
  • Your godly passions: the issues God shaped you to care about most
  • The Good News: the message of salvation

Quote: 

Sharing your testimony is an essential part of your mission on earth because it is unique. There is no other story just like yours, so only you can share it. If you don’t share it, it will be lost forever. You may not be a Bible scholar, but you are the authority on your life, and it’s hard to argue with personal experience. Actually, your personal testimony is more effective than a sermon, because unbelievers see pastors as professional salesmen, but see you as a  “satisfied customer,” so they give your more credibility.”

  • 1 Peter 3:15-16 - But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

-  You cannot keep yourself from talking about what you care about most.

** IMPORTANT NOTE: Of these five purposes, the fifth can only be done on earth.

Q:  As I reflect on my personal story, who does God want me to share it with?