What Is Your Mission?

Have you ever had a casual conversation, and someone says something that you cannot get out of your head?  This happened to me last week.

We were having dinner recently with a sweet friend and she made a profound statement that keeps resonating with me.  We were talking about sharing our faith, and how we, as believers, are to live in a way that brings attention to the gospel.  (We talk about this a lot, so if you have us over for dinner, be prepared!)  Our friend summed up the word “missions” in one simple sentence:

Missions is simply a relationship that exists because of Jesus.

I. love. that.

So often, the idea of missions is too grand for us.  We talk about missionaries as those people who sell everything they have and get on a plane to spend the rest of their lives in the rain forest of a third world country.  We picture them as that family who came to speak at our church on a Sunday night, with at least five children, all of whom can play two or three instruments and sing beautifully.  And yes, there are many wonderful, godly, dedicated families and individuals who do get on a plane and spend their lives far from home and family.

But that’s just their particular assignment in the body of Christ.  We are all called to missions, and if we want to fulfill that calling, we have to simplify what that calling looks like.

Jesus had a mission when He came to our world.  Listen to His words in John 6, as He explains it.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.  Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it upon the last day.  For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.  (John 6:32-40)

Two observations about Jesus’ mission:

He was specifically sent.

Jesus did not come to earth on His own initiative, but in submission and obedience to the Father’s will.  We understand from other scriptures that Jesus is equally God, and is not “less than” His Father, but is One with Him (John 1:1-3, Philippians 2:5-11, John 17:21-26).  To accomplish His mission, He agreed with the Father’s will, and was sent.  And, He was the only One who could complete this particular mission.

He had a specific purpose.

Jesus was very clear about why He came: to bring eternal life to those who would believe.  Of course, this was not as simple as it sounds.  It involved suffering, rejection, betrayal, and His physical death.  It meant taking on Himself the sins of the world, and having His Father, the One who sent Him, turn His back on Him.  It meant defeating death and being resurrected from the grave.  Volumes of theology have been written on the purpose of Jesus’ mission, but He states it simply in Luke 19:10:  The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Jesus came for people.  He came to open the way for us to be restored to a relationship with our Creator.

Jesus’ mission (specifically sent for a specific purpose) becomes our mission.

In John 20, Jesus visits His disciples on the evening of His resurrection.  He shows them the scars of His crucifixion, proving that He has risen from the dead.  He then passes the baton of His mission with ten simple words:  As the Father has sent Me, I also send you (John 20:21).

Missions is simply a relationship that exists because of Jesus.

Because Jesus finished His mission.

Because we are now in a relationship with Jesus.

Because there are still lost people who are not.

We have a relationship with Jesus because He came to fulfill His Father’s will and seek out the lost ones. And now, every relationship we have is touched by His mission.  Does that person know Jesus?  Have they heard about the Bread of Life?  Are they still lost?

This is our mission: to be the messenger of the good news that a relationship with God is possible.  We don’t have to get on a plane.  We don’t have to get special training or learn a foreign language.  All we must do is believe what Jesus told us, and see the person in front of us as He sees them.

Are we in a relationship with Jesus?

Then we are on mission.  We are sent.

Who is in our life?  It’s not accidental.  Just as surely as the Father sent Jesus, He is sending us.

We are on mission.  We are sent.

Missions is simply a relationship that exists because of Jesus.

How do you define missions?

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