Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Your mission, should you choose to accept it is …”
When I was growing up in the 1960s there was a popular weekly television series called “Mission Impossible”. Each episode began with special agent Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) listening to a cassette recording of a deep male voice saying “Good Morning Mr. Phelps. Your mission, should you choose to accept it is …” And the voice would then go on to describe some impossible mission that Mr. Phelps and his team would have to accomplish in the 30 minutes allotted to that weekly episode. The audience would then watch as the cassette tape self-destructed with hissing and smoke.
In Matthew 28:19-20, and again in Acts 1:8 and Mark 16:15, Jesus gave us, His followers, our mission. We are to go into all the world on His behalf, sharing the Good News of the Gospel, leading people to faith in Christ, and teaching them how to be His disciples too. This is the primary reason God left you here on earth after He saved you from your sins. God’s great desire, and His ultimate goal, is to create an eternal family to spend eternity with Him in heaven. It is His desire that none be lost (Matthew 18:14; John 6:39; 2 Peter 3:9), but that all should have the opportunity to place their faith in Christ and be adopted into the family of God. This is why Jesus came to earth to begin with.
Once a person has placed his or her faith in Christ, the Father could instantly bring that person to heaven now that His ultimate objective for that person has been accomplished. But seldom does He do that. Instead, He leaves us on this earth for some period of time so that we can participate in this mission of helping to draw others to Him as well. That’s what the Great Commission is all about. It’s the mission of the followers of Christ to spread out across the earth carrying on the work of Christ.
Sadly, many Christians don’t accept that mission, or at least they don’t participate in it in any meaningful way. Sometimes it’s because they’re lazy; other times it’s because they’re not really concerned much about the salvation of others; sometimes it’s because they haven’t been taught how to participate in the mission; and sometimes it’s because they’re afraid. This mission of ours really can seem as if it is “Mission Impossible” and it can therefore sometimes be a bit intimidating.
But we don’t need to feel afraid or intimidated. Remember, we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts teaching, leading, guiding, and empowering. He is the One who makes it possible for us to be successful in what would otherwise be an impossible mission. We’ll think more about this in the days to come. In the meantime, I encourage you to accept your mission and get busy telling others the Good News of the Gospel.