Welcome to week 3 of RE:Mission. During week 1, I gave you three steps to living the mission of Jesus.
- In order to live the mission of Jesus, we need to have an intellectual faith about Jesus.
- In order to live the mission of Jesus, we need to actually enjoy the presence of God every day of our lives.
- In order to live the mission of Jesus…watch the message; listen to the message; read the manuscript.
You can find all of those things on my blog, www.chrispeoples.org. I continue to revisit those introductory steps because I think they are necessary as we learn what it means to live the mission of Jesus and how Jesus modeled living his mission.
Last week, we walked through the Passover Festival, and we learned certain events from the Passover Festival align with the week prior to the crucifixion. I also gave you a line both weeks that I invited you to write down. I said if we can grab hold of this line and let it sink into our brains, it would change how we live the mission of Jesus. Here’s the line – Salvation should change your life, not just change your death. If you missed either of the last two weeks, you should go back and listen or watch.
This week, we are going to camp out on how Salvation should change your life, not just change your death. Our perspective on what salvation is for makes a large impact on how we live the mission and why the mission is even important. Some Christians believe that salvation impacts our eternity and we can live however we choose to live life because once we have salvation nothing else matter much. Often, I tell people to run from that group because they are stuck in a system of religion and have a very small view of God. Other Christians believe that salvation impacts every day because our salvation is dependent on what we do. At the extreme ends of both groups, we can find people who are living for the purpose of seeking God’s approval. The root of their belief system might be correct, but they are getting the implementation wrong in many cases.
Salvation should impact every day of our lives because Galatians 5:6 says the only thing of significance is that our faith is working itself out through love. Love for Jesus and love for other people. I heard a pastor say it this way, “The You next to you is more important that the You in your seat.”
Jesus most certainly had this perspective as he lived out his mission. As I read the New Testament, I think the amount of information we have about the first thirty years of Jesus’ life is interesting. We have information about his birth, his presentation at the temple, and his family’s escape to the area around Egypt and then moving to Nazareth. We re-enter Jesus’ life when he his twelve at the temple and how his parents forget to bring him home. The next season of Jesus’ life is his baptism and the selection of his disciples. From there, he is fully engaged in his public ministry.
I find it interesting what we do not know about Jesus. Imagine with me for a moment. What was Jesus like as a teenager? Would Jesus make the honor roll with all A’s every marking period? Would Jesus hit a home run every at bat? Would Jesus have a hat trick every soccer game? Would Jesus remind his brother, James, that he shouldn’t be looking at that girl like that? Did Jesus have pimple? We can imagine and speculate all we want, but one thing is certain.
Jesus was different. Jesus embraced his mission at a young age. Luke 2:49 tells us part of the conversation Jesus was having with his parents at the temple, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? (NKJV) From that point, it seems Jesus never looked back. For much of the three years of Jesus’ ministry, He does countless miracles and has many interactions as he spread the love of His Father throughout the region. Let’s pick up Jesus’ life in Luke 9.
Jesus engaged his mission
Luke 9:51-56 – When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.
When Jesus began his public ministry, he clearly knew his mission. Everything he had done prior to this moment was for right now. He set his face to go to Jerusalem. GPS!!! As we learned last week, Jesus had to arrive in Jerusalem at a precise time. This may have been the clearest mission in the history of the world. Even though the disciples made stops along the way, nothing was would distract Jesus from living out his mission. A village rejected him, but that did not distract Jesus from living his mission. A few of his close friends did not fully understand what was happening, but that did not distract Jesus from living his mission. Jesus rebuked his friends and continued on their journey. Jesus’ face was set toward Jerusalem.
Jesus remained persistent with living the mission.
Luke 19:28-40 – And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
From Luke 9 to Luke 19, Scripture reminds us multiple times that Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem. Luke 19 walks us through the final moments of his arrival in Jerusalem. Jesus was on a mission. Jesus knew what he was supposed to accomplish and stayed persistent in living the mission. When Jesus was fully engaged in the mission, he needed other people to assist him. Verse 29 tells us that Jesus sent two of his disciples to help him accomplish his mission. Jesus knew he could not do this on his own. Jesus understood for importance of this mission. Jesus had made the necessary preparations of a colt that was not broken. Jesus rode into town on that colt and listen to the praise of his followers. Jesus accepted that living the mission required being surrounded by people to help him and encourage him along the way. I love his response to the Pharisee in verse 40. It is just as possible for the stones to cry out as it is for my follower to not give me praise.
There were various distractions along the way, but Jesus stayed persistent. The mission would become very stressful very quickly, but Jesus stayed persistent. He didn’t give up. He didn’t quit when he was tired. He was faithful to the mission until it was accomplished.
When we RE:Mission our lives, there will be circumstances that try to distract us. Some circumstances that distract us are beyond our control. Some circumstances that distract us are natural consequences of our own decisions. We convince ourselves that God cannot use us because that one thing is in our past. That is a lie directly from Satan. Stop believing and embrace the mission of Jesus for your life. Some circumstances that distract us come because we are stubborn and ignorant people. We do not want to be obedient.
When we RE:Mission our lives, there will be people that try to distract us. Some people that distract us have really good intentions, but should never give advice. Some people that distract us don’t care about living the mission of Jesus and we listen to them like they do. Some people that distract us are in our Sunday School classes and small groups, but are stuck in a system of religion and have a very small view of God. There are others who distract us as well at different seasons of life.
Seven evaluation questions that will help us remain in RE:Mission
Each of these questions comes out of Matthew 5:3-10. We call these verses the Beatitudes. If we embrace these attitudes while living the mission of Jesus, each of them will change our character. Each of them is focused on who we are and who we are becoming. What we do and how we respond flows directly from who we are and who we are becoming.
- Do you have spiritually bankruptcy? Do you depend on God as your sole provider of anything good?
- Does your heart break over the things that break God’s heart?
- Do you interact gently with other people? Do you always have to be right?
- Do you have a growing appetite for righteousness and holiness?
- Do you pour mercy and grace into situations and conversations? Do you reside in rigid rules?
- Do you seek to remain pure in your lifestyles? Do you try to avoid becoming a stumbling block for others?
- Do you bring peace into your relationships?
Salvation should change your life, not just change your death.
Near the beginning of this message, I said “The You next to you is more important that the You in your seat. Jesus certainly lived his life this way. He lived his mission because Jesus thought you and I are more important that his life. 1 John 2:6 reads, “whoever says he abides in him (Jesus) ought to walk in the same way in which he (Jesus) walked.
The You next to you is more important than the You in your seat. The You next to your house is more important than the You in your house. The You next to your locker is more important than the You at your locker. The You next to your office is more important than the You in your office. The You at the grocery store is more important than the You pushing your shopping cart. The You working in the drive-thru is more important than the You trying to hurry to the next calendar event. The You pitching the baseball is more important than You who is swinging the bat. The You that doesn’t look like you is more important than the You in the mirror. When we begin to RE:mission our lives, the other YOU’s that cross our paths begin to matter.