1st Manned Mission
@ r aylor
We're talking about Missions today.
You know, I was thinking about the first manned mission to the moon... that was Apollo 11. Let's see, that was 1969... it was July... I was 11 years old.
What was their mission? Getting there was part of it... Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on it's surface. But that wasn't the whole mission. They also took photographs soil samples; they set up solar and wind experiments. They also deployed a reflector ((Laser-Ranging Retro-reflector) (LRRR)) which reflects a laser back from earth to help measure the moons distance as it orbits the earth. They also set up something to detect moonquakes... ((Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP)) So they had a mission and apparently completed it.
Today NASA is already planning fora manned mission to an astroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s.
#1 - But you know... all that being said... A long time ago God actually sent out the first manned mission... it was to Earth. God created, and then gave the first man and woman Adam and Eve a specific mission. Let's read it:
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image,... 28 ...And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it,...
Of course this mission for mankind meant they were to have children and grandchildren and expand like a giant network marketing machine until they filled the earth.
But you know... their mission was not to fill the earth with images of sin and brokenness.. right? Remember... this was before Adam and Eve sinned... So they were to fill all the world with more image bearers of the one true holy God so Gods glory would fill the whole earth.
#2 - But the thing is... Adam and Eve rejected the mission... they distorted it and took on their own personal mission. They became seekers of their own glory and they became image bearers of themselves, they believed satan's lie and began promoting their own ego in the world.
We too were on that mission. We sought for joy and happiness and satisfaction in all kinds of things rather than looking to our Creator. We might have been obsessed with the way people see us; in other words we wanted others to see us as awesome or glorious in some way... surly that would bring us fulfillment... Maybe we tried to enhance our looks and proclaim our beauty and intelligence and wisdom on facebook to friends all around the globe. So actually we were on the same mission for ourselves that God want us to do for him.
Also we used to look for joy in things right? Things like making more money, getting bigger houses, nicer cars and more stuff... trying to feel better and be healthier with exercise, eating right or we may have even went to the other extreme trying to feel better by putting bad things in our body like drugs and such... but none of those things brought us joy.
#3 - Then, after Adam and Eve sinned, God made a promise for the first God-man mission... God would send his own Son as our only hope to escape the judgement for our sin.
When the time was right, Jesus arrived on earth as a man. He lived a perfect life, yet he was condemned as a sinner and was crucified on a cross and God raised him from the grave. And now, everyone who looks away from delighting in sin to delight in Jesus becomes an image bearer of God instead of brokenness and self and sin.
#4 - Then, after Jesus rose from the grave he re-commissioned believers with what was... at its root the same original mission God gave Adam and Eve. Interesting right?
Matthew 28:19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
What would this accomplish?... It would fill the earth with image bearers of God and glorify God in doing so.
In closing briefly I want us to think about what it means to be an image bearer of God. That's a pretty good definition of Missions I think.
Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea has pictures along with statutes of himself throughout the country. People look to him as a god... he's the state religion. And these images represent him and remind people of what he looks like and who he is.
So if we are to be image bearers of the one true God... What does that mean?
For starters it might help to know what God looks like right?... and secondly what kind of person is he...
Of course God is invisible right?
Speaking of Moses: Hebrews 11:27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.
God is invisible... what about his character and attributes? They are invisible as well.
Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
So if the invisible God has invisible attributes, how can we be his image bearers? Well, we've answered how it begins.
Remember Adam and Eve were made righteous in Gods image? And then how sin took away their ability to fill the earth with his image... Now, when we look away from sin to Jesus we receive his righteousness and so are able to bear his image to the world again.
Paul talks about it as bearing fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
This is the image of the invisible God at work in our life. And as I said it begins when we look to Jesus and then as we see more and more of Gods glory in Christ we become better image bearers of him to the world.
Speaking of Jesus:
Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God...