Mission is a Continual Thing
Robin Aylor 04/15/2018
Have you ever been walking close to Christ and all seemed well then all of a sudden you came to your senses and realized you had been drifting away?
How can we do a better job of staying on mission?
For some help with this today we will consider some of Jesus Last Words before his death and again after his resurrection.
Famous last words pave many a road with calamity! Can you think of some famous last words someone has said before something eventful? Not long ago I was brave enough to go up to my neighbors little dog. My famous last words were something like: “Awe… you’re such a sweet little doggy, hey buddy, let me pet you, yes sir”… and then suddenly many pain receptors simultaneously awakened in my teeth trenched hand! Have you ever told someone “You can trust me, I know what I’m doing”… and then really made a mess of things? Or maybe your last words were “Look Mom, no hands” just before your bicycle swerved out of control down into the bar ditch… Finally there’s that “B” movie famous last words favorite: “Which wire was I supposed to cut?”. Of course these kinds of last words seldom leave a good legacy behind.
However; there are also last words which we treasure.
These instruct objectives of great purpose.
Parents saying goodby to children leaving for college, graduating or getting married… The last words of a loved one before they pass away.
Last words also go before great crusades, campaigns, war and many times consist of instruction, caution and encouragement aimed toward a goal, aspiration or mission.
That seems to be the case with Jesus last words before his death and again after his resurrection. It was about the disciples mission to abide in him, take his comfort and share the good news of Jesus with others.
Jesus, in John chapters 13-17 the day before he went to the Cross Jesus gave final instructions to his disciples as well as an over abundance of exceeding comfort and encouragement. Yes, they would face many trials in their charge and most die martyrs deaths but Jesus promised he would give them whatever they needed to accomplish the mission; whatever they ask in his name. The mission must go forward and God glorified.
In John 17 God promises a lot of encouragement for us as well - It teaches that God shared his glory with himself within the Trinity and will share his glory with us who are on his assignment… He had promised his Holy Spirt to them in John 16 and now he mentions giving us things like his word, name, joy, love, glory and something else the Trinity shared… eternal life… gifts given to all believers on mission.
If you have ever had a boss who didn’t explained your job responsibilities you know how that creates a sense of no purpose and therefore no accomplishment… Jesus has told us clearly our mission and given us an abundance of encouragement to face the trials with.
But how do we stay on mission? I think we can see how very clearly in John 15. We first must abide in him positionally. (we must be in right standing with God by Jesus imputed righteousness through faith) and then practically as his word abides in us and is internalized… His word is our spiritual food for growth and we like it. Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!… So now this is what we delight in for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and everything in between… spiritual herbal tea before bed and midnight snack! No refined worldly carbs allowed!!! We do not need to acquire a taste for what makes us sick any longer! This is not a diet to balance out our life so we can occasionally eat poison again. After we taste Christ it becomes a lifestyle change all together… We stay on mission for life. When we fail he draws us back in true repentance as he gives us what we ask and need for the mission which we love and we go forth to bear much good fruit, John 15 says… that abides or lasts.
That is how we are successful on mission. It is a continual thing. Psalms 105:4 Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.
It may seem strange that we continue to seek God after we have found him but that is how we stay on mission... We see more and more of his glory and are transformed (2n Corinthians 3:18) We seek and eat more spiritual food and our worship and sharing of him grows.
Psalm 1 teaches us the same thing about this one on continual mission. 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 …In all that he does, he prospers. (As Christians we turn away from our old mission to serve self and we are all about taking comfort and delighting in Christ and sharing him with others and everything about this new and continual mission prospers)
Finally lets go back to John and look at the last 8 words he recorded that Jesus said… One might expect John to quote Jesus giving the great commission before his ascension like Matthew 28, but consider the gravity of what he writes as Jesus last words.
Here's the set up. Peter said he would not deny Jesus… But after he denied Christ 3 times I suspect he questioned his own love for Jesus. Did he love Jesus with Agape or godly unconditional love? I believe Peter had thought he loved him this way before. Peter had said he would die for Jesus but instead denied him. The Bible says how he went out and wept bitterly afterwards. He may have spent many days in deep depression questioning his own faith.
When Jesus appears to him after the resurrection he ask Peter if he loved him with Agape love (godly love willing to lay down your life unconditional love) Peter answered that he loved him with Philia love or as a friend. I believe Peter realized he could not trust his own feelings. He had thought he loved Christ with Agape love before… so now he was afraid to answer that way again.
Jesus relieves his burden and doubt by telling him he will lay down his life for him and in fact die on a cross. At last I think Peter knows he loves Jesus with Agape love!!!! He must have been ecstatic… He likely felt like a super Christian and would be willing to walk on coals of fire for Jesus!!! Satan could not stop him now!!! He was unsinkable like the Titanic!!! Yes indeed, just like the Titanic!
Immediately I think his burden was lifted (Thank You Lord!!!) and Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved (John I believe). Reading from John 21:21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” It sounds like jealousy is creeping in to Peters heart. How would he die? Would he be crucified too… or maybe beheaded, or will I be the only one with a difficult road ahead? Once again as when Peter had taken his eyes off of Jesus earlier and sank on the water, now he takes his focus off Jesus again and sank out of mission. Listen to Jesus last words recorded in the Gospel of John and see if you don’t think they go right along with what Jesus has been saying all along.
John 21:22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
What a way to end the Gospel of John!!! Stay on mission, do not be distracted by jealousy or sin or the lusts of the world. Trust Jesus, take his comfort. Find your exceeding delight in him. These last eight words of Jesus can help us stay on mission throughout every single day! Whenever someone hurts you or something goes wrong, when you feel depressed or some supposition of mind tries to distract you from the mission (and I think satan is working to that end every second)... Jesus says to you and to me: “what is that to you? You follow me!”
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AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBengaliBosnianBulgarianCatalanCebuanoChichewaChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEsperantoEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekGujaratiHaitian CreoleHausaHebrewHindiHmongHungarianIcelandicIgboIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseJavaneseKannadaKazakhKhmerKoreanLaoLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalagasyMalayMalayalamMalteseMaoriMarathiMongolianMyanmar (Burmese)NepaliNorwegianPersianPolishPortuguesePunjabiRomanianRussianSerbianSesothoSinhalaSlovakSlovenianSomaliSpanishSundaneseSwahiliSwedishTajikTamilTeluguThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduUzbekVietnameseWelshYiddishYorubaZulu
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