Most of us want to be a part of something great. We want a mission for our lives. But we're not clear on what that mission should be.
Life can be full of static and noise. Our time and attention get pulled in dozens of directions. But as this new year dawns, I'd like us to take a fresh look at the mission of Jesus and find our part to play in it.
Remember The Mission
It's so easy to be distracted with good things instead great ones, but the mission Jesus gave us is so important Scripture records it five times.
Matthew wrote, “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 all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20
Mark wrote, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15
Luke wrote, “Repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations…” Luke 24:47
John wrote, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you… If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them.” John 20:21–23
In Acts, Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The mission is global. The message is Jesus. And we are the means.
Focus On The Finish Line
But you might be thinking: Aren’t there followers of Jesus in every nation by now? And you're right. But when Jesus said “make disciples of all nations” the 196 political nations as you and I know them in the 21st century did not exist then. What Jesus meant by “all nations” was all groups of people who have their own unique language and culture.
This means our Great Commission finish line is not just to every political nation, but to bring the saving message of Jesus to every tribe and language and people and nation.
The throne scenes in the book of Revelation confirm this. We read of a great multitude of people gathered around the throne of God from “every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9 & 7:9
So we’re not done yet.
- There are still 1,700 languages with no Scripture in them.
- There are still 6,700 people groups who have no access to hear the gospel and be saved.
- There are still 3.11 Billion people around the world who have never heard of Jesus.
Pray Like Crazy
The unreached masses are still harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Someone must go to them. Someone must lead them.
So pray, Jesus says. Prayer is where we always start. Even now you could stop and pray this prayer,
"Lord, you say that the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few. So would you send out more laborers into your harvest? God, I believe you are worthy of worship from 100% of the earth’s people, not just the 60% who have access to hear of you. Jesus, I believe you died to save people from every language, not just from three-fourths of the world’s languages who have your word now. God, please send out workers into your harvest so that the Great Commission can be fulfilled in this generation."
Give For A Huge Harvest
Last year a friend of mine set a giving goal. He wanted to give away $20,000 in 2016. This felt impossible to him. It was way beyond what he had ever given before. And most of the year it didn’t look like he and his wife would make their goal.
But when I talked with him recently his face beamed as he shared how God helped them take risks of faith and say yes to Great Commission opportunities. And in the final week of the year they gave up most of their savings for a new computer to be able reach their goal. His joy was contagious.
What if you did the same this year? The Bible says you get to choose how much of God’s harvest you’ll participate in… and it’s directly tied to your giving.
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6
Believe God Is Able
Jesus believed this was possible for us. That’s why he said, “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14
The end is coming. God is on the move. And he is using people to complete the work he inaugurated 2,000 years ago. Do you want in?
Remember the mission. Focus on the finish line. Pray like crazy. Give for a huge harvest. And believe God is able.