Sunday Reflections

Sunday Reflections

As follower’s of Jesus, our lives are larger than our own. We are part of the ongoing plan of God as he moves through history redeeming humanity. In order to understand where we fit in the overall scheme of God’s mission for the world, we are going to examine the overall plan of God throughout the biblical story.

Sunday, we examined several passages that tell the overarching story of God’s mission. I encourage you to read the following passages in their original contexts.

Genesis 12:1-3 (see also: Galatians 3:8; Galatians 3:28-29). Remember Genesis 12 comes after Genesis 1-11. Genesis 1-11 poses a cosmic question to which God must provide a cosmic answer. The call of Abraham in Genesis 12 is the beginning of God’s answer to the evil of human hearts, the strife of nations, and the groanings of brokenness of his whole creation. No wonder Paul called this the Gospel in advance (Gal 3:8).

Exodus 19:3-6 (see also: 1 Peter 2:9). When God invites His people to be His priests, it is an invitation to show the world who God is and what God is like. In other words, Israel was chosen not only from nations, but also for nations. Likewise, God chooses individual people with the intention of saving the world. Like Israel, we are a kingdom of priests.

Israel often turns away from its mission and is thrust into exile in Babylon.

Books like Lamentations express the honest sadness of a people in exile. The danger of the exile is that the people became so preoccupied with themselves that they were unable to think, re-imagine, and re-describe a larger different reality.

Isaiah 49:6. God’s people had to be driven back to the memory of their story in which God not only wants to restore the tribes of Israel, but wants to set them up as a display people for all peoples – a light for all nations – to be the ones who announce God’s salvation to the ends of the earth.

Isaiah 9:6-7. The prophets also speak of a coming servant who will bring salvation to all.

Mark 1:14-18. Jesus begins his ministry by announcing the coming of the Kingdom. A New stage in history had arrived. The kingdom is here and available to all. The calling of the first disciples shows that one must not only repent and believe the gospel, but also must be ready to leave and follow.

Mark 3:13-15. As this text shows, this “being with Jesus” does not stand in isolation from mission. We have a tendency to put a period after the phrase “to be with him.” In doing so we have made the church into a community that focuses upon our fellowship with Jesus for our own edification – but this does not truly glorify God unless the rest of the disciple’s mandate is heard and followed. From being with Jesus, we are “sent out to preach.” In other words, our discipleship leads into our apostleship – our sending.

Romans 10:13-15. Paul first quotes Joel: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Then in clear logic, he asks, “But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him?”

Today’s estimate is that about ½ of the world’s population – 3.5 billion people have not heard a culturally relevant presentation, much less a demonstration of the gospel.

Paul continues: “And how can they hear without a preacher?” Yes! Someone must go. There must be someone to demonstrate and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. God designed it this way. But wait. There is one more question: “And how can they preach unless they are sent?”

Not only are their the ones who go, but also the ones who send. Both are equally important. And the responsibility of sending lies with the local church.

We are sending you.

But I’m not a missionary. I’m a insert job title hear.

Spurgeon said, “Either every Christian is a missionary or imposter.”

What he means is that regardless of our “occupation” we all have the same “vocation.” Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “You will be my witness.”

Look, witness is not merely one of the several things that Christians are called to do. Witness is the comprehensive definition of what a Christian is.

In other words, everything that the Christian community is and does relates, either obediently or disobediently, to our vocation – You will be my witness.

About Michael

Michael is a committed follower of Jesus Christ who thinks too much about all the things he wonders about. His wife and sons love him, his friends tolerate him, and strangers avoid him. He does his best work at home, but that really isn’t saying much. Despite attempts to fit in, play sports, and live the American Dream, Michael lacks the ability to be qualified as normal.

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