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27th September 2015
We are called to go on mission. In Luke 10 we find Jesus commissioning his disciples – giving them authority and power to go out to the surrounding villages and towns with a message. Actually even when He chose His disciples, He called them to go on mission, inviting them to follow Him and become "fishers of men" (Matt. 4:19). To be with Jesus would have meant to be on mission.
It is very easy to hide behind busyness, fear or apathy even though we may be the only Christians in our communities, workplaces or families.
We're a community on mission, looking to see those who know nothing of the love of Jesus become those who are saved by His grace, brought into His family and discipled. You have been commissioned by Jesus – given the responsibility, authority and power to see God's Kingdom extended!
Mission and prayer are intrinsically linked. Jesus said we need to pray earnestly for labourers to go into the harvest field (Luke 10:2). His disciples aren't to pray for power or authority – we already have that. We're to lay hold of God to see gospel fruit in someone else's life. When did you last see someone's life impacted by Jesus because of something you said or did?
But there is a reason we don't want to go on mission: Jesus said He was sending out His disciples like lambs among wolves! It's not easy! But we are sent out by the Great Shepherd!
Mission, as much as anything else in the Christian life, requires us to rely on Jesus. He provides all we need on a daily basis – Jesus told His disciples not to take their own resources but to rely on their Father in heaven for all they need. We have received power from the Holy Spirit to be witnesses (Acts 1:8).
Jesus is interested in the practical and mundane things in our lives, because they can impact on gospel fruitfulness. Our lifestyles and interactions with people can open them to the message about Jesus, but it can also close them to it. When we gossip, do our jobs badly, are lazy or argumentative (just to give some examples), it closes people off to the gospel.
Our lives paint a picture of what God is like. Every time we forgive, every time we are kind, every time we are generous, we demonstrate something of the love of God. God is interested in the everyday stuff of life, and people are watching...
Jesus' disciples carry the message that in God's Kingdom there is deliverance and salvation, righteousness and justice, peace, joy, God's presence, healing and comfort. The Kingdom of God is multi-faceted.
We also find in Luke 10 that even the missionaries trained by Jesus would face disappointment. When we are disappointed at the response we get, we're to pick ourselves up, brush off the residue of disappointment, and move on to the next opportunity, undiminished in faith, obedience and perseverance. Our responsibility is to go; theirs is to receive; God makes the seed grow.
But we will also see success because Jesus said the gospel would bear fruit 30, 60 or even 100 times what was sown. So we are to live with an expectation of gospel fruit, having confidence as we go that we have the authority of Jesus, knowing the power of the cross and the direction and filling of the Holy Spirit.
Whether we see success or failure, we still rejoice that our names are written in the book of heaven. That is our security, our comfort and our strength.
If people aren't reading the Bible, going to church, or hearing anything good about God in the media, how will they find out about what a wonderful Saviour Jesus is? You and I could be the only way they will find out about the God who loves them and cares for them. Our everyday lives paint a picture of God's love, strength, wisdom, power, patience, compassion, holiness and kindness. Sometimes it takes years to paint that picture; at other times it happens in mere moments.
What picture of God are you painting to those around you?
Posted by Paul Mann
29th June 2014
Did you know that the God we worship has a mission? He is on a mission! We find it in the Exodus story, right the way through the Old Testament, then the New Testament, in the book of Acts – we find it in the gospel itself, with Jesus stepping away from His glory and perfect relationship with the Father and the Spirit to come to earth as a man and die for us.
The God we worship cares enough to act. He cares enough to save us from our sin and to bring us into a relationship with Him. Jesus came as a missionary, making a way so that we can approach Him.
God is on a mission because He has a big heart for people. God cares for you. The reason He cares for you is because you have intrinsic value: you have been created in the image of God. We get caught up in mission because the God we worship is a God of mission and we reflect Him.
In Mark 1:16, Jesus calls His disciples to get involved in His mission: they – and we – become "fishers of men". We are caught up in the Great Commission to "make disciples" (Matthew 28:19). In the areas surrounding us there are 150,000 people and many of them do not know Jesus nor all that is available to them through Him.
Many of us find it hard to share our faith, but God has a big heart for people and He wants us to have a big heart for people too. He doesn't leave to do it alone, though. He has poured out the Holy Spirit upon us to empower us to do all that He has called us to do. We read in the book of Acts that power came on the disciples – these men who were previously afraid to witness to all they had seen and heard, suddenly were empowered and given great boldness to testify to who Jesus is and what He has done.
God has given us everything we need for life and godliness; He has given us the Spirit. If we lack boldness and courage to speak to people about Jesus, the Spirit empowers us and equips us with all we need.
Listen to the preach on this subject and download the life application questions here.
Posted by Paul Mann
25th October 2012
God's people are always on mission: we hear lots about mission, talk about mission, plan mission, and rightly so – we are called on God's mission. But amid our very gospel- and mission-orientated works of service, I am learning the importance of finding rest in God. We are God's ambassadors to the ends of the earth and this is a great thing to be a part of. It's so important however, to gain a healthy balance between these two things: 'mission for Him' and 'rest in Him'.
John Piper describes it like this: "Mission exists, because worship doesn't." In other words, the purpose of mission is to establish a community of believers, one in spirit, in relationship with the Father. Often we forget that 'mission for Him' is dependent on and leading ultimately to our 'rest in Him'.
When we look at the story of Mary and Martha in Luke's Gospel, we can see that despite Martha being the one to invite Jesus into her home, she didn't benefit from spending any time with him when he was there. She spent too much time in the kitchen and not enough time at Jesus' feet.
Often, we too can pre-occupy ourselves with so many tasks, that we forget the primary purpose of Jesus' sacrifice. We can carry lots of good boxes - Bible-reading, praying, serving, evangelism, etc - but sometimes we need to lay these aside and come back to our first love. We are called first to do what Mary did, to sit at Jesus' feet, listen to his voice, and worship him.
Reading: Luke 10:38-42
Question: How can you make sure you are resting in Him?
Posted by Aled Cousins
2nd October 2012
Jonah's mission had been accomplished, the people of Nineveh had repented, and God had forgiven them. But Jonah was still hanging around to see what God would do next. He wasn't going to do anything much himself because he hadn't finished sulking and he knew that God is "gracious and abounding in love". And anyway, he was a prophet and he had done what prophets are supposed to do. Jonah, though a prophet of repute, clearly hadn't heard God's heartbeat – that of compassion for a lost and needy world.
So can we miss hearing the heart of God even though we are moving in faith and love, rising up to give generously when the need is there?
King's Church is large and flourishing and good to be in. But it is possible to be part of an active church without being particularly active yourself. People are always needed to serve in the life of the church, so have you considered how you can be involved? As we pray and seek God about the church and how much we can serve and give financially to the extension of the building, we need also to be open to hearing God's heart about where else he wants us to be active. Hastings, St Leonards and Bexhill are approximately the size of Nineveh and God reminds us through this passage that this is a 'city' with needs that he is also concerned about, and wants to meet through the likes of us.
Or of course you could go back to sitting in the shade and just watching what God is going to do next. But be warned! As Jonah found, God has a tendency to remove the shade and disturb our comfort zone when we least expect it!
Reading: Jonah 4
Question: Are you listening for God's heart for our 'city'?
Next prayer meetings: Today, 12.30pm at THC, and tomorrow, 7.30pm at THC
Posted by David Simpkins