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Why am I on Mission?

Made for Mision   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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It had been almost 3 ½ years since the day he’d dropped everything he’d ever known to step out into a life he knew nothing about. He could still remember Jesus’ whisper loud enough for only him to hear amidst the crowd. “Come and follow me.” Peter knew very little of what he was getting into but something inside him told him this was the most important decision he would ever make in his life. Now, several years later he could barely even remember the days when his only goal was catching fish on the Sea of Galilee. He and the other guys Jesus called his disciples had seen the blind see, the dead rise, the waves become calm and demons cast out. Even crazier was that at some point Jesus had him actually doing the miracles. It never got old seeing the look of joy on a man’s face as he walked for the first time after a lifetime of being paralyzed.
Here they were in their 3rd Passover meal together. Someone how this one felt different. As the guys found their spots around the table Jesus didn’t go directly to his seat. Instead he got down on his knees next to a basin of water and began to wash the other guy’s feet. The others like Peter were speechless. Jesus had spoken about serving others countless times but this was too much. This was going too far. Peter was the last one to go and by this point Peter couldn’t stay keep quiet anymore. “No Lord!” he blurted out as he pulled his feet away. Then Jesus looked deeply into Peter’s eyes much like he’d done over three years ago when they first met and said words that once again would forever change his life. Once more Peter slowly extended his feet and watched in disbelief as the creator of the unaversive washed the gunk in between his blistered toes.

introduction:

Good morning. We’re in week five of our Made for Mission Series. If you’ve been MIA lately here is a quick review to catch you up.
We started out by saying “We are all called.” Calling is not for the spiritually elite but for everyone who calls Jesus Lord.
Week two we answered the question, “What’s my mission?” We said our mission is Jesus’ mission so we better find out what He’s about.
Week three we asked, “What’s my message?” If I’m made for a mission then what do I say when I’m on it. We learned our message is simple. We’re just supposed to share how God’s goodness has intersected with my life.
Finally, last week we talked about “Who’s my mission?”We said it’s simply those around us that God has strategically placed around us where we live work and play.
Today we are asking the question, “Why am I on Mission?” Maybe while we are here together you are pumped to go live out the mission God has put you on the planet to live but in the craziness of life do you find yourself asking questions like…
-Can’t I just be a normal soccer mom instead of a Mom on a mission? -Do I really have to see my school as a mission field? Can’t I just attend like everyone else? -My job’s hard enough, do I really have to try to force spiritual conversations with my unsaved co-workers?
Before we dive into today’s passage let me speak to those of you who are brand new to this whole God/Church/Jesus thing.
As you’re trying to figure this whole thing out I think it’s important to understand that Jesus is inviting us into a Chicken Pot Pie relationship not TV Dinner one.
You know in a TV dinner the food comes it their own compartments.
So you could devour the steak but completely avoid the broccoli because it’s from the devil.
In the same way we can easily break our lives into their own distinct compartments. You’ve got one titled family, one titled work, one titled friends one for spiritual beliefs. In this image you could have strong spiritual beliefs that come out on Sundays but they really don’t mix naturally with the other parts of your life. The only problem is that Jesus isn’t interested in your spiritual life, he’s interested in your life. With Chicken Pot Pie all of the food is fixed in so there is no picking and choosing. The broccoli, chicken and carrots are all in every bite whether you like it or not.
The same is true with our walk with God. He wants our relationship with Him to touch every part of our lives and for us to get rid of the compartments.
Back in the day Carl’s Jr had a catchy slogan, “If it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face.” The same could be said for us and our relationships with God. “If it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your faith.”

Body

Read
John 13:1–17 NKJV
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
The most frequent response people had to Jesus was utter amazement. They simply just did not see it coming. Is that ever your response to Jesus? Maybe it was before, but now we’ve been at this Christian thing for a while kind of know the drill. Maybe that’s how the disciples felt after 3 ½ years of following Jesus. Yawn—another blind guy can see. Yawn—another paralyzed guy can walk. This was something new. —YOU’RE going to wash my feet? No way!
If you really want to grab people’s attention then have someone come on stage and sit down while you’re speaking for the next 3-4 minutes and thoroughly wash their feet. If that grosses you out then skip it.
For me it’s easy to turn my mission on and off but Jesus was always on mission. One obvious difference was that he was God but I think it was more than that.
He knew Why He was on Mission and it was stronger than any of the reasons or excuses that could have gotten him off track.
Check out all the excuses Jesus could have easily come up with to not wash their feet.
He was having a nice meal with his friends. “This is a party, I don’t need to think about serving others for the next two hours. I get it if I’m on a mission trip or at church but can’t I just enjoy a Friday night with friends.
The people at the meal didn’t deserve it. Jesus knew that Peter would deny even knowing him later that night. Judas could betray Jesus in just a few hours and hand him over to be crucified. It’s one thing when the people you’re serving are grateful but that wasn’t an excuse for Jesus to bail out. His servant’s heart was bigger than whether the person was deserving.
Jesus was grossly overqualified. Washing someone’s feet was not even part of the role of a servant. He could have easily built a strong case that this was far beneath him. He could have said, “I’ll serve but just not that.”
Seemingly he was making no impact by washing their feet. Another time Jesus spit in the dirt to make mud so he could give sight to a blind guy. This was different, even after Jesus cleaned their feet, an hour later their feet would be caked in filth again from walking through the dirty streets in open toed sandals. He could have easily said, “What’s the point?”
This was a really undesirable task as well. No human should have to clean the nasty gunk between someone else’s toes. It’s not as strong as the other excuses but I bet this was not something he really wanted to do.
Finally, He had a lot bigger stuff on his mind. He knew that he was about to be arrested, beaten and crucified. We read that maybe just an hour later he is sweating blood because of the stress in his life. If there was ever a time to think about his own stuff this would certainly be one.
Yet here he is—with every excuse in the book to not.---Here he is again amazing those closest to him. How does he do this?
This may be the most selfless point of his life to this point. How do I stay focused and passionate about the mission even when I don’t feel like it, stressed, or have some serious anger towards the people I’m trying to reach out to?
The Foundation of His Mission flowed from His Identity.
Lots of things shape how we see ourselves and how we think other people see us.
Illustration: Give a personal example where how you saw yourself impacted your actions.
What if your identity was truly found in God? This was definitely true for Jesus and the Father.
He knew who he was. He was the Son of God. His mission was clear.
He knew whose he was -He was the Fathers. What was there to fear.
He knew what he was here for. –The time had come (to pay for the sins of mankind)
He knew where he was going. – He would leave this world and go to the Father in Heaven. His eyes were looking beyond the cross.
He knew where the power came from. – Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God
As followers of Jesus these are all true for us as well. When our identity is wrapped up in God, He is infinitely bigger than the circumstances that surround us. So Jesus’ identity was secure but that doesn’t answer the question of why that lead him to wash feet. (It just seems weird, right?) My identity is in Christ but that has never inspired me to stop and watch my friends feet.
Read
John 13:3–11 NKJV
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
What a crazy response, “if I don’t do this then you have no part with me.” One of the simplest descriptions of what our relationship with Jesus is supposed to be like is
Pour Out
Pour In
Pour Out
We begin by pouring out ourselves to God. We share with him the good, the bad and the ugly. Like a good parent, Jesus wants to hear us talk about our fears, stresses, passions and dreams. Then after we pour out to God, He then pours back into us. This most often happens through His word but can also be through other Godly people, circumstances in life and through the Holy Spirit in prayer. He fills us up with encouragement, conviction, guidance and wisdom. Then from his overflow we then go pour ourselves out to others.
You see this in the life of Jesus all over the place. In Jesus and the disciples get away to pray (poured Out) In Jesus is anointed by an expensive perfume in preparation for his burial (Poured In) Then here in Jesus washes his disciples feet. (Poured Out).
Right after this scene Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemanae where he pours out his heart to God (pour out) The passage says that God sends an angel to strengthen Him (pour in). Finally Jesus goes from there to give his life on the cross to forgive the sins of all mankind (ultimate pour out)
To the depth that I pour out to God is the depth that God pours into me. To the depth that God pours into me is the depth that I am able to pour into others.
Illustration. You need a glass of very dirty water, a pitcher of clean water and two empty cups.
We’ve all got our junk. We’ll illustrate that with a glass of nasty water that nobody would ever want to drink. What God wants us to do is pour that out to him. (Pour the dirty water into another cup) Then He wants to pour himself out into us this time with perfectly clear water. (pour water from the pitcher into formerly dirty cup.) Then from this new cup he wants us to pour ourselves out into the broken and hurting around us. (pour that water into the other empty cup) Pour out. Pour in. Pour out.
Now what would happen if you never took the time to pour out to God through prayer and allowed Him to pour in to you through His words and others? All you would have is your dirty cup. When people came to you in need this dirty water is all you have to offer. The reality is you could very well be hurting them more than helping. They don’t need your nasty water they need Jesus perfect healing water.
For Peter God is doing this very thing. By washing his feet he’s giving the powerful object lesson of replacing nasty feet (pour out) with clean ones.(pour in)
Peter’s first response was “No way. Not going to happen.” But Jesus comes back strong and says, “If I can’t do this for you Peter then you’ve missed the whole point of the past 3 ½ years.” From the very beginning Jesus’ primary call on Peter’s life had not been ministry but was intimacy. Jesus told Peter on day one, “Follow me.” Not do what I do or get in line—Jesus invited him first and foremost into a relationship. “and I will make you a fisher of man.” Notice Peter’s job was not to become a fisher of men but simply follow Jesus and allow him to make Peter into whatever he wanted.”
We get all this stuff in our lives that makes us forget what our real identity is but God wants to cleanse us and remind us who we really are.
Made for a Mission = Life in Relationship with God.
The two can’t ever be separated or we will fade over time. The exciting thing is that then out of our identity of being cleansed by God and refilled by His Spirit He calls us to join him. Listen to the last thing he tells Peter and the other disciples to do.
Read
John 13:13–17 NKJV
You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
He tells them to go do the same for others. As I’ve poured into you now you pour into others.
This story has multiple layers. Not only do we see where Jesus puts his foundation so that he’s able to stay on mission even when everyone else would give up or walk away. We also find, as God pours more of himself into us, He will lead us to a greater level of service and sacrifice.
Everyone else in our world is about upward mobility. Get a better car, better house, better job, better paycheck. God actually leads us to downward mobility. It’s so foreign to our culture but it’s His way. He exchanged a throne in heaven for a cross on earth. Before you write off his words as cruel punishment, listen to what Jesus says next.
Read
This story has multiple layers. Not only do we see where Jesus puts his foundation so that he’s able to stay on mission even when everyone else would give up or walk away. We also find, as God pours more of himself into us, He will lead us to a greater level of service and sacrifice.
John 13:15–17 NKJV
For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Notice He doesn’t say serve and sacrifice for others so that God will give you spiritual brownie points. Instead He says, “you’ll be BLESSED if you do them.” Meaning, you’re the fortunate one.
Everyone else in our world is about upward mobility. Get a better car, better house, better job, better paycheck. God actually leads us to downward mobility. It’s so foreign to our culture but it’s His way. He exchanged a throne in heaven for a cross on earth. Before you write off his words as cruel punishment, listen to what Jesus says next.
I think there are two main reasons he says we will be blessed. 1) The more you serve and sacrifice out of an overflowing cup, the more you are like Christ. And 2) The more you serve and sacrifice the more you are with Christ. The deeper you go down the more you get immersed in God’s love. It’s only here that you truly learn that Jesus is enough. If you have Him you have all that you need.
As we live on mission it’s huge that our “Why is secure.” It’s simply that our identity is found in Jesus. That we don’t have to seek approval in our work, money, accomplishments, abs, biceps, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, kids or parents. We are fully approved by God. You’re God’s kid!
From this identity He now calls us to serve others. We’re called to humbly and happily put others needs before our own. Jesus set the standard pretty high. He was God and he washed grimy feet and told us to follow his example.
This next week pour out all your stuff to Jesus and then allow Him to pour himself back into you.
Read
Romans 10:15 NKJV
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
As you spend time with God each day and God washes you each day, he will then send you out with some beautiful feet. Do you have beautiful feet? Do people say you’ve got beautiful feet? They only come from being with Jesus.
Let me warn you, you might not get it right. Peter and his clean feet falls asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane an hour later when he’s supposed to be praying . A few hours later he then denies even knowing Jesus and runs off in guilt. So what does Jesus do…a few days later Jesus meets him on a beach where it had all began and what do they do. Peter pours out. Jesus pours into Peter. Peter pours out to 3000 at Pentecost and the rest is history.
Don’t give up on a God who has never given up on you. Satan whispers in our ear—you can’t do it. Don’t stretch yourself. You’ll fail. God pours in His whispers---I still believe in you. I’m not done with you. The best is still to come. You have no idea. Just trust me. One more day. Get back up. I’ll be strong in your weakness. I’ve got this. You’re not alone.
Did you know the book of Mark comes from the testimony of Peter? You know what is so cool, a few decades later when it’s written Peter’s identity is so sure that he includes all his mistakes. Can’t you just picture Peter---“oh and that’s when I screwed up and cut the dudes ear off, and that’s when I fell asleep, and that’s when I took my eyes off Jesus and started sinking.”
The Foundation of his Mission flowed from His Identity in Christ and the same must be true for you as well.
Who knows—your worst moments might serve to help others when they feel like they are failing.
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