What's Your Life Mission
What’s Your Life Mission?
June 7 & 8, 2003
Speaker: Pastor Steven Peschke
So what’s your life mission? What’s your purpose in life? What in the world are you here for?
Before we can really answer those questions, we must consider God’s purpose in creating us. He never does anything without a purpose. Regardless of how we feel sometimes, He just doesn’t wing it. God always has a reason, always has a purpose for everything that He does. Proverbs 16:4 says “The Lord has made everything for His purpose.” Jesus said in Luke 4:34 that His purpose was “to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
And God has a purpose in you being here today. He wants you to understand that the purpose of your life is not a mystery.
God planned your life mission before you were born, even before the creation of the universe. And when you became a believer you were given that mission. Your life mission has both universal elements and unique elements. There are parts of your life mission that apply to every Christian and there are parts of your life mission that apply uniquely to you, what God custom designed you to do. Class 301 can help you identify how you your personality, talents and experiences have shaped you for ministry in the Kingdom. These are part of the unique elements of your life mission. But today we’re going to look at the universal elements that are a part of every believer’s life mission.
To discover our life mission we have to first understand two things. We have to understand God’s overall purpose in creating human beings and second, Jesus’ mission here on earth when He was here.
Let’s start by reviewing GOD’S PURPOSE FOR CREATING US. The Bible says that we were created for four reasons:
1. WE WERE MADE TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. In Gen. 1:27 it says “Let us make man in our likeness.” Why did He make man in His likeness? We are unlike any other creation. We’re not like the animals. Human beings are unique in that we’re made in God’s image. What does that mean? We have a spirit. We were made to know and communicate with God, who is a Spirit. Most people think we’re different than animals because we are more intelligent. We’re unique because we have a spirit. We have a moral conscious, we have the freedom to choose our behavior and most important, we have the ability to know and talk with God.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 1, “Long ago, long before He made the world, God chose us to be His very own through what Christ would do for us. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us.” Even before you were born, God had you in mind and He planned that He would adopt you into His family. He wants a long-term relationship with you. You were made for relationship. That’s why when people don’t ever develop a relationship with God, they have missed the very reason they were created. God’s plan for you is older than the plan for the earth. Before He even made the earth He had you in mind. That’s what I call long range planning! That’s how much you matter to God.
2. The second thing the Bible says is WE WERE MADE TO BECOME LIKE CHRIST. “For those God foreknew He also predestined,” the Bible says, “to be conformed to the image [or the likeness] of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.” When God made Adam and Eve the very first temptation that Satan gave to human beings was “If you eat the fruit you’ll be like God.” In fact, he said, “You’ll be gods.” That has been the temptation ever since. Satan never tempts you to be like him. Satan tempts you to think that you’re God. That is the oldest temptation. You are never going to be a god. You are never going to be God. But the Bible teaches that you can become godly. What does that mean? In character, having the love of God, the joy of God, the peace of God, the patience of God. You’re never going to be God or even a god. But you can become like God in character and that’s what God says His goal is. From the very beginning He predestined us to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.
Romans 8:29, Message paraphrase, “God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. We see the original intended shape of our lives there in Him.” The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 “Just as we are now like Adam, the man of the earth, so we will someday be like Jesus Christ.”
So God’s first two goals of your life: That you can have a relationship with Him and second, that you become like Him – specifically like His Son, Jesus.
3. God’s purpose is also this: WE WERE MADE TO SERVE GOD’S PURPOSE. Ephesians 2:10 “God made us what we are and in Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works which He planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.” How many of you would like to be accused of living a life that is built on the purposes that God created you for? How many of you desire to hear God say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And if that’s true there must be something we are to be faithful in doing.
4. Finally, the Bible says WE WERE MADE TO LAST FOREVER. One day your body is going to wear out and your heart is going to stop. But that’s not going to be the end of you. You’re going to go on. There’s an eternal warranty on your life. Human beings were made to last forever. You’re going to last forever one of two places – heaven or hell. If you have trusted in Jesus as your Savior, then you’re going to Heaven.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:10, “He has planted eternity in the human heart.” The Bible tells us in Ephesians 1:10, “This is His purpose that when the time is right that He will gather us all together to be with Him in Christ forever.” If you want to know how the world’s going to end, there it is right there. God tells you clearly. He’s going to gather all of His children together to be with Him in Christ forever.
We’re made to have a relationship with God, we’re made to become like Jesus (in character), we’re made to serve God’s purpose while we’re here on earth; we’re made to last forever and live with Him.
Here’s the bottom line: This life is preparation for eternity. It’s the warm up act, the dress rehearsal, the kindergarten that lasts 60, 70, 80 years before you go on to the real thing.
Obviously, if you fully understand and believe these principles, it’s going to dramatically effect how you live. When you realize that this world is not all there is – in fact, this is kind of the get-ready stage – eternity is going to go on for forever. When we realize that we only spend a short time here on earth, a lot of things lose their importance. Who’s going to care about who won the World Series a hundred years from today? Much less a thousand years from today. And yet it’s a big, big issue for many of us. Who’s going to win the NBA Championship, the Stanley Cup or the next Super Bowl? Who cares in light of eternity? We’re made to last forever and our purpose and life mission is tied to that eternal perspective.
The second thing we need to look at as we consider our mission in the world is, JESUS’ MISSION ON EARTH. The Bible tells us that God sent Jesus to earth because we got ourselves into a mess that we couldn’t get out of. We’ve already said that we were all made to have a relationship with God but by our own selfish choices we have severed that relationship. By our decisions to go our own way instead of God’s way, we’ve broken off the relationship. The Bible says that relationship is broken and there is disharmony not harmony between God and man. And sin has caused that.
THE PROBLEM IS OUR SIN HAS BROKEN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. As these verses say, “Your iniquities have separated you from your God and your sins have hid His face from you.” Isaiah 59:2 But because God planned all this in advance, God already saw this coming. And He thought it through. Before any of us ever sinned, He knew we were going to sin, so He figured out the plan to take care of that too. He knew that in giving you the freedom to choose, you were going to make the wrong choice. So even before you made the wrong choice, He already had the solution.
GOD’S SOLUTION WAS JESUS. He sent His own Son to bring us back to Him. He took the initiative to bring us back to Himself. John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 2 Corinthians 5:19, “God was in Christ restoring the world to Himself.” This is what Jesus Christ came to earth to do. That was His mission.
Let’s get a little bit more specific. What did Jesus come to do specifically? The good news is, we don’t need to doubt. We don’t need to have any questions in our mind because Jesus spelled out His mission clearly in a number of ways. Fill in the missing parts in these next five verses, where Jesus, himself, tells us what He came to do:
Jesus said, “The Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10
Jesus said, “This is why I was born and came into the world: to tell people the truth.” John 18:37b
Jesus said, “I came to give life, life in all its fullness.” John 10:10
Jesus said, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer wander in the darkness.” John 12:46
Jesus said, “I must tell the good news … because this is why I was sent.” Luke 4:43
We can see clearly what Jesus came to do: Seek and save the lost, Tell people the truth, give life, Shine in the dark world, Tell people the good news about the kingdom.
You may be thinking, “That’s great Steve, but what does this have to do with me and my mission?”
Your life mission and Jesus’ life mission are very intertwined once you become a Christian. Let me give you TEN REASONS WHY JESUS’ MISSION ON EARTH MUST MATTER TO YOU.
1. IF I WANT TO BE LIKE JESUS, MY LIFE MISSION MUST INCLUDE HIS LIFE MISSION. If I want to be like Jesus (which is part of the purpose of your life to become like Jesus) then my life mission must include His life mission. Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17 and said, “In the same way You gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.”
2. JESUS EXPECTS ME TO CONTINUE HIS MISSION IN THE WORLD. In fact, this is not an option, this is not a suggestion, this is not a possible good idea if you’ve got any spare time to fit this into your schedule. This is commanded. If you are a Christian, you are commanded to fulfill the mission of Christ.
When my kids were small and I really wanted them to get something, when I wanted them to really remember my instructions, I would repeat it several times. Are any of you parents familiar with this technique? It’s like they don't get it the first time. So if it’s really important as a parent you have to say it over and over and over.
When Jesus Christ was here on earth, He said something that was so important; He stated it five times, in five different situations, in five different ways. In fact, He did it once in each of the four Gospels and once in the book of Acts. These are called the Great Commissions of Christ. You may think there’s only one great commission. Actually there are five. Why are they called the Great Commissions? Because they’re the greatest thing you can build your life around.
Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you and surely I am with you always to the very ends of the age.”
Mark 16:15 “You are to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone, everywhere.”
Luke 24:47 “With my authority take this message of repentance to all the nations beginning in Jerusalem. There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to Me.”
John 20:21 “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.”
And almost His last words before He went back to heaven, Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus says it five times, in five ways in five settings. It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Get it?” Originally, I had planned to use these Great Commissions of Christ as the outline for this message and maybe someday I get to share that message. But if in your own study you go back and look at these, you’ll find that they cover where we’re to do it, when we’re to do it, why we’re to do it, and how we’re to do it. You will find in these five commissions the mandate for life, the message for life, the method for life and the motivation for life. But the bottom-line is that Jesus is saying, “My mission must matter to you.” You’re commanded. If I am a Christian, either I'm obedient or I'm disobedient.
3. There’s a third reason why Jesus’ mission has to matter to me. Because SHARING THE GOOD NEWS IS MY RESPONSIBILITY – IT’S NOT OPTIONAL. Ezekiel 3:18 (NCV) “You must warn them that they may live. If you don’t speak out to warn the wicked to stop their evil ways, they will die in their sins but I will hold you responsible for their death.” He’s saying the people around me that are headed for hell, if I let them go to hell and don’t tell them, I'm responsible. Me. I can’t let somebody else be responsible for the people closest to me. You can’t let anybody else be responsible for the people closest to you. They are in your life for a reason. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “Telling the good news is my duty, something I must do. How terrible it will be for me if I do not tell the good news.” If I'm a Christian, it is not optional. My mission is not optional.
But there’s more than duty and responsibility …
4. SHARING THE GOOD NEWS IS A PRIVILEGE. 2 Corinthians 5:18, says “And God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into His favor and be reconciled to Him. This is the wonderful message that He’s given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors.” We are ambassadors for the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. It is a privilege to represent Him. Paul says in Romans 16 “I am proud of the good news because it is the power that God uses to save everyone who believes.” There is no other way.
5. Jesus’ mission must become my mission because I AM GRATEFUL FOR WHAT JESUS HAS DONE FOR ME. Too often we forget how good the good news really is. In Ephesians 2:12 Paul says, “Remember in the past you were without Christ and you had no hope and you didn’t know God.” It was a miserable life. We were hopeless and we did not have God. Today, because we do have God, we do have hope, we do have Christ in our lives. We’re grateful for that.
Paul says, “I have a great sense of obligation to the people in our culture and the people in other cultures.” What’s the obligation? Well, if I had the cure for cancer and I didn’t share it, that would be criminal. If some one had given me the cure for AIDS and I didn’t share it, that would be criminal. If I had the only way to know Jesus Christ and to know God and get into heaven and I didn’t tell it to the people who lived by me, that’s criminal. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:14 “Christ’s love compels us because we’re convinced that one died for all.” God has never made a person that He didn’t love. Everybody matters to God. And because God cares about people, we must care too because we’re grateful for what God has done for us.
6. PEOPLE ARE LOST WITHOUT CHRIST. Completely and hopelessly lost! Acts 4:12 (New Century Version) “Jesus is the only one who can save people. His name is the only power in the world that has been given to save people. We must be saved through Him.” It’s the only way to heaven, people are lost without Christ. So we have to share it. What do we do?
As Romans 10:13-14 says “Anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved, but before people can ask the Lord for help they must believe in Him and before they believe in Him they’ve got to hear about Him and for them to hear about the Lord, somebody must tell them.” Somebody’s got to tell them. God could write the good news in the sky but He’s chosen instead to use you and use me. That is a privilege. And God wants us to share the good news because people without Christ are hopelessly lost.
7. GOD WANTS EVERYONE SAVED. 1 Timothy 2:4, “God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.” Circle “all men.” He wants everybody to know Him. Every human being. 2 Peter 2:9 says, “God doesn’t want anyone to be lost. But He wants all people to change their hearts and live.” God wants us all to know Him in a personal way.
8. I WILL BE REWARDED FOR ETERNITY. “I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” Rev 22:12 There are rewards for leading people to Christ.
9. I WILL BE GLAD WHEN I SEE PEOPLE IN HEAVEN. Luke 15:10, says “I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Did you know that every time somebody steps across the line, they throw a party in heaven?
Did you ever think about the reality that when you accepted Christ as your Savior, at that moment all of heaven and God himself was focused on you. The banner over the table had your name on it and the celebration was in your honor, for your adoption into God’s family. God was not just pleased with that decision, He was elated, He was moved to rejoicing. It was all because of how much you are loved.
When you get to heaven and you see people that you had a hand in bringing there, you’re going to be glad you did it. You’re going to continue those celebrations. You’re going to be glad that you took the time, that you moved against your fear and in love shared the good news with your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your friend, your relative, your neighbor, the person you work with or go to school with and even those strangers that God just happens to bring into your life. When you see them in heaven you’re going to be glad you shared with them. They’re going to be glad you did too.
10. GOD’S TIMETABLE FOR HISTORY HINGES AROUND US COMPLETING OUR MISSION.
Did you notice prior to and now during the war in Iraq how Bible prophecy is back in the news. Magazine and newspaper articles, special TV documentaries, even the cable and TV news agencies were giving it a lot of play.
They feature the big questions like; “Is this the end of the world?”, “Will this be the last great battle?” and “Is Jesus Christ coming back now?” People are all upset and wondering if this is the end and what they should do.
It’s interesting that Jesus is very clear about when He is and when He is not coming back. Let’s look at a few of these verses.
Matthew 24:14, “The good news about God’s kingdom will be preached in all the world to every nation.” Circle “nation”. The word “nation” doesn’t mean a political state like we have today – like the nation of Egypt. In those days there weren’t such things. There were people groups. For instance in the nation of Egypt there might be a hundred different people groups. In American there are thousands of different people groups. For instance, in Los Angeles alone they speak 187 different languages. So this “to every nation” means to every ethnic group. Jesus Christ is not coming back till the good news has been shared to every ethnic group, every tribe, every language in the world.
Right before Jesus Christ ascended back to heaven, He met with His closest disciples. This subject was on their mind, “Lord, when are You coming back?” Obviously they wanted to know when He was coming back. In Acts 1 it says “Then they asked ‘Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom of Israel?’ Jesus replied, ‘It’s not for you to know the time and the dates that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, and in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.’ After He said this He was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid Him from their sight”
This is a very profound passage of scripture. Notice: when the disciples asked Him a prophecy question, “When are you coming back? When is the Second Coming?” Jesus didn’t want to talk about that. He said, “It’s none of your business.” When they wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus wanted to talk about the mission. That’s how important this is. They said, “Lord when are You coming back?” He’s getting ready to leave so that’s a natural question. He says, “It’s not for you to know the times or the seasons but go out and witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world.” It’s like He’s saying, “Instead of focusing on when I'm coming back, I want you to focus on the Mission, taking My message to the whole world. Because when the mission is done, then I’m coming back.” The moment the last person receives Christ that Jesus knows is going to receive Him, then Bam! It’s over. And nobody knows who that person is, or when it’s going to be.
He’s saying don’t focus on prophecy. Focus on the purpose that I left you here on earth for. We have a mission to accomplish. I have a mission! You have a mission! And we are not released from our duty to that mission till Jesus comes. There is no quitting, there’s no graduation to something else, there’s no I’m not good at it or let some one else do it, there’s no I did my share, there’s no retirement. We have a mission to accomplish! We will be called to account.
Knowing this now, what should be my response to my life mission?
I should do everything I can to fulfill it. Paul says in Acts 20:24, “I want to carry out the mission I received from the Lord Jesus, the mission of testifying to the good news of God’s kindness.”