This post is part of a 8-part blog series called, “Outward Focused.” Click here to watch the introduction video.
We Are Part of God’s Rescue Mission
As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. – John 20:21
God is on a mission and therefore we must be on a mission. The story of the Bible is the story of God on a rescue mission to get His children back.
We see God’s outward focus beginning with the act of creation. God could have stayed within Himself in the warm embrace of community within the Trinity and been perfectly happy for all eternity. But God decided to go outside of Himself and create. He created mankind.
His first command to mankind was an outward focused command; “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” God wanted His love and grace to be extended to the ends of the earth. But sin ruined this outpouring of love and caused mankind to walk away from God and this perfect relationship with God was broken. So, immediately God began the process of sending his spokesmen into the world to bring his children back to Himself.
He commissioned Abraham to lead this rescue effort. Then Moses. He sent prophets priests and kings to try to restore his people to their original fellowship. Eventually He sent Jesus on the ultimate rescue mission to make the ultimate sacrifice to brings his children home. The pages of the Bible are the story of the mission of God.
And mission comes from the very nature of God. Mission is not primarily a program of the church; it is first and foremost an attribute of God. We see God sending and sending and sending in an attempt to rescue all His lost and broken children. This work culminated in the sending of Jesus to earth. Then in John 20:21 – Jesus makes a radical statement, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
That means we are part of a rescue mission. You and I have been sent to wherever we are. You may say “I live in Pittsburgh,” no you’ve been sent by God to Pittsburgh. You may say I have a wife and three kids. No you’ve been sent by God to your wife and three kids. You may say I work for my company or my school district or my machine shop. No, you’ve been sent by God to your company and the school district and the machine shop. You may say I enjoy golf. No, you’ve been sent by God to that group of golfers in your Monday league. You see, you are on a rescue mission with God.
If we’re not careful, the church can get comfortable. It can become about MY comfortable seat with all MY personal preferences, the kind of music I like, the kind of coffee I drink, the kind of activities I enjoy. And we can forget all about the fact that we’re on a rescue mission!