Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Delight in Truth: A matter of perspective

Is the task you face larger than what you know you can fulfill? Do you get overwhelmed at the number of unreached people, the miniscule percentage of funds designated for reaching them, and the cultural obstacles faced when the laborers reach the harvest?

It's time for a shift in perspective.

In "Beyond Duty", Tim Dearborn highlights focusing on "the problem" of how to fulfill the Great Commission as a human-centered viewpoint. The task is too large for us, he argues, and then expounds what we should be asking:

"Biblical priorities reflected again and again in Scripture ask us to begin instead with these questions:

  • Who is the triune God?
  • What is God doing in the world?
  • How are we to participate with God in his redemptive purposes?
Missions is ultimately not a human response to human need. The Church's involvement in mission is its privileged participation in the actions of the triune God."

Dearborn is absolute right! He goes on to state, "It is insufficient to proclaim that the Church of God has a mission in the world. Rather, the God of mission has a Church in the world. Grasp this inversion of subject and object and participation in God's mission will become a joyous, life-giving privilege. Miss it, and mission involvement will eventually degenerate into a wearisome, overwhelming duty."

It is so easy to forget that JOY is part of the 9-fold fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23-24). God desires that we "delight ourselves" in Him! Our message is one of GOOD NEWS ... news that is better than any possible problem that can ever be presented to us. "The God of mission has a Church in the world." WOW! That means that whatever you face today, the God of mission has gone before you, and equipped His people (that's you!) to handle in His name, with His power, by His Spirit, for His glory.

In "Mandate on the Mountain", Steven C. Hawthorne points out that sustained worship of Jesus in His resurrected glory began when He commissioned His disciples with the task of going to the whole world. He promised His presence, and the book of Acts is filled with examples of His presence with them and their worship of Him. The call to missions is a call to be with Him! As Hawthorne explains, "He was not sending them away from Him. He was actually beckoning them to come nearer to Him than they ever had been. He was not merely passing on some of His power....He Himself would be with them every single day until the end of the age."

So today, delight in truth. Don't be overwhelmed by the task ... instead, ask the God of mission to show you where He is working, and join Him in it. He has strategically, divinely placed you "for such a time as this"! He has promised His presence, and He will be with you today.

Matt. 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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