Reason for Mission

Notes:

Why is Mission Needed?

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil….Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:7-9, 15-17

God formed man out of the dust and gave him life. He created us in His image, out of His own will and for His glory.

Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” Isaiah 43:7

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” Revelation 4:11

These scriptures answer the questions of the ages: Why does man exist? What is our purpose? We exist because it is God’s will and our purpose is to glorify Him. Man typically does not like that answer because it is God-centric, not man-centric. If we believe we exist by God’s will, that means there is some accountability and purpose that may be contrary to what we want. Our flesh wants a man-centric answer, so we reject this view.

God created us to love us and for relationship. He placed man in a garden that was created just for him, with every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good to eat, with the charge to cultivate and keep. There were no weeds, irrigation lines, or pesticides. Man was to enjoy God’s creation and glorify God. It was Eden, and it was perfect.

Work and purpose has always been a part of God’s plan for man. We are to be creative, productive, make life, maintain, and produce because that is His character and we are made in His image.

There were two special trees in the garden, the tree of life that gives eternal life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which God said not to eat from. At this point in time, life was perfect without any concept of disease, war, envy, shame, hate, guilt, fear, or jealousy and they walked with God their creator. Adam and Eve had face-to-face, real-time with God. They lived out their purpose and God was glorified and they were satisfied.

In that place, there was no mission because there was worship. They worshiped God with their whole being, and so there was no reason to convey the mission of God to others. Worship means reverence, honor, deference, or to adore, which expresses itself in obedience and praise. But as we all know, something changed. This is not a perfect world; it is a fallen world with fear, guilt, shame, physical illness and hard work. What happened?

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5

Here the serpent or Satan is introduced, the father of lies and ruler of the world at this time. He has come to kill and destroy; his goal is to rob God of His glory. Consequently, his primary target is man. Satan wants to keep man out of relationship with God through any means necessary.

Satan immediately begins to build a wedge between man and God. He breaks down the trust man had in God by causing us to question the character of God and misrepresenting Him. “Did God really say…?” Satan casts doubt and tells us that God is keeping us from something good.

We struggle with this too. We’re afraid that if we fully give our lives to Jesus, He will make us do something, go somewhere, give up something, or keep us from something we really want. This is a trust issue because we struggle to trust Him and often don’t believe that He has our best in mind. We don’t understand His character and grace, and we can’t even conceive of the love of God. We don’t understand a love that would lay its life down for us.

When we give our lives fully to God, we get Jesus – the point is restoration of relationship! If we are filled with ourselves, how can we experience the fullness of God? We have to give ourselves to Him fully in order to experience Him fully.

Satan came to kill, steal and destroy; to divide our relationship with God. He does this by sowing seeds of doubt. What was the point of the tree in the garden that man could not eat from? The tree was a way for Adam and Eve to demonstrate their love for God. Every time they passed the tree with ripe fruit and did not eat from it was an act of worship. Any act of obedience to God is an act of worship.

Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey me” (John 14:15). Loving God means we honor Him and choose Him over our own desires. In the garden, Adam and Eve began to listen to the voice of the world and regarded their own desires as more important – this was an offense to God.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6

Her temptation on that day is not any different from the temptation we face ourselves:

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (good to eat) and the lust of the eyes (pleasant to look at) and the boastful pride of life (make one wise), is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:16

At the point that Adam and Eve first sinned, we were relationally separated from the presence of God. A holy, just, loving God, who was worthy of worship, could not stand this act of rebellion. The relationship between man and God changed and mission began. Mission is to get back into right relationship with God and to worship Him as we were designed and created to do.

For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19

Immediately things changed in the garden and Adam and Eve hid and covered themselves, trying to make a way to be in the presence of God. They were afraid of God (Genesis 3:7-11). There was no way for man to reconcile his relationship with God; no amount of fig leaves could hide our sinful heart.

But then we begin to see God’s mission of reconciliation unfold as He speaks to the serpent:

And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:15

The bruised heel refers to the crucifixion. The wages of sin is death, but Christ overcame death and crushed or bruised the head of the serpent, referring to complete defeat.

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21

God made garments of skin, alluding to the first sacrifice for sin because “..without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). Adam and Eve were taken out of the Garden, away from the tree of life to live in their fallen state forever.

That is the why of mission. As long as there are people who do not worship Jesus, there will be mission. But on that day when every tongue confesses and every knee bows (Philippians 2:11), mission will cease. Where there is no worship of Jesus, there is mission.

What is Mission?

What does it mean to be on mission? It means to be intentional; to live with a purpose that is aligned with God’s. Living on mission is a broad way of thinking in terms of lifestyle, but is also very specific in terms of behavior. It means that the total sum of our lives belongs to Jesus – we live for Him in all that we do, whether work, school, or play. Our lives should reflect Him to others. Wherever we go or whatever we do, the point is mission. We see this in Jesus’ commandment to His disciples, which is also to us:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19

We need to step out in faith to live on mission. As we proceed, He will lead.

He sent Abram – God sent Abram to a new land; he left behind everything behind (Genesis 12)
He sent Isaiah – Who shall I send? Send Me! (Isaiah 6:8)
He sent Jeremiah – But the LORD said to me,”Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak. (Jeremiah 1:7)
He sent His Son – “For God so loved the world He sent his only Son” (John 3:16; Philippians 2)

Mission is to take the Good news, the Gospel of Jesus through word and deed with His grace and love through His power to those who do not believe and have not yet heard.

What is the Gospel?

1. The Gospel is news, a proclamation – Evangelical means good news. We receive and accept the proclamation. The Gospel is the news about Jesus and what He’s accomplished. We’ve all sinned and fallen short, yet God demonstrated His love for us when He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our decision is whether we accept the Gospel or not. There is nothing we can do to earn it. The Bible says if you believe on the name of Jesus, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). The Gospel is all grace, grace, grace!

2. The Gospel is grace, not merit – Grace says: “I obey God because I am already accepted.” Religion says: “I obey so therefore I am accepted.” A lack of deep belief in the Gospel is a major cause for spiritual deadness and pride because we continue to act on, “I obey therefore I am accepted.” For instance, we lie not only to cover up a mistake, but also because we are operating on performance and fear of rejection. We are not saved by believing the Gospel and then working really hard at obedience. We’re saved by the Gospel and we live out the Gospel and grow in Jesus.

3. The Gospel is a reversal of the weak and the strong – Christ wins our salvation through losing; the first are the last; in weakness we are strong; we attain wealth by giving it all away; and those who receive salvation are not the strong and accomplished but the weak and the lost.

When Do We Do Mission?

There is not a certain age or stage in life or level of spiritual maturity required for mission.

Isaiah said he was unclean but God touched his lips (Isaiah 6) Jeremiah said he was but a youth and did not know how to speak, but God said He would put words in his mouth (Jeremiah 1:6). Moses said he could not speak, so God gave him Aaron. David was a young shepherd boy when he was anointed. Mary was a young virgin and did not understand her call but was to carry a child, the son of God. Paul was a Christian killer. Matthew was a dishonest tax collector. The woman who anointed Jesus for burial was a prostitute.

But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him; but He sent him away, saying, “Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:38-39

The man was saved for all of ten minutes, and God sent him on mission. He knew nothing about Jesus, except that Jesus saved him. Jesus overcame the torment in his life. His testimony was not about himself but the saving grace of Jesus.

Why don’t we do mission? We don’t do mission out of fear – we have a fear of man, a fear of failing, and we don’t understand grace. We don’t do mission out of a lack of faith – we don’t personally engage with God and we don’t understand His character.

Picture a twenty-foot long white rope with a one-inch red portion. The rope represents life and eternity. The one-inch red portion represents our life in light of eternity. Mission requires us to look at the whole rope. When we look just at the red portion, we’re consumed with fear and anxiety. We fear man. When we look at the entire rope, there is freedom. Mission sees the bigger picture – we exist by God’s will for His glory. The red portion of the rope is just prep for what is to come.

How much time do we invest in eternity, and how much time do we invest in this world? Why do we live on mission? Because worship isn’t happening. Living on mission means sharing what God has done with others because He loves us.

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Notes:

At Remedy we are big on relationships because God created us in His image and God exists in eternal relationship and perfect community: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God created us in His image and so we have a need for community because it is part of our DNA. Although community is integral and necessary to the Christian life and needed for growth, community is simply a means by which God works out our greater purpose in life, to glorify Him. The chief end of man is to glorify God, to put Jesus on display, to be kingdom workers, to be His witnesses and strengthened for mission.

The apostle Paul spent 18 months in Corinth and two years in Ephesus, pouring out his life daily. He wrote to the Thessalonians, “I cared for you like a nursing mother” (1 Thess. 2:7). He wrote to the Philippians, “I long to see you” (Philippians 4:1). Paul experienced true biblical community, yet he moved from one place to the next. Why? Because of mission. Although we live within the Body of Christ in community, we have a mission and that is not to hang out together or always be comfortable while are neighbors are destroyed by the consequences of sin and die without ever hearing the good news from our lips.

Imagine that we are all on the Titanic when the ship hit an iceberg, representing sin. The consequences of that sin is a big hole in the ship that affects everyone on board. Some look at the hole and immediately know the integrity of the ship is compromised and without help from the outside, the ship will sink with everyone on board. Others see the hole and think the damage isn’t that bad and can be fixed. Others are not even aware that there is a hole in the ship, and still others have the attitude, “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.”

You know that you need help but have no idea where to go. Around that time, someone comes up to you and says, “I know how to get to the life boats. I can give you life but you need to follow me. I’ve made a way to safety – do you want to come?” You follow the one who leads you to the lifeboat and you get on, feeling safe and secure. A peace comes over you and you know that once you are on the lifeboat, your seat is secure.

When you look back at the ship, you see people scurrying around – some are trying to patch the hole, some are looking for the lifeboats but don’t see them, and others go inside to dance and eat and ignore what may come. What is your mission? Do you sit and talk with the other passengers on the lifeboat, hoping and praying others will find the way? Or do you get off the lifeboat to help?

The longer we sit on the lifeboat, the harder it is to get out and go back to the mess. We may even forget that we were one of those people scurrying around on the sinking ship, and feel like they don’t deserve to get on the lifeboat with us. We all need to keep getting out of the boat and stepping out of our comfort zone for the sake of others and for the glory of God.

Commission of Mission

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

After Jesus’ resurrection, He speaks to His disciples, to us. He said, “I have ALL authority in heaven and earth, so go and make disciples.” The command to go is not based on their skills, knowledge, comfort level or readiness, but on the authority of Jesus. Jesus has all authority and He wants us to go. Our going is not incumbent on us but on Jesus – we go in confidence of Him. After Jesus tells them how to make disciples, by baptizing and teaching, He promises to always be with them. Jesus is always with us but if we want to experience the presence of God, we need to be on the mission of God. Mission is never about us and always about Him.

Empowering of Mission
After Jesus appeared to His disciples following the resurrection and just before He ascends into heaven, He tells them that they will receive power:

“..but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Jesus not only commissions us to go but also gives us the resources to go. He empowers us with His Holy Spirit so that we can be His witnesses. To survive on this planet, we need the power of God. We experience the power of God when we’re engaged in mission. We’re on mission when we live a life that reflects the glory of God by loving the unloveable and forgiving the unforgivable.

Prayer is how we communicate with God while we are engaged in mission and is to be our wartime walkie-talkie (John Piper). In Judges 16, we read the story of Samson who got caught up in the world and forgot the mission of God. The Spirit of God departed from him and he didn’t even know it. At the end of Samson’s life, when he was blind and being mocked by the Philistines, he remembered his mission and called upon the Lord to avenge the Philistines. God answered Samson’s prayer and more Philistines were killed on that day than throughout his lifetime.

Means to Mission (How God Moves Us)
Jesus commissioned His church and empowered His church to go. As we read in Acts 2 and 4, the church was growing, sharing, teaching, praying, and gathering together. It was a good time for the church but they forgot Jesus’ command to go. There were many other people who needed to hear about Jesus, so God moved. God moves us to mission in three ways:

1. Scatters through Circumstances

Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them…Acts 8:1-5

The disciples of Christ in Jerusalem were comfortable and may have never chosen to leave, so God used persecution to disperse the believers. Today He uses economics, job changes, physical health, marriage, and other circumstances to scatter us, especially when we would not have made the decision on our own. Philip went preaching to Samaria, and people came to know Christ.

2. Sends through Speaking

But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship, … Acts 8:26-27

Right in the middle of a thriving ministry, God speaks to Philip and sends him out to a desert road. Philip went out in obedience and met the Ethiopian who understood God’s grace and took the news through Egypt into Ethiopia. God sends through speaking and our response.

3. Snatches Up (Spirit Intervenes)

When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea. Acts 8:39-40

The Spirit snatched Philip away and the eunuch went on his way rejoicing. We probably don’t know anyone who has been literally snatched up, but we’ve all heard of people who had flights changed, sat next to someone in a waiting room, met someone at a gas satin. Almost every day we meet people we didn’t plan on or find ourselves in an unplanned situation and have the opportunity to care for someone in the name of Jesus. Philip found himself in Azotus, and as he passed through he kept preaching. God often puts us in places we didn’t intend to be for the sake of the Gospel.

Method of Mission

1. Be my witnesses:

…you shall be my witnesses Acts 1:8

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16

We’re called to be witnesses. People should look at our lives and see a difference because of Jesus.

2. Preach the Gospel:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 1 Corinthians 15:1-5

To make disciples, the Gospel must come out of our mouths. When Paul wrote about the Gospel – that Christ died, was buried, raised on the third day, and that He appeared – he was writing soon enough after the resurrection that the witnesses were still alive to proclaim it.

There is a hole in the Titanic and it is sinking with everyone on it, but by God’s grace we are in the lifeboat. The longer we sit in the lifeboat, the harder it is to get out and the harder it is to remember that we were one of the lost trying to patch the hole. As long as we sit in the lifeboat, we will not experience the fulness of His presence and power. It does not matter if you just got in the boat yesterday, 15 years ago, or are just getting in right now – it’s time to get out of your boat. Our confidence is not in ourselves but in Him who has all authority and power on heaven and earth!

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Notes:

Our glorious call as Jesus followers is to live on mission every day – to live our daily lives with missional intentionality. Let’s begin by demystifying the idea of mission because when most of us think about the term mission or missionary, we think “Not us!” or “That’s not me.”

There was a required course in school called global perspectives, a class about missions. This was one of the only classes were we discussed the great commission to make disciples in depth, primarily in context to the nations and not everyday life. After the class, many of us felt as though we were not able to engage in mission unless we went to the nations.

One reason for this is that the Church (universal) has often defined and practiced mission in such a way that it has relegated mission to a specific category of Jesus followers, those who feel called to a life of service, typically in a foreign land away from family, friends, and known civilization.

But this is not typically how the Bible talks about mission. The Bible tends to talk about mission in terms of everyday life rather than major missionary journeys – Paul and his journeys were an exception, not the norm. The Bible talks about ordinary people living on mission for the glory of God in everyday life. Biblical mission is not simply an activity; biblical mission is linked to our identity in Jesus Christ.

To put it plainly, missionaries are who we are:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

God calls us into relationship and sends us out to declare His glory. The cohesive story of scripture is this: God purposed to have a people from Himself that He would reveal His glory to and display His glory through. Embedded within the fabric of Christianity is the idea of a missional God creating a missional people to display, demonstrate, and share the goodness of God in everyday life.

Mission is a way of life for followers of Jesus. All of our life becomes a mission field. Practically what does this mean? If you are a stay-at-home mom, you are on mission. If you are a student, you are on mission. If you are a physician, you are on mission. If you are a janitor, you are on mission. If you are retired, you’re still on mission. Whatever you do and wherever you find yourself, you are on mission.

The story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 helps bring into reality the nature of everyday mission and how we are to live on mission. An expert in the Law of Moses asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life. He is very religious and focused on rule keeping, and he intends to test Jesus by asking Him how to inherit eternal life.

Jesus responds with a question, asking him, “How do you see it?” The man of the law responds, “You shall love God with all your being and love thy neighbor as thy self.” Jesus replies, “Amen. Do this and you will live.” Realizing he could never live that out, he asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”

This is a great question because it helps us find our missional radius. Are my neighbors across the room, across the street, across the city, across the country?

As we look at the parable, we’ll observe four things that will help us live out everyday mission and a few points of application related to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” The context of the story is important – the story of the Good Samaritan is bracketed by two important events that shed light on how we are to apply the text. Many people and organizations have used this text to justify their good work apart from Jesus, but that is not Luke’s intent.

Prior to the parable, Jesus sends out the 72. Jesus sends out, equips, and empowers us for mission. We can’t do mission without Jesus! Just after the parable, we read the story of Mary and Martha and learn that ministry flows from intimacy. We are not Good Samaritans without Jesus!

Jesus shares a parable with the expert in the law to show that neighboring is not separate from reality:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37

1. The Samaritan was an ordinary man. It was not the priest or the Levite that helped the man, but a Samaritan. Everyday mission is not just the job of pastors, or those who are trained or those we feel are gifted – mission is meant for the everyday Jesus follower.

Throughout scripture, we see that God uses ordinary people to do ordinary and sometimes extraordinary things:
God called Abraham to be the Father of many nations
God used Moses, a man with a speech impediment, to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt
God used Rahab, a prostitute, to hide the spies and help Israel take the land
God used a small group of ordinary men, the disciples, to change the world by spreading the gospel

Not only was the Samaritan just an ordinary man, he was also the least likely to help. A Samaritan helping a Jew was unheard of; the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans (John 4:9).

But this man, despite racial and ethnic tension, sees it as his responsibility to help the ailing man. We must move away from our own prejudices and partiality to act in Gospel compassion because the Gospel demands it:

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Ephesians 2:14

God has called us to be reconcilers. We are to be men and women of peace. God’s desire and plan is to use everyday people, ordinary men and women to do everyday mission. In doing so, we must submit to God’s will and purpose for our lives. We must fully embrace the gospel He has laid before us and be committed to living with missional intentionality.

2. It was an ordinary day. The text says the Samaritan saw the man on the road “as he traveled.” The Samaritan wasn’t looking for the opportunity, it landed in his path. Missional living is full of interruptions. Life doesn’t work on a timer or a schedule. Life just happens and we should expect interruptions.

Jesus welcomed interruptions. Every moment, every encounter and every individual, no matter how insignificant, mattered to Him. We can learn this from our master. On his way to heal Jairus’ daughter, Jesus was interrupted by the women with the issue of blood. At the wedding in Cana, Jesus was interrupted by His mother because they ran out of wine. There was no set time or place to do mission, only opportunity. The Samaritan understood this – he saw someone in need and he engaged him.

3. He moved toward him in compassion.

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. Luke 10:31-33

The Priest and the Levite crossed to the other side to avoid the man for whatever reason – maybe they believed the robbers were still around and it was dangerous, or they felt like it wasn’t their problem, or they were in a hurry. Whatever the reason, they didn’t engage him.

We can adopt three missionary postures from the Samaritan:
He came to him – Proximity
He saw and examined him – Empathy
He took pity on him – Compassion

We must employ all three if we are to be effective at everyday mission because each one plays off the other. Proximity allows one to empathize or understand. We need to get close enough to observe people and hear their story. This leads to compassion, and true compassion moves us to action. This is incarnation and what Jesus does for us – He saves us from the inside out; He moves close to us.

4. He went out of his way to care for him.

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Luke 10:34-35

The Samaritan sacrificed for this man. It cost him money and time, and he risked his own life to help him. Loving people and living on mission costs us our time, our resources, our energy, our money, our comfort. It’s radical because love costs. We love sacrificially because we are recipients of God’s amazing grace:

“For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” 1 Corinthians 4:7

No sacrifice we make compares with Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Our salvation cost Jesus His life. The church was purchased with Jesus’ blood (Acts 20:28). Salvation is a free gift from God, but it wasn’t free.

Who is my neighbor? …Whoever is in my path
Biblical mission doesn’t ask the question, “Where do I go to be on mission?” Biblical mission asks, “Where are my feet?” Where we stand determines our mission field.

The Great Commission says, “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,” (Matthew 28:19).

It should really read, “As you are going make disciples.” As you are engaging in everyday life, watching football with your neighbors, at lunch with your co-workers, on vacation on the golf course, we should be mission-minded. That doesn’t mean every conversation we have is the explicit gospel. Sometimes that means living the gospel of Christ before men, which leads to opportunities to share the gospel.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

If the opportunity to share the gospel presents itself, we must be ready to give an answer. We should know what we believe and be ready to share.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15

Jesus said to the disciples, “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35). In regards to mission, our perspective needs to change, not the landscape. We are often more likely to know the name of our neighbor’s dog than our neighbor’s name. Most people spend very little time in the mission field outside their front door.

Who is my neighbor? …Whoever is in need
This is one of the most striking and radical details of the story – the Samaritan moves towards the man’s brokenness, he does not judge him or cross the road and leave the man to die. Regardless of how the man got there, the Good Samaritan sees his neighbor as his responsibility.

Much like Jesus does with us, the Samaritan man sees the broken condition of this man and takes it upon himself to save the man’s life. As Eugene Peterson describes John 1:14, “Jesus moves into the neighborhood.” Jesus becomes like those He wants to reach. He lifts us out of our brokenness by way of His own death and seats us in the heavens.

We act in compassion because we have experienced God’s wonderful compassion towards us. The gospel compels us to love people and live on mission. We are not simply doing good works but responding to the gospel that has melted our hearts. We were once the victim and the robbers:

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. Ephesians 2:1-3

We were dead in our trespasses and sins, but God made us alive!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— Ephesians 2:4-5

We have been lavished and saved by God’s grace. We do not help the less fortunate; we are the less fortunate so we share His grace.

At the end of the story Jesus tells us “to go and do likewise.” We are commanded to live a life of sacrificial love to God and others. The robbers saw the man as an opportunity to take advantage of. The priest and Levite saw him as problem to avoid. The Samaritan saw him as a neighbor to love.

How do you see people?

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Missions • Mexico

Embedded within the DNA of Remedy Lodi is the desire to be a church on mission. We long to see people from every tribe, nation and tongue give their lives to Jesus and bring Him glory. One of the ways we seek to advance the Gospel is to go out on mission. Check out this video to learn more about missions in Mexico:

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Remedy is about loving Jesus and loving others. We exist to glorify Him through our gatherings and in our lives.Learn More