“Complete the Mission”
Complete the Mission
Our primary mission in life is not to touch the white fence…
Our mission is not primarily to own the beautiful house with the white fence and all that goes with it…
Our primary mission in life (each one and together as a church) is described by Jesus in Matthew 28: 18 – 20 (Unpack).
It is not always an easy mission and sometimes it is made even more difficult when the storms of life hit us.
And while we might struggle with this mission… while we will sometimes fail in aspects of this mission… failure to be on mission is not an option… it is a lifelong mission… it has no retirement plan.
What will it take for us to complete the mission, to be ready and not run when the storms arrive (even imaginary storms)?
It’s the same thing as what Jack Groppel spoke about – training!
But how do we train for this mission?
We train with God’s word.
God’s word is critical to the mission itself (we see that in Matthew 28).
And God’s word trains us for the mission.
Look at 2 Tim 3: 16 – 17.
All Scripture is God-breathed… Paul would have in mind the OT and some of the NT (he would not yet know about all of it) … we apply this to OT and NT.
All Scripture is God-breathed… That is God supernaturally helped all the different writers to write exactly what He wanted them to write. Through His Holy Spirit, God kept the writers from error and helped them choose the right words while still allowing them to express their different personalities and writing styles.
The great thing about that is that it means that the Scriptures are as reliable as God is.
Not only is it reliable but it is also useful… useful for training us for the Mission Jesus gave us… so that we may accomplish the mission, even when the storms of life hit.
Look again 16 – 17 (“useful for” 16 / “so that” 17 can happen) … that we can be “thoroughly equipped” [word “equipped” twice in original and means “complete / perfect”] “for every good work” … on the good mission we are on.
Look at the training we get from the God-breathed useful Scriptures…
The Scripture is useful for teaching… Teaching the truth about God, about us, about salvation, about our relationship with Him, about His Mission, about our role in that mission, about what to do on mission and how to handle the storms of life when they come and threaten to derail us.
The Scripture is useful for rebuking… What pulls us away from our relationship with God, away from our mission for Him and with Him? Particularly when the storms hit?
Sin… and then we need to be rebuked (the word means “expose” or “convince”) … we need the Bible to expose our sin and convince us that it is wrong and must be repented of… or we will grow weak and abandon the mission… with terrible consequences. We need to be rebuked to grow strong.
And if God loves us, He will not only teach us but rebuke us through His word (as we read it, and often through the teachers He provides and by other Christians in our lives) … and we must train regularly in God’s word for all this to happen. Let me illustrate how this works …
There was a little boy who loved his mom’s strawberry jam. One day she made some, put it on the top shelf and told him not to eat any while she went out.
He resisted for a while, but finally succumbed. He put the chair by the counter, climbed up and could just reach his finger into the jam.
He enjoyed his sinful treat until he heard his mom coming. He quickly climbed down and was standing there trying to look innocent when she walked in.
His mom said “John, have you been eating the strawberry jam?” He looked her right in the eye and said, “No.”
She repeated, “John have you been eating the jam?” His eyes fell to her belt-line, and he said, “No.”
A third time she asked, and this time his eyes fell to her shoes, but he still said, “No.”
She asked a fourth time, “John have you been eating the jam?” This time his eyes fell even lower, so low that he looked right in the middle of his shirt and saw a spot of strawberry jam.
Only if we are constantly exposing our lives to God’s word letting it teach and rebuke us until we get it… do we start to gain the benefits of how God wants to grow us and train us for His mission for us.
The Scripture is useful for correcting… not only does the Scripture (by regular use) expose our sin… but it shows us the correct way to live (the right path to take) as those in relationship with God and on mission for Him. The world literally means “a straightening up again”.
We are shown what repentance looks like; how to put right what we have wronged; how to reconcile broken relationships; how to overcome sinful and harmful habits.
The Scripture is useful for training in righteousness… once we are on that right path, that right way… we need ongoing training to stay on that path of righteousness.
The word training here literally means “child-training” and implies a process (ongoing, daily) where God through His word and servants teach us how to deal with all of life the right way (His way – the way of righteousness, the way that please Him and brings glory to Him).
If we want the best possible relationship with God (and He want that with us) …
If we want to be those who stay on mission for Jesus no matter what so that we complete our role in His mission (and He wants that for us) …
We must be people who daily train ourselves in the Bible, spending enough time and effort so that the Bible is able to teach, rebuke, correct and train us so that we can be thoroughly equipped for our mission.
Now, having said that… training in the Bible requires help.
God knew that. So, He made a plan. He invented the church (the body of Christ) and He gave gifts to that body that would help people train in the Bible Ephesians 4: 11 – 12.
And so here at St Matts we have various opportunities for you to train with the word for the mission (to make disciples) and grow closer to our Lord:
- Sunday services
- Home groups
- Friday and Sunday Children events and Friday Youth events
- Thursday Lady’s ministry
- Various courses
But this morning I want to highlight two opportunities…
Explore – will provide you with an understanding of the Bible that will probably put you into the top 1% of Christians in the world. It will fire you up for God and His mission perhaps like never before.
The Mission (The disciple-making mission) – When you help someone be a disciple-maker (when you pour into that person what had been poured into your life) you grow like never before (explain).
Training and the mission go together. To train for mission but not be on mission is a bit like the fishing club that never fished (explain … missing the joy of doing what you have trained for).
Now this morning I call you to action…
Complete the Mission
- Get back on mission … stay on mission
- Pick up your Bible again. Live in it. Live it out
- Keep doing that
You will wonder why you put up with anything less.
You will see miraculous changes starting to happen in your life, in your relationship with the Lord and in the lives of the people your life will touch.
And this place will be filled with the joy and excitement of that and will be bursting at the seems and Jesus will be rejoicing … we will be doing no less.
Home Group Questions
- What is the mission that Jesus has for all Christians? Matthew 28: 18 – 20.
- How do we train to stay on mission and faithful to God in our relationship with Him? 2 Timothy 3: 16 – 17.
- How does that work in the local church? Ephesians 4: 11 – 12.
- What would all three of those things look like in your life if they were in practice in your life?
- Concerning the Bible and its importance to us
- How would you help a person who said, “I’ve tried to read the Bible, but I don’t get anything out of it”?
- What is the hardest thing for you about consistent Bible reading and Bible study? How can you overcome it?
- What would you say to a someone who defended their lack of Bible reading by saying, “I’m just not a reader”?