ON Mission Christian Should be a REDUNDANCY
Here’s a few examples:
- Basic fundamentals
- Armed Gunman
- Unexpected surprise
- Working Mother
- On a can of bug spray I once read, “Kills Bugs Dead”
Some redundancies from famous folks:
- “sometimes you can observe a lot just by watching” ~ Yogi Berra
- “Smoking can kill you, and if you’ve been killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.” ~ Brooke Shields
- “If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure” ~ Vice President Dan Quayle
The Apostle Paul would add “On Mission Christian” to the Redundant list as well.
If our identity is In Christ, On Mission will follow. But here’s the question: Why don’t we see more Christians on Mission? Why is it so hard for us to pursue the mission of God? Why do I settle for going to church, when God’s calls us to go into the world on mission?
Here’s a few possible reasons that I’ve felt:
- We don’t think it’s our responsibility. Somebody Else will take care of that. Or we hire pastors to do those things.
- We don’t see the opportunities. We drive by the needs of the world so often that they become too familiar and we just accept them.
- We don’t think we can. It’s just too hard. I don’t have the gifts. I don’t know how.
Here’s the truth: It is hard. And the Bible never promises that it will be easy.
In Colossians 1, the Apostle Paul talks about his life as a follower of Christ and he spells out some of the reasons many opt out:
1. We’re called to suffer for the sake of others. http://bible.us/col1.24.esv. To not consider self first – “deny self, take up your cross, follow me” Luke 9:23. Paul says life In Christ, On Mission is “labor, striving…struggle” v. 29, 2:1. These word mean to work to the point of exhaustion, to agonize, strenuous effort. These are athletic terms used to describe a runner in a race. It’s not easy to give yourself for others. There must be a willingness to suffer and give and sacrifice.
2. We’re called to Make Mystery Known. http://bible.us/col1.25-27.esv. Yes the Gospel is so simple to understand that a four year old can receive it, but to effectively share it with others we have to work to communicate it in their language and through their cultural baggage. And we have to have the patience and willingness to answer difficult questions and silly arguments and to explain how God works through difficulty and pain. These are not easy 1-2-3 conversations to have. But it’s part of being On Mission. I’m afraid the majority of Christians have given up and given in to the excuse, “I don’t know what to say.” The stats back that up. A recent Lifeway study found that most Christians believe that sharing faith is important but they themselves don’t do it.
It’s hard. But we seem to find a way to negotiate our vacation packages, new car deals, and home mortgage rate reductions. It’s not that we’re incapable of understanding hard things. It’s a matter of willingness and responsibility.
3. We’re called to help EVERY man – http://bible.us/col1.28.esv. Paul had the audacious goal of presenting EVERY person complete in Christ when this life is over. How quickly have I given up on people and shrugged with, “you can’t reach everyone” or “some people will never change.” This EVERY man mission would require a radical reorientation of our lives. It’s an all-consuming mission to suffer for and make mystery known to EVERY person. We can’t do it alone. We can’t do it in our own strength. But it’s what the On Mission Christian aims for.
And the good news is, we don’t have to do it alone. Paul says it’s his strength that powers this mission. “For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” http://bible.us/col1.29.esv.
I often ask God for strength. For safety, for provision, for help when I screw things up. He wants us to bring all our needs to Him. But how often do we ask God for strength for the EVERY man mission of suffering for others & making mystery known. His strength is promised for mission, not for the comfort of casual Christianity. So what does your prayers say about your identity.
If you’re identity is in Christ, On Mission living should follow.
This month, Bridge Church is studying through the New Testament Book of Colossians. Join us Sunday’s, 10:30am at the West St. Tammany YMCA. Or find the messages at bridgenorthshore.com or on Itunes.