Reflecting back to this past Sunday, two questions kept swirling around in my head.
- What’s our mission?
- Am I accomplishing it?
Now you can’t even begin to answer the second question unless there is clarity to the first one. As believers, our mission is bring glory to Jesus. There’s a myriad of ways in which that is accomplished, but understanding that our primary reason for existence begins there is critical. When I understand that, then we can begin to press in on the latter.
Looking back at Paul’s journey to Jerusalem and the ensuing events, it brings to clarity the need for focused mission in our lives. Paul was focused on the task in front of him, and it allowed him to respond to all that life threw at him because he knew what he was doing.
Four things from the text stood out in respect to Focused Mission:
Stays on Mission: Paul had plenty of reasons to avoid going to Jerusalem. He had been told repeatedly things would not go well. But this wasn’t some bull-headed thinking, this was a man who had been put on mission from God. So even when faced with difficulty and danger, even when it was not ideal, he persisted. Are you willing to be resolute and determined to stay on mission for Jesus? Are you willing to keep at it, even when it’s difficult?
Embraces Gospel Attitude: As Paul met with the church in Jerusalem, a gospel attitude was present in them all. The work of God was celebrated by all, and gospel life was embraced by all. Paul was willing to choose humility and to think of others first because the gospel permeated the whole of his life. Has the gospel permeated the whole of your life? Has the finished work of Jesus transformed the ways that you think and live?
Accepts the Cost of Mission: As we’ve seen repeatedly in the book of Acts, ministry comes with a cost. This account was no different. The same is true for us today. Are we willing to accept the cost of following Jesus? Are we willing to endure the difficulties that come in living lives that honor Him?
Makes God’s Work Known: Finally, focused mission is centered around making the work of God known. Paul made clear the work that Jesus had done in his life, and then the work that was being done in the world. It’s where the book of Acts started, by Jesus telling the apostles that they would be witnesses. That theme is still bearing out in the book of Acts, as well as in our lives today. Will you make God’s work known to those around you?
As you consider the mission that God has given you, consider these items above and reflect on the effectiveness of the mission. If you’re curious if you’re accomplishing what God has put before you, start by asking if these items are true in your life, then by God’s infinite grace, start making adjustments as necessary.