2023 November – Our Personal Missions

Our Personal Missions

Don’t get me wrong, I still like the New International Version of the Holy Scriptures. But recently, I have been reading from the English Standard Version and have enjoyed its simplicity and attempt to stay true to the original languages.[i]

Think of a square….you can draw it if you want to.  Across the top line, draw an arrow from side to side and label it Admission.  Arrow down one side Submission, arrow back across the bottom line Commission, arrow up to the top corner of the square, labeled Do-Mission.

In a few verses, the apostle Paul explains the wonder of being a Christian.

Romans 12 (ESV) – A Living Sacrifice

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God,

ADMISSION – What is God’s mercy?  Mercy for what?  Sacrifice of Christ for our salvation. His sacrifice is our admission price.

to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 

SUBMISSION – holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  (KJV- service, but more properly translated worship).

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “worship?” Something from childhood, favorite song or verse, being in a specific place?

I think of a song when I was a kid…….Little brown church in the dell.  We sometimes long for the church of our childhood.  We long for something that is missing in our lives.  BUT, The church of our childhood might not have been so happy.  There is often chaos in the church, chaos in the world, chaos in my heart.  But I might think everything would be ok if only I could get back to that little brown church in the dell to restore me to wholeness and peace.

And what about the way we think about our assembly?  Over the world, not everyone does it like we do.  I went to a church of Christ in Nassau, but they didn’t do it like we do.  They do it differently in Hawaii and Alaska.  Is it ok to do it differently from the way we do it?  What makes it ok to do it differently?  Because…… It’s a spiritual act, not a physical accomplishment.

Verse 2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

When someone gets ready to become a disciple of Jesus, what does that mean?

Repentance – no longer conform to the old life.  We give up the old life, and whatever that is, it may feel comfortable to us.  So we are giving up something comfortable for something that may really feel UNCOMFORTABLE AT FIRST.

Making Him Lord – not saving you for you, He is saving you for Himself, saving you for change, saving you for transformation.

When we come to baptism, we take on the attitude of submission.  I lay myself in your hands, Lord.

But Satan doesn’t stop because we become Christians.  The first thing he throws in front of me is pride.  Because it’s about LORDSHIP!  Satan doesn’t want Jesus to be Lord.  When I was baptized, I thought the bad thoughts would never come back into my life, but I soon found out that temptation comes back as quick as a wink!   When we seek our own will, pride has said, I know more about it than you do, Lord. No we don’t!

How do we renew our mind?  Study of God’s word.  Concentrating on spiritual things.  Knowing what God’s will for us is.  By becoming a learner.

How many of you remember your 1st grade teacher?    Good experience?  Bad? Good experience – what was your teacher like? Bad experience – what was your teacher like?

How many of you have taken a child to their first grade class and you wondered why it didn’t look like the classroom you had when you were a child. You may have been expecting something familiar, the blackboard, with the flag on the left, and the ABCs written across the top of the blackboard in cursive and printing.  But it may not look like it did when you were a child. When someone is a learner, what is their posturing in front of their teacher?  A posture of submission.

When you come before God as a learner, you come in a posture of submission. When I go to worship, what does it mean?  I am on my knees before God, If you come to worship and you are in any posture other than as a learner, you have come for the wrong reason.

Look again at becoming a learner.  Verse 2 – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

COMMISSION – the direction we take.

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

DO-MISSION can be as personal as your own mission statement. It can can be a one-sentence statement of God’s unique assignment for you. Jesus’ personal mission was “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Paul summarized his mission by claiming “I have become its [the church’s] minister … so that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Col. 1:25, 28).

I, Sandra, do not want my circumstances to dictate my faith in God. I want a willing heart that serves God in whatever way he calls me. To be committed and obedient to the Word of God. To seek truth only through His Word.

[i] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.