“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”—Acts 1:8 (NIV)
There seems to be a trend in church culture to isolate missions into a specific department or calling. Although there are aspects of these ideas that are helpful and true, such as the strategic impact of having a department dedicated to missions and the specific guidance needed from God regarding where to go on mission, this still must not lead us to believe that it’s completely separated from our daily lives!
I once heard it said that someone’s calling is like a thesis statement to a paper. It describes overall what they hope to do with their lives, yet it also outlines some of the specific ways they can accomplish that. Those specific ways would be various vocations, whereas the overarching calling would be considered that person’s mission.
This analogy implies we shouldn’t feel pressured to pick one career and stick with it forever. Knowing one’s mission is much more important, and although everyone may have unique individual callings given by God, everyone’s mission is actually the same: to worship Him. This means that no matter where we live, every believer is considered a missionary because our purpose is to worship God and “to offer [our] bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1 NIV).
So, what does this look like? Well, Jesus leaves His disciples with a concise mission statement before ascending to heaven that summarizes what our work on earth is as His followers and redeemed creations. It’s called the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20), where Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teaching them all He has commanded.
In today’s verse, Luke writes about the same experience and mentions Jesus’ instructions commanding His disciples to go on mission for Him with the assurance of His presence through the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Luke, he also writes that Jesus “opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them . ..‘The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations’” (Luke 24:45–47 NIV). This is the gospel and the mission of the Lord.
This command isn’t something we just omit from our lives because we feel comfortable where we are. A life devoted to Christ will involve sacrifice and suffering, yet this is the best life we could ever live for Him! Everyone’s mission is missions because we have been commanded to it! 41.8% of the global population still remains unreached by the gospel (JoshuaProject.net), yet Christ came so all nations would come to hear the message of His salvation. What a privilege we get to be a part of that mission. So, let’s actually begin to live like it!
Pause: How have you separated missions from your everyday life? Do you view yourself as a missionary?
Practice: Today, try to view yourself as a missionary wherever you are and have at least one intentional conversation where you mention your faith and explain it to someone else.
Pray: Father, I can so easily slip into living a mediocre life where Your mission is not at the forefront of my mind. There are so many people who need to hear about You both in my own backyard and across the globe. I ask that You give me boldness to share Your gospel with those around me in my words and actions, and I ask for clarity when it comes to where You want me to share that news wherever it may be. I also lift up those missionaries who are overseas or in other societies, that You would grant them strength to continue doing their work which is Your work! Amen.