Misunderstood Mission

 

Achievement Success Goals Target Jigsaw Puzzle ConceptThere are planned mission trips that have clear goals and purposes to each place. I know missionaries in Indonesia, Africa, Nicaragua and many other places in the world. Their mission is to tell others about Jesus so that they can be saved and have the abundant life here and eternal life after this life. Jesus came to bring that life. His mission was to do what the Father sent Him to do – give His life as the Ultimate Sacrifice for sin. Jesus understood His mission, but lots of others misunderstood His mission. It took a good bit of repetitive instruction before the 12 disciples understood. The religious leaders and teachers of the law didn’t get His mission. They were too busy keeping the rules that they made up to go along with the law. Jesus had called them out about this and so they turned a “deaf ear” to His teaching.

Jesus, the Only Son of God was totally misunderstood by most of the people whom He came to teach and lead. He was crucified on “trumped up charges”. He was mocked, ridiculed and beaten, but He didn’t give up on His mission. As He was on the cross, He was still verbally abused and scoffed at. He completed His mission even though He was totally misunderstood. Check this out…

39 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. 40 “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

41 The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. 42 “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! 43 He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way. (Matthew 27:39-44 NLT)

I am so thankful that Jesus stayed on mission. I have hope today because He endured the mission of His life. The Fathers plan was one final sacrifice for sin and the sacrifice was the death of His Son. Jesus not only died for the sins of the world, He conquered death. He did rise from death on the third day after He was crucified. I often wonder how many of the people who were in the crowd yelling “crucify Him” repented of their sin and turned to Him. I wonder if Paul’s mission and teaching changed their minds about Jesus later. He was here. He was killed. He was gone. That had to baffle them.

I believe that Jesus calls me on a mission to grow in my love for God and to love others like the Lord loves. I show my love for God by serving others. I want to be on mission in my life, even if I’m misunderstood.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Different Agenda

welcome home written in colorful magent lettersI’ve been part of a group of people where we are all pulling the same direction – or so it would seem. In a group of people there will always be disagreement with how we do things. It takes skillful leadership to keep everyone, including those in disagreement, moving toward a common goal. This scenario plays itself out in church leadership quite often. You’d think that the goal of any church is to reach lost people, but that is not the case. The goal of some churches is to keep everyone in the church happy and giving so that the church can keep going (and sometimes growing). I believe the agenda of the church should always be the “agenda” that the Founder (Jesus) set up at the very beginning. His agenda for the church was to reach out to lost people and disciple them and teach them NOT make the current believers comfortable and happy.

Jephthah had just fought against the Ammonites and defeated them when some of his own countrymen get frustrated with him. It doesn’t make sense, but it kind of mirrors what happens in the kingdom of God even today. Check this out…

1 The Ephraimite forces were called out, and they crossed over to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, ‘Why did you go to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you? We’re going to burn down your house over your head.’

Jephthah answered, ‘I and my people were engaged in a great struggle with the Ammonites, and although I called, you didn’t save me out of their hands. When I saw that you wouldn’t help, I took my life in my hands and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave me the victory over them. Now why have you come up today to fight me?’ (Judges 12:1-3 NIV)

This story ends badly because evidently the men of Ephraim wanted some recognition or award for fighting against the Ammonites. I’m sure Jephthah was wondering were they were when the actual fighting was taking place. This reminds me of a story told by Max Lucado years ago in one of his books. He reminded me that we are called to “fish” for lost people. When the church looses sight of that goal, they often fight over just about anything and everything – including what equipment to use.

The Lord’s agenda is quite simple and it’s spelled out in The Word. He wants lost people to come home. He wants the church to grow and nurture young believers into mature and wise believers. The Lord will always be the head of the church, not some young, charismatic young pastor – The Church is the Lord’s Church. Any pastor, teacher, leader of Christ follower with an agenda different than the Founder/Leader should surrender their agenda to His – every time.

Hidden agendas cause misunderstanding.

Hidden agendas cause fights and quarrels.

Hidden agendas cause mistrust.

Hidden agendas cause deep division.

Hidden agendas must be called out and exposed.

Hidden agendas are almost always about self-promotion.

I think it is helpful for every leader to check their heart and review their own agenda to make sure it is in line with the Lord’s agenda. I don’t want to be a renegade follower who causes trouble, I want to be a loyal team player who promote the Lord’s agenda and His mission for His Kingdom.

Pressing On!

Dwayne