Every week, on Monday, we will have a blog for you with resources for diving deeper into the sermon.
On the third week of the A Story Unfolding series, Pastor Andrew continued to look back over what God has done in the past year and what we, as a church, are looking and praying for God to do over the next year. He challenged us through looking at the magnitude of the mission presented in Acts 1:8 and gave us this main point: the mission of God isn’t complete until the gospel reaches the ends of the earth. This mission, for the Christian, is not something we are invited into but commanded to fulfill. We can often get confused by the idea that the church is just a building where we show up for civic engagement and volunteer opportunities, but rather, the church is the people of God, and it is a movement. The church exists to move and spread the gospel to all nations.
Just like the disciples in Acts 1:6 wanted to passively wait for Christ to establish the kingdom, we also tend toward passivity concerning the mission. We want to wait for God or others to do it before our eyes rather than be an active part. Also, the disciples thought that Jesus had only come to restore the physical kingdom to Israel, but that was small potatoes compared to what Jesus actually accomplished. For us as well, what Jesus came to do is so much bigger than what we think he came to do.
Acts 1:8 shows that Jesus’ disciples are given Spiritual power and called to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. Spiritual power is the works of God manifested through us. We need the Spirit of God. In fact, the magnitude of the mission creates dependence on God. To be witnesses to the ends of the earth, i.e. to share the gospel with all the people groups of the world, is not something that is going to be accomplished without the strength and truth that comes through the Holy Spirit. Many of us want to shrink our idea of the mission to just the people we come into contact with, but we can see clearly from Jesus’s Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 that the mission of God is about peoples, not just people.
Christians do not rest until the gospel reaches the ends of the earth. We need to pray, give, and go. It’s true that how this application looks is different for different people. When it comes to mission, some need to go deeper while others need to jump in for the first time. Either way, we are here to glorify God by living in obedience to his misson. Because the mission is so central to the life of every Christian, the choice is either to go, send, or disobey.
In 2019, let’s engage further in God’s mission through praying, giving, and going.
-Alex Nolette (Equip Coordinator/Community Groups)