Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning January 20th, 2019.
We are in week 3 of our “Made for Mission” series. At the beginning of this series we investigated the truth that every person has been called by God for a mission. You are not an accident or fluke but instead God’s masterpiece created for a purpose.
Ephesians 2:10 NIV
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Since we are created in Christ Jesus to do the will of God, we again must ask ourselves the questions:
What’s my mission?
Whose mission am I already on?”
What mission was Jesus on?
Luke 9:51 NIV
51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
What does RESOLUTELY mean?
RESOLUTELY: determined, and unwavering manner. Another way of saying it would be: steadfastly, set His face, determined, made up His mind, with intention - he set His face to go
Jesus was a man on a mission. (John 17:4)
He resolutely set out to lay down his life for the sake of other’s salvation. With great intentionality and courage He knew where He was going and that his life was bigger than himself. It’s interesting earlier in the chapter He shared point blank what that meant for anyone that would follow Him.
Luke 9:23-24 NIV
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
Jesus made it clear that the mission of those who would follow Him was the same as His.
>Followers must lay down their lives on a daily basis for the sake of others being saved.
>This isn’t just a one time event, this is the mission of our lives on a daily basis from now till Jesus returns.
>Our mission is way bigger than ourselves or even the people we serve, it’s part of a worldwide movement that Jesus started.
This worldwide movement faces obstacles. I think one of Satan’s most powerful tools to get Jesus follower’s off mission is the weapon of DISTRACTION.
DISTRACTION: A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else. A diversion or recreation.
We all agree, we live in a distracted culture? The truth is, most of us aren’t out there committing sin after sin and aren’t bad people. We are just busy people. We aren’t on mission like we should be or would like to be… because we are so busy, so distracted.
In a recent survey put out by Lifeway, 80% of church-goers said they believe they have a personal responsibility in sharing their faith BUT 61% say that they haven’t in the past six months. So the majority of us know what the mission is and the importance of it but somehow it doesn’t impact the way we live.
Luke 9:57-62 NIV
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
From this passage, Jesus identifies and calls out three distractions that will pull us away from the mission Jesus has made us for.
1. The Mission of Comfort
Our world is obsessed with safety and comfort. How many of you took my challenge last week and went to Walmart and saw all the things that are available to make you more comfortable?
Whether you did or not, the truth is, we like to travel the course of least resistance. We enjoy comfort.
>What happens when the Mission of Comfort comes in conflict with the Mission of Jesus?
>What happens when comfort becomes a bigger deal in your life than Christ?
The mission that God has invited us to be on isn’t always easy or comfortable.
Is He worth it? Is loving God and loving someone else worth it? or are we in love with our comfortable lives so much that we to neglect God’s purpose? Are we so consumed with the pursuit of a comfortable life that we to neglect God’s purpose?
2. The Mission of Commitments
Matt 6:33 “Seek first His kingdom and His righteous and ALL THESE THINGS will be given to you as well.”
Jesus promises that if we place his Kingdom first in our lives then He will take care of all the other things we love to stress about.
So, are there things you have told Jesus “yes, but first…”
>I’ll serve, but first let me get through this busy season.
>I’ll give, but first let me get this promotion.
>I’ll share my faith, but first let me get more comfortable in my own walk with God.
>I’ll spend time reading my Bible in the morning, but first let me push the snooze button a few times.
While many of the commitments we’ve made may be really good and honorable, Jesus still tells us that His mission must come first.
3. The Mission of Competition
vs 61: As Jesus continues to walk along another man approaches. vs 61 “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus turns to him and replies, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Notice once again that this man has some of the same disorganized words. “Lord; but first…”
Instead of going the mission unconditionally, this man places a condition on his willingness to serve.
The word “but" completely impacts whatever was said just before. Think about it…
I really like this…but….
Every thing is good…but…
I love you…but…
I’m all in…but…
I’ll follow you…but…
He is a nice guy… but…
The mission that God has called us to must be seen as a reward and not a regret. He wants us to step forward into, press in, and embrace His calling, His confidence and joy, and not be looking back with uncertainty and anxiety.
Philippians 3:13-14 NIV
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
There are lots of things in our lives that are competing with God’s mission. Making money, appearing successful in the world’s eyes, having everything you want, staying healthy, having your kids turn out perfectly. Many of these things are great, but do they ever compete with what God’s mission of resolutely walking with him no matter the cost.
Simply saying that you will follow him is not enough. The primary characteristic he is looking for in His followers is Humility. Will I lay down my own comforts, other commitments and things that compete for my time, treasure and talents to resolutely follow Jesus?
We need to seriously ask and respond to what God reveals:
God, do I have any distracting missions in my life that I need to die to today?
1. Are there any comforts that you have made more important than Christ?
2. Are there any other commitments that you’ve been saying, “but first,” before you can fully follow Christ’s call on your life?
3. Are there any competing missions that might be good but have become more important than your calling to know Christ and make him known?
I am praying for you and asking God to help you connect to His purpose for your life. May God richly bless His mission through your life.