So as not to miss any gods they might appease, the Athenians had set up an “unknown god” among the others. And so, Christianity today is seen as a religion among many others. The God of Christianity is “unknown” even to some who claim it as their faith. If we see little more than the surface of this way of life, we simply exist without the source and the power of this life. For the most part, we fail to differentiate between what other religions offer. We must be sure that it is an offering; a supernatural offering between our God and us. It is a spiritual gift from the Lord God of Christianity whom we know as Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of Jehovah, the Almighty God and Creator of the heavens and the earth and Redeemer of mankind.
Baptized as a child on a profession of faith, Christianity was basic but ineffective in my life until as an adult, I was drawn to read, then study; to write and teach what I was learning from the Bible. During those years, the Holy Spirit I was reading about in the Bible used God’s own words to transform my life. Through a new birth, with a new heart and spirit, my life was changed and has not been the same for decades. My books, articles, and poems attest to the revealed and fulfilled promises made to those He brings to Himself.
The best way I can describe this new way of life is with a parable I heard several years ago.
A prisoner was held captive for years, not knowing where he was. He existed in an obscure stronghold in a foreign country. His food and drink were barely enough to keep him alive. Since he knew no other way of life, he did not wish for anything else.
One day a stranger entered his cell and told him about life outside his captivity. He had come to deliver him. At first, the man could not vision anything beyond his own existence, and so refused to follow him out. Unknown to the prisoner, the stranger had broken through the outside barrier of the stronghold to save him. He was there, not to be refused; and so, stayed with him, living off the same fare by which the prisoner had been fed most of his life. At times he would open the cell door and lead him down a long dark hallway to show him the light outside. Not used to the light, the prisoner would soon move back to his comfortable cell.
With time, the stranger presented truths about the light, each day praying with him and leading him a little further out from his cell. Gradually getting used to the light, he was drawn more; then more, to it. One day, his eyes becoming used to the light, embraced the light, walking with the stranger into a new life outside himself.
As I contemplated writing this post, I was reminded of an old TV series Mission Impossible. A different mission presented to the team with every episode including the statement, “This is your mission if you choose to accept it.” The missions involved seemingly impossible situations providing an escape for captives.
I imagined what this would have looked like for Jesus before Creation. He and the Holy Spirit were the team, Jesus being the one who would suffer and sacrifice to bring His people out of their bondage. His mission from God the Father was to go down, go to, and live with the captives on earth; live in full obedience to God’s law, which no man had ever done, and provide a true understanding of the laws of His kingdom. He would be the light from heaven to people living in darkness, under oppression and sin. He would at the appointed time, be offered up as a means of appeasing the unknown God and ascend back to the Father, where He would live and reign for us as His people. He would send His Spirit of light from heaven; through His Word bring us out of our captivity and guide us into all truth.
Jesus accepted and fulfilled His mission. His Holy Spirit is now fulfilling His mission in our hearts and lives as we continue to follow Jesus.
Gracious Father in heaven, we praise you for so loving us that you sent your Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Lord Jesus, we thank you for being the author and finisher of our faith; for breaking through and enabling us to follow through this darkness until we see you in your full glory. Holy Spirit, we know your presence and power of the life of Christ in us. Continue to reveal and fulfill all that the Father has willed for us as your people. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Not until recently have I seen the need for a personal mission statement. Churches and other ministries usually define their mission because they are setting up organizations for other people to join and/or to follow. In this new phase of my life, I want to challenge any who consider themselves Christians ~ followers of Christ ~ by what I have been recently experiencing. In the following weeks, I want to share some of what I have learned that reveals the need for us as children of God to take hold of what He has given us in Christ; to stand; to proclaim; to live what we say we believe. We must make a definite statement before the world of who we are. If we have enough mission statements that agree, we might then have a strong stand together without the things that separate us and that makes the world point their finger at what seems to them an imitation Christianity.
While we may not see a mission statement as necessary for our personal lives, we must consider two things:
* First: A mission is the same as the purpose for which we live.
* Second: Even without a written statement, others see and join us. There are many blogs that people follow.
Let’s look at these two separately.
A mission statement defines who we are as Christians and our purpose for being. It sets us on a path whereby we may see the progress and accomplishments God desires for us. Whether a parent, child, sibling, friend, employer or in any relationship, we have a purpose for living and being in that relationship. Every person living is in some relationship, unless he/she is a hermit. We won’t get into what this means, but we will concentrate on our relationships and how a mission statement will determine how we relate to others. What a difference it would make if Christian couples would begin their marriages with a mission statement and what if parents would establish a mission statement for their families?
Our Relationship with God
As Christians, we believe what the apostle Paul said about God to the Athenians in Acts 17:28.
“’In him we live and move and have our being’…..For we are indeed his offspring.’”
Our main purpose is in our relationship with God our Creator and heavenly Father, to obey and glorify Him through our relationship with Jesus Christ, His son and His Holy Spirit whereby He birthed us into His family.
From and in this relationship, He defines who we are as inhabitants on this planet earth. As His children, we are disciples of Christ, His Son, whose purpose was to obey, glorify and witness of His kingdom. By His finished work of living and dying for us, He has provided the means of setting up His kingdom here in the hearts and lives of His people, so that we continue the message and the mission that He set up for us.
With a personal mission statement, we make known whose disciple we are. We establish within our own hearts and minds who we are and why we are here. We may not have a determined ministry, so to speak, but God is making each of us a ministry to Him. In His timing, we know what our ministry is to others. Aside from having a public ministry of preaching, teaching, writing, or any other outreach of witness, others will see, hear, and notice who we are. This will bring approval from those of the same mind and heart, and persecution from those who are not.
As we are all part of the antithesis (the war between Satan and God that began at Creation) we need to establish, without a doubt, on which side we stand and live.
Jesus said that if we are not with Him, for Him, following, and obeying Him, we are against Him. There are only two sides. On which do you stand? What is your purpose here, for the few years that you live on this earth? Is it to live for Christ and to proclaim His message? Is it to practice the worship and adoration that He deserves? Is it to know Him and to encourage others to know and grow in His grace?
As a child of God, do you live with the understanding that the reason you are here is not for yourself, but for Him to prepare you for His presence and His glory for eternity, and to tell others about His plan?
If this is your purpose, then this is your mission, and He will accomplish all in you for which He created and redeemed you in Christ.
When we personally set down in writing what we know our purpose to be, then we are more apt to accomplish our mission.
Write your own personal mission statement, and share it with those who are closest to you. Encourage them to write their own. When you know your calling, establish your platform and make your statement public, joining others who are proclaiming His kingdom here on earth.
Dear Father, thank you for creating us with the purpose of revealing your plan and your purpose for us; for preparing us for your eternal kingdom and training us here, so that we are practicing and showing others what eternity will be like with you. Work in our hearts and establish the mission you have for each of us. In Jesus’ name I pray, I thank you, and I praise you. Amen. ~ Fran
Jesus was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit; and born of her.
He finished the work of salvation for His people; and returned to the glory of the Father.
~ So that He is now filling us with His grace; by the Holy Spirit birthing us into His kingdom, and swaddling us with His love.
He is continually filling and overwhelming us, so as to conform us to His image and bring us to His glory.
Gracious Father, we praise you for your plan of redemption. No man could have thought of such a means of saving your people. Open our hearts to your Spirit and the life of Christ in us that delivers us from the law of sin and death. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.