8th January 2012

Invitation To Mission

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Galatians 6:10 (NIV)

The subject of mission and outreach has sometimes been a source of passionate disagreement among Christian believers. Some believe that they should focus all mission efforts locally. Others believe mission should have more of an international focus. Despite the disagreement, however, most agree that mission is all about joining Jesus in his work of sharing God’s love and life with others.

Most of us find that if we want a job done properly, we ought to do it ourselves. Yet when it comes to sharing his love with the world, God invites us to participate with him. And as we do, we can share in his joy of seeing others realise that God loves them, wants them and includes them. We can share in the excitement of people seeing the truth of who God is for them and who they are in him. And we can, as Jesus lives in us, give his encouragement, comfort and hope to others as we are able.

God doesn’t need our help of course, but he shares all of this with us as part of his love. In fact, in our weakness, we often do a poor job of making Jesus known, but the Holy Spirit is with us and the real job of mission is done by God in spite of our shortcomings. Our imperfection should motivate us all the more, because in our brokenness we can feel the pain and need others have for the love, peace and rest of the gospel.

We live in a world full of hurt, and therefore a world full of opportunities for us to show the kindness of God to others. God doesn’t have to create special mission opportunities for us. By the very nature of this broken life, both the church and the world around us continually provide those opportunities. I believe this was what Paul was alluding to in the scripture quoted above.

Mission, then, is life. Wherever we go, everywhere we look, there are people in need. We can’t do everything for everyone, and sometimes we ourselves are the ones who need someone else’s kindness. But as we are able, as Jesus gives us strength and opportunity, the Holy Spirit will stand with us as we extend God’s love to others.

Our service in Jesus might manifest itself in a variety of ways. Our focus might be specifically on a need within the local community. For others, it might mean being involved in an international mission. And for some, it might mean a bit of both. The point is, there is plenty to do for everyone. It’s always exciting to go where we see the need and where God opens the doors. There is no greater joy than the joy of extending kindness and good news to others. That’s the way God is, and it’s the way he made us.

Holy Father, you invite us to join you in reaching out to others, to be your hands and feet. We are imperfect, but you add to our efforts to ensure your work is done. Help us to take courage and make that first step, knowing we are backed up in every way by you. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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