Sunday, Missio Dei
Keeping Central the Missio Dei Perspective
After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne, and along with the elders and the four living creatures they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” (CSB)
I’m a big picture guy. Now, I’m not referring to the size of a specific photo or portrait. What I mean is the unified theme of various fragmented pieces that come together to paint a singular grand portrait. I love to connect to the big idea, the main goal, the overarching purpose, or mission of a team, organization, or business. Getting to the end from the beginning is my thing if you will. If I can connect to the “Why” behind the “What”, then I’m ready to get on with the “How” and move toward execution. When we read the revelation of Jesus Christ to John, which he received while banished to the isle of Patmos for preaching the Gospel, we get a glimpse into God’s massive redemptive story. It’s the same story He’s been faithfully writing since Genesis 3 on down through the annals of history as He pushes all things toward their final restoration in and through Jesus. A little further in Revelation 21:5, John hooks us up with a set of all-access passes granting us backstage behind the curtain of the Missio Dei. Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” (CSB)
Essentially, God is actively working his plan to restore all of creation to wholeness, through the person and work of Jesus. When God adopts us into His family through our big brother Jesus, He enlists us to participate with Him in the greatest rescue mission that has ever been. Now, that’s straight up stunning Grace right there! Previously we were God’s enemies at opposition with our creator, but because of the power of Grace we’ve been made His children who are called, commissioned, and empowered with His Spirit to live as sent people on mission. John 20:21-22 Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (CSB)
By the power of God’s Spirit, we literally get to partner with God in His mission and then invite others to join with us through the sharing of hope found in Jesus. We’ve been created for this! As humans we’re hard-wired to be heralds. Simply scan your social media feeds for a couple of minutes and you’re sure to be inundated with all sorts of evidence. We herald everything from Tex-Mex, to new music, great coffee, to films, and amazingly beautiful destinations! As disciples of Jesus we’ve been called and empowered to herald the Gospel of Grace to those whom God has placed around us. Evangelism is simply turning up the volume on the Grace we’ve found in Jesus! The faithful preaching and sharing of the Gospel is the primary means by which the earth is filled with the knowledge of God’s infinite beauty and worth. Habakkuk 2:14 “For the earth will be filled the knowledge of the Lord’s glory, as the water covers the sea.” (CSB). It’s the message of the mission and God has decreed it’s “power to save” sinners until Christ returns. (Romans 1:16)
I hope all of this Gospel truth is an encouragement to you. I need it; we all need it as we live in a culture that is rapidly growing increasingly more hostile to the Christian faith. What is our strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow? You guessed it, the Gospel! Remember what I said about being the “big picture” guy and seeing the end from the beginning? Okay quickly, let’s look back at Revelation 7:9-12.
Because of Jesus, look at where we’re all headed together! According to John’s revelation those who are in Christ are headed to an epic homecoming party where we will get down in celebration of King Jesus! He’s already punched our ticket to the big dance when he defeated sin and death for all time at the cross! The scope of God’s mission is universal. Geographies, ethnicities, or language barriers can’t limit it. God is rescuing a people for His glory from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue and He calls us to rep His kingdom to every man, woman, and child as ambassadors of reconciliation! That’s our play, that’s what we’ve been caught up in!
God please help us to stay centered and focused on Christ and the cross. Encourage our hearts in the truths of your word and the reality of your kingdom and this massive redemptive narrative you’ve called us into. As long as it is called today, may we encourage one another on the daily and lay aside every weight of sin, that we may run the race with endurance. You are our strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Great is your faithfulness! Amen.