There’s always been something special about being sent on a mission. It makes us feel important. Growing up, we would play like we were soldiers getting order from our commander to perform some crazy task. My kids play the same way. When they watched Toy Story, they had to have to Buzz Lightyear that would perform a secret mission and then “rendezvous with Star Command.”
Now that I’m older, the missions have changed to trips to the store for groceries and what not. Sometimes it’s for gasoline or sodas from Sonic. It can get more detailed like taking the kids to the restroom and taking out the trash (those two things are not related). One mission that must be completed every day is going to work to earn a paycheck to take care of the family. But the missions have changed with age. Think about some of the missions you have to complete today.
Paul mentioned that he’d been sent on a mission. It’s interesting that he uses this kind of language in reference to his ministry. He wrote a letter to the church in Galatia, and in his greeting he stated his position, his rank in the Kingdom of God.
Paul, <sup style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but <sup style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”>through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who <sup style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”>raised Him from the dead),Galatians 1:1 (NASB)
First off, I recognize just how important his knew his ministry to be. He knew that God had called him to do this and now his responsibility would be to help others see His calling to them as well. But if I take a closer look at it, Paul’s also talking about his being sent by God as part of His agency. Nothing of what He’s doing has any merit given to man but only to God. Paul’s been commission, sent on a mission for a purpose, a calling from someone higher up.
Being seen as God’s agent changes the way one would perceive the rest of the letter to the church. Any form of conflict between the praise that truly belongs to God and the praise men seek is squelched when the reader comes to realize that the whole intention of the mission begins and ends with God in mind and nothing else. I mean, do we have any kind of power to raise someone from the dead? Right there gives us a distinction in “rank” in the Kingdom of God.
All this gives me a question to ask myself. If I belong to God too, and am part of His Kingdom now, shouldn’t I see my ministry the same way? Shouldn’t I see what I do as being sent on a mission for God?
If that’s the case, how much of my life is considered “being sent” by Him? Isn’t it everything? I wonder…maybe God is actually the One sending me to the grocery store, to take the children to the restroom, to get some coffee, to go to work, to take out the trash, and get sodas from Sonic. Every moment is a moment in which to give glory to God and worship Him. Viewing life like this helps me understand the ministry is everywhere. It’s with my kids. It’s with in the checkout line. It’s with the runner on roller skates. It’s with the person behind the cash register. It’s with the person behind me honking because I’m taking too long to fill up my tank.
Well, if God is sending me in each of these moments, what is He sending me to do? Check this out.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who <sup style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(H)”>gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from <sup style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(I)”>this present evil age, according to the will of <sup style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(J)”>our God and Father, <sup style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(K)”>to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.Galatians 1:3-4 (NASB)
This is the way people used to say “hi” in letters during the days of the early church. Paul was notorious for including the subject of his letter in his greeting. And here I believe he is telling us the content of his letter, his calling, and now helping us to realize that it’s the same calling for us.
The mission is with a message of the Christ who can rescue us. Jesus gave us the mission while He was leaving earth. His last words to His disciples as He was being taking into heaven were to go and make more disciples. People should have an opportunity for God to rescue them, not only from His coming wrath, but also from this present evil age.
I don’t know about you, but I think this age is evil too. I’m sure the Roman days were filled with evil as well. Some of the forms of their worship to false gods were sick. A lot of it had to do with defiling what God has set apart as holy. They would degrade their bodies and unite them with prostitutes as a form of worship. God never intended that, and we can see throughout Scripture that that form of worship wasn’t something He condoned outside of marriage. It’s a false worldview. It’s not God’s worldview, that’s for sure.
But our age is evil as well. I think what Paul’s talking about is a thought process and way of life. Jesus came to rescue us from that too! To rescue us from a way of thinking and a way of living that is contrary to God. He gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from it, so how can we live in that way ever again? Those rescued from impending evil and doom shouldn’t simply turn around and say to the Rescuer, “Thanks, but no thanks. I think I’ll go ahead and run back toward what will hurt me.” It doesn’t make sense.
It’s time for us to wake up and realize what we’re doing and see what God has called us to do instead. Paul knew he was on a mission because God had rescued him. Now he will in turn let others know about that same calling, that same rescuing that’s available for all through Jesus! The rest of the letter to the Galatians clearly indicates what kind of lifestyle God would have us live, the kind of mission He is sending us on as agents of the Kingdom of grace. We’ll take a look at those things this time around and see what He’s rescued us from, the mission He’s sending us on, and how He’s calling us to live.