The 5th Purpose of Your Life
Jesus: "In the same way that you gave Me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world." John 17:18 (Mes)
"As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you." John 20:21 (NIV)
"The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me - to tell people the Good News about God's grace." Acts 20:24 (NCV)
The High Priestly Prayer
1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,
2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.
3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
4 " I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
5 "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
Read John Stott quote from Piper p.9 of Let the Nations be Glad!
MY 5th PURPOSE IS that I was made for a mission.
Bigger than "Evangelism"
Compassion for the lost is a high and lofty motive for missionary labor. Without it we lose the sweet humility of sharing a treasure we have freely received. BUT compassion for people flows FROM a prerequisite of passion for the glory of God.
A “Heart for the lost” or the world is an abstract concept to many. As with most feelings it is difficult to sustain. Don’t wait for a feeling of strong benevolence to propel you into bold evangelism. Take the first steps because you love GOD preeminently! Ephesians 6:7-8. Jesus deserves the reward for His suffering. Focus on your role in glorifying Him thusly.
"You will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8 (NIV)
- "Jerusalem" = the people closest to me
- "Judea/Samaria" = people near but different from me
- "Ends of the earth" = everybody else!
"This was God's plan for all of history which He carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord." Eph. 3:11 (GW)
COMPLETING MY MISSION
1. I MUST SHARE WITH THOSE IN MY WORLD.
"‘Go back home and tell people how much God has done for you.’ So the man went all over town telling how much Jesus had done for him." Luke 8:39 (NCV)
"Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you." 1 Peter 3:15 (TEV)
"...God does not want anyone to be lost, but He wants all people to change their hearts and lives!" 2 Peter 3:9 (NCV)
2. I MUST DARE TO REACH BEYOND MY WORLD.
"Whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him." 1 Cor. 9:22b (LB)
"Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law." Gal. 6:2 (Msg)
"Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight..." James 1:27 (Msg)
"I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me." Mt. 25:35-36 (NLT)
Jesus replied, "Let me assure you that no one has ever given up anything... for love of Me and to tell others the Good News, who won't be given back, a hundred times over..." Mark 10:29 (LB)
If you had the cure for cancer—you’d share it! Yet why don’t people share the Good News?
3. I MUST CARE ABOUT THE WHOLE WORLD.
Jesus said to His followers, "Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone." Mark 16:15 (NCV)
"If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for My sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live." Mark 8:35 (LB)
"David served God’s purposes in his own time..."
Acts 13:36a (TEV)
"Send us around the world with the news of Your saving power and Your eternal plan for all mankind." Ps. 67:2 (LB)
Another reason people hesitate is they think folks aren’t interested in spiritual matters…NOT TRUE. Recent survey showed 34 Million Americans said they’d go to church if they received an invitation from a friend. So is your mission to get people to come to church?
A Gallup pole recently showed that teens are MORE interested in talking about God than sex, drugs, money, etc…
--People NEED the Lord…and we are called to reach them
Now I want to focus on what is lacking in the book for a while: I alerted you early on to the problems of chunking the purposes and looking at them separately, not holistically. In this case the Great Commission has often been advanced without the flip side of the coin- the great commandment.
Drawing on texts from the Old and New Testaments, John Piper demonstrates that worship is the ultimate goal of the church and that proper worship drives missionary outreach. He describes prayer as the fuel of missions work because of its focus on a relationship with God rather than the needs of the world. He goes on to illustrate that while suffering is the price of missions, God is worthy of any sacrifice. He examines whether Jesus is the only way to salvation and discusses the extent of the missionary enterprise, seeking to define the scope of the task and the means to reaching "all nations."
"Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church, worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't." This is the opening line of this book, and it is the foundational premise on which it is written.
Piper writes about a God who is worth serving, worth going to the nations for, and who is worth suffering for. There is no greater cause in all the world than the glory of God and Piper eloquently describes how Missions is intimately connected to that cause.
Perhaps the most striking point in the book is the idea that God is passionate for his own glory. In fact that God is passionately establishing his glory in the nations. It is not that God is in constant need of affirmation, but that He knows that His glory is the "chief end of man"...and of God.
The chapter on Suffering is incredible. Piper's writing is as convicting as it is motivating. The reader is left asking the question "Do I believe in a God like this? Do I serve a God who is worth suffering for?"
God has honored his church with the privilege of joining Him in his work in the world. Piper is a man who understands this privilege, and who invites us to join Him as well.
This is one of the best books I've ever read. Unlike so many books on missions, Piper does not try to cajole his readers into the mission field with tear-jerking stories of how third-world nation children are starving, as if God were in need of missionaries. Instead, Piper unfolds God's great plan to glorify himself through missions--that all nations might turn to Christ. Piper is right on when he wrote -- missions exists because worship doesn't. Soli Deo Gloria
"Missions is not God's ultimate goal, worship is" (p.15). Because God is supremely great, because He is passionate about His own glory, and because enjoying Him is the greatest satisfaction a human can have, "all of history is moving toward one great goal, the white-hot worship of God and His son among all the peoples of the earth" (p.15). The progression is God, people, God. Missions begins and ends in God.
In the west, tolerance and pluralism increasingly are replacing the belief that Jesus is the only way to salvation, even within some Christian circles. With the patience and precision of a heart surgeon, Piper analyzes questions about the need for people to have a conscious faith in Christ for salvation, and the consequences of not having such a faith. The answers he gives are born out of thorough knowledge of Scripture and a compassion for people in light of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. For anyone who is wrestling with the centrality of Christ in God's plan of salvation, or for those whose work requires they give an account of this centrality, this is highly recommended reading.
Not satisfied to deal with just one difficult subject in his book, Piper goes on to end "Let the Nations Be Glad" talking about missions as a mandate to reach "people groups." In his typical fashion, he doesn't embrace the idea of evangelizing "unreached peoples" simply because it is popular. He does careful exegesis of many New Testament passages which refer to "ethnos," the Greek word for a nation, or nations of people (as opposed to a political nation). Grasping this meaning in Scripture is key to understanding correctly what the Biblical mandate "go and make disciples of all the nations" really means and how it is to be accomplished. To further strengthen his interpretation, Piper undergirds it with the Old Testamental hope "that God would one day be worshipped by people from all the nations of the world" (p.181).
Martyrdom of Christians p. 75.
Perhaps one of the most important contributions made by "Let the Nations Be Glad" is the assurance that the task is not futile, but is ordained by God for completion. Missions starts with God, He works through and unto people, who will then assuredly bring Him glory forever.
This book has motivated me to encourage people to think more strategically in their attitudes towards mission. It has also challenged me to see with fresh clarity that ‘sacrifice language’ can be misleading if we do not appreciate that to give up for God is only ever to gain!
Nexrt week’s Assignment- no reading in book-- handout only!
Prepare your purpose statement.
Do we take our comfortable lives and make them the measure of what the Bible means?
If Christ’s death is really substitutionary, shouldn’t I escape what he bore for me? Christ died for us so we would not have to die for sin- not that we wouldn’t have to die for others. Our death in Christ is never in judgment. Christ’s death is both substitution and pattern. 1 Peter 2:20-21
Suffering deepens faith and holiness
Suffering makes your cup increase
Suffering is the price of making others bold
Suffering fills up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions- not in atoning sufficiency- but in that they are unknown to people not at the cross.
Suffering enforces the missionary command to go.
The supremacy of Christ is manifest is suffering.
Not ultimately sacrifice- but we gain the greatest joy.