Friday, May 24, 2013
My Prayer for Today
5 Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982). Ps 37:5–7.
May 24: On a Mission
2 Timothy 1:1–2
“We’re on a mission from God.” Whenever the Blues Brothers delivered this line, they were met with a less-than-enthusiastic reception. While they had a different “mission” in mind, their famous line summarizes Paul’s ministry, and their reception is strangely related to a pressing problem in our Christian communities today: we’re hesitant to receive those who tell us they’re on God’s mission.
When we hear this “line,” we immediately begin to ask questions inside our heads: Are they offering a critique? Making a threat? Telling us they’re pursuing a ministry role in accordance with the gifts God has given them, or that they want to be directed toward such a role?
Nearly all the godly people in the Bible were appointed directly by God or His messengers to a mission, and they were given very particular (and often unique) gifts to fulfill those missions. So when someone says they’re on a mission from God, we should respond with, “Tell me about it!” Consider passages like 2 Tim 1:1, where Paul addresses Timothy and the community he leads, many of whom never met Paul:
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus.”
Apostle means “sent one.” Paul was on a mission from God, and it’s because of Christ, the anointed one’s promises, that he embraces this calling. God called and gifted [Him] to do His work and share His message. Who are we to say that God doesn’t commission people today? Of course, we should always be cautious and discerning; those in leadership must have proven their godly character and their ability to be used by God. They must also be confirmed by other godly leaders. Once this has been confirmed, we should encourage those called to a special mission. We, as believers, are called to work alongside them—to encourage them and help them serve what God, specifically, has appointed them to do.
We stumble when we think the Church is ours to lead; it is Christ’s. He is our leader and guide, and it’s by His Spirit that we will have the discernment necessary to do what He God has appointed us to do.
How can you help those who are on a mission from God?
JOHN D. BARRY
John D. Barry and Rebecca Kruyswijk, Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012).