Some folks just have a way with words! Humor lets us smile at recognizable truth. And the truth addressed in this post is the necessity of a well defined mission, goal or destination. Goals allow us to order our steps and our work. Getting from A to B is all about knowing one’s destination. Goals and destinations are necessary for personal or business success. They are essential to living life as God directs. The good news is God has set our goals. The bad news is many Christians have let language and culture redefine His intent. How is that possible?
Mission: First Among Many
Here is our mission: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Language hinders understanding. We love our car, we love our toothpaste, we love our spouse, we love God, and we love the movies. See the problem? If we don’t know where we’re going, we’ll end up someplace else. Our culture makes it even more problematic.
My wife and I were high school sweethearts. One of our first dates was to see Love Story. The defining line of that movie was, Love means never having to say you’re sorry. Huh? Modern culture has equated love with sex. The ensuing emptiness proves love is more than sex and sex easily exists apart from love.
Then there is love and sentimentalism. Love is much more than warm fuzzy emotions and/or feelings. When real love is present, feelings will follow. But the feelings do not define love. Is there an example of genuine love for us to examine and emulate?
Mission – Study The Example
People are flawed, sinful, and imperfect. But God is perfect and He is love (I John 4:8). So, how does He love and what does that look like? Let’s begin with Deuteronomy 7:7 and 10:15. These verses tell us God has ‘set His affection’ on Israel. That was a divine choice. And it was based on the character of God. It had nothing to do with how ‘lovable’ Israel was or was not. So, God’s love is an act of His will. He chooses it. And unlike humans, God lacks nothing and needs nothing. Therefore, His choice to love cannot be about self gratification. It’s to benefit the objects of His love (you and me).
Jesus left the splendor of heaven. He chose to sacrifice that for the benefit of others. His death on a Roman cross confirms the idea of sacrifice. But the cross is where sacrifice ended, not where it began.
There is another facet of God’s love to be noted. Romans 5:8 tells us genuine love expresses itself in actions. But the actions are not random things without purpose. The actions of love will always be for the benefit of love’s object. Notice: Christ’s death simultaneously demonstrated His love for His Father and for us. His death glorified the Father. And it also made forgiveness possible so sinners could have peace, hope, and eternal life.
Mission: Apply Knowledge
Now, let’s apply this understanding of love to our God-given mission/goal: Love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Space only allows a start, but ‘finishing’ the application is a life-long mission. Loving Him means choosing His ways and His thoughts over my own. That is demonstrated by obedience to His ways and His thoughts (found in His Word). Loving Him means sacrificing anything about me that isn’t for His benefit.
You’re already thinking that I said God is complete and lacks nothing and needs nothing. That’s true, but there is something we can give Him because He is the only One worthy to receive it: glory. In fact He tells us, Let your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. He died for us and calls us to live for His glory.
Now, we have a good idea of our mission. Don’t end up somewhere else!
Soli Deo Gloria!
PS – Another God-given mission is making disciples of all nations. The EquipUs way to say that is: Equipping For Life. That’s done through writing, speaking and teaching. We equip pastors and churches here at home and abroad. Our pastor training school is one way we do that. And it’s possible because of many helping hands. Subscribe HERE to keep up. And your obedience can take action through the DONATE tab above or HERE.