Mission Questions: Why This Imagery?

How many mission questions are there? Let’s start with a question. Do the terms embassy and/or emissary seem odd if applied to Christians? Why would I use them? Is that thought in Scripture? I hope the answers don’t surprise you!

Mission questions - travel docsEmbassies and emissaries bring the whole thought of government to mind. That’s important and does in fact relate to this series. Why? In our post concerning relationships I left this one out. Adam’s relationship with his government was perfect. Huh? Was there a government in Eden? Yes, there was. God made the world as a theocracy – He is the King of Kings, perfect and good in all His ways. Perfect government hasn’t existed since the Fall. And you are already wondering how this relates!

Mission Questions: Who Are We?

In our look at Deuteronomy 15, God gave responsibility to His people to take care of the poor. What Scripture doesn’t say is often very instructive. Notice: God did NOT give the responsibility of caring for the poor to the government. It was within His right to do so, but His goodness revealed the best way to care for the poor and eliminate poverty.

Solutions are not in government programs. And, No, this is not a political discourse! It’s an examination of what God the Father designed perfectly. Not only that, HIs commands since that time have been for His people to be obedient to His original design. Think about it!┬áThat’s how Jehovah wanted Israel to be.

God’s intent was for people to see Israel, experience a different paradigm of living, and in doing so be drawn to Him. Their obedience to Jubilee would have made them radically different than the rest of the world. It would have caused their own prosperity because God promised His abundant blessings if they obeyed. Their obedience would have caused them to be an outpost of heaven (an embassy) right here on earth. That was God’s plan. Now, a new QUESTION:

Did God’s mind change in the New Testament?

The short answer is, No, it didn’t. How do I know that?

Mission Questions: The Church in Acts

Take a look at the end of Acts 2. You’ll see what the Church was doing when it was formed. Remember the comments on the trajectory of Scripture? Two things come into play here. In the New Testament, Jesus defined His own earthly ministry in terms of Isaiah 61 and God’s command for Jubilee. God’s game plan hadn’t changed. We see in Acts 2 the Church having no poor among them. Now, here is your question:

Is Acts 2 a description of the Church, or a prescription for the Church?

Bible open to Psalm 107

What’s the difference? A description gives you details of something that exists. A prescription tells you something that should be. Since there is no, Thou shalt do likewise… connected to Acts 2, we may need to look a little further to arrive at a conclusion.

The One Another passages are a big clue! The New Testament tells us to:

  • Love one another
  • Serve one another
  • Consider others as more important than ourselves
  • Respect one another
  • Submit to one another
  • Endure one another (one of my favorites!)

There are others, but these will make the point. Now, imagine you walk into a group of people who treat you like that. Would you want to stay there? Sure you would. That is exactly what the Psalmist had in mind when he wrote:

Come, taste and see that Lord is good!

Mission Reflection: Who Am I?

Mission QuestionsYou are one piece of God’s attempt to show the world what He, and heaven, is like. That was Jesus’ mission and it was given to you John 20:21. When we walk through a batey, a slum, or a Masai village we hear things like, Americano, Americano or Mzungu (white person). That’s how other people see us. We cannot see ourselves that way. We do represent a Government, but it isn’t the United States. We represent the King of Kings. Knowing Who we represent tells us what we are supposed to do and say.

When or if we think in terms of the U.S., we are likely just to think money is the answer. It isn’t. We must love others in word and deed, and the deeds do cost. But the solutions people seek are in restored relationships. And we are Ambassadors for Christ according to 2 Corinthians 5:20. As God’s emissaries, we must work to give others a right relationship with:

  • God
  • Themselves
  • Families
  • Work
  • Government
  • The created order
hands together short-term missions

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This post only serves to make you think. It doesn’t even fully develop these thoughts. I am sure you can expand them and I invite you to do so in the comments section below!

Soli Deo Gloria!