Everyone has a mission.

Mission is defined as an undertaking, operation, task, job, trust or assignment. Every individual, every family, every group and every organization has a mission. Even Ethan Hawke has one.

In the recent Asian Pastors Equipping Conference, Pastor Steve Murrell asked a question that was addressed to everyone whether in full-time ministry or not.

“Does your mission line up with the mission of God?”

For us to be able to answer that question, we have to first be clear about what the mission of God is.

In Matthew 4:18-25, we can see 3 aspects of this Missio Dei or the mission of God.

1. We are called to MAKE DISCIPLES,  not just GATHER CROWDS.

It’s not about how many people show up. The word crowd is a relative term. The mission is to make disciples. And Jesus did that in a small group relational discipleship setting.

The value is not about how many people show up in our meetings and services. The main value is Christ. And the Great Commission He gave was to go and make disciples.

When we get our identity from numbers, not from Christ, then we have missed the point of the mission of God.

2. We are called to PREACH THE GOSPEL, not COMMUNICATE MOTIVATIONAL SPEECHES.

These days, pastors have been called or even dubbed themselves as ‘thought leaders,’ ‘cultural architects,’ and ‘motivational speakers.’

Steven Seamands in his book “Give Them Christ,” he emphasizes the need to stay the course. We are called to preach the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and return of Christ. We are to preach Christ – who He is, what He did and what He is all about.

Preaching should lift us out of the temporal and set us on the track of eternal.

3. We are called to HEAL THE AFFLICTED, not SPIRITUALIZING PHYSICAL, SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL NEEDS.

Matthew 4:23 tells us that Jesus went about healing the afflicted.

We are to pray for the sick every chance we get. Sick people have a better chance of getting well the more we take time to pray for them.

Moreover, it is not just about healing the sick. It is also healing societal ills. We are to be an advocate for the oppressed, the hurting and the powerless.

This is the Missio Dei.

The mission of God is this: DISCIPLING, PREACHING, AND HEALING.

 

Blog Banners.001In my recent Japan bike trip with Ryan (click here to read about it), we were guided by Google maps on my phone. I would shout out directions to Ryan if we needed to turn left or right. When I would give an instruction, he would do it, not because it was a command but because it was a relationship based on trust.

Discipleship is following Jesus and helping others follow Christ. As we follow Christ, we listen to His instructions not because we have to but because we want to, knowing that He desires what’s best for us. This trust is based on the relationship we have with Him.

Discipleship is relationship.

It is a relationship on 3 levels:
Relationship with God.
Relationship with other believers.
Relationship with the lost.

If we are going to help others follow Christ, there are 3 choices we will need to make as we do so.

1. OPPORTUNITY OVER OUTCOME

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up… (Luke 19:5a)

Jesus had a mission. He was about to sacrifice His life so that mankind could be saved. It was important to get to Calvary but wasn’t so focused on the outcome that He missed the opportunity to stop and speak with Zacchaeus. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem but when He got to Jericho, He looked up and took some time to be with Zacchaeus.

Sometimes we are so busy that we miss out on divine appointments.

We miss out on divine appointments when we are quick to dismiss seemingly human distractions.

2. RELATIONSHIP OVER RULES

Jesus… said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19:5b)

During those days, there was an unwritten rule that they were not to eat with sinners and tax collectors. People hated tax collectors because though they were Jewish, they worked for their enemy at that time, the Romans. Moreover, when they would collect taxes, they would get more than required so they could pocket the extra. They were corrupt and abusive aside from working for the enemy.

Jesus stopped to speak with Zacchaeus. In fact, He didn’t just want to eat dinner with him, He wanted to stay in his house! People were wondering, “Jesus, what are you doing?!!!” This is not acceptable!”

But Jesus broke the ‘rule’ so that He could build a relationship with Zacchaeus.

To treat people the way Jesus treated them, we need to see them the way Jesus saw them.

I’m just grateful God valued me so much that He sacrificed His only Son so I can have redemption. I was insecure, lost and without purpose. Thank God for the gospel that saved me.

3. PEOPLE OVER PROCESS

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

Jesus had a process He was going to go through – suffering, death, burial, resurrection and ascension. But He wasn’t so caught up with that process that He missed out on the very people He was going to die for.

Why? Because lost people matter to God.

Sometimes, we can get so caught up with the process that we miss out on the simplicity of loving people. We are worried about the form, that we miss out on caring for people. We are wrapped up with the program that we miss out on the very reason why we even have a program.

I remember going through One2One discipleship with someone I met 2 and a half years ago. We initially started with One2One booklet. But because he had a lot of questions, we had to set the booklet aside to answer his questions. We tried to do the Purple book. We got to chapter 4 and it was helpful. But since he still had lots of questions, we actually went straight to the book of Romans. The process is important but sometimes, we have to ask God for wisdom what tool to use because people are more important than the process. Finally, after 2 years, we finished one2one and he was able to go through Victory Weekend this past March.

Jesus stopped to encounter Zacchaeus. He had a process to go through but He didn’t let that stop Him from spending time with the very people He was about to die for. Why? It’s because lost people matter to God.

I love how Joey Bonifacio put it:

God who is most valuable, so valued us that He gave us Jesus who is most valuable to Him.

As we continue to honor God and make disciples, may we do it with zeal coupled with sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the compassion of Jesus.

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Today marks the unofficial start of our Every Nation Campus Conference dubbed as “Ignite. We had 3 amazing speakers starting with Pastor Wayne Alcorn from Hope Centre Australia followed by Pastor Jeff Dacumos from Victory Metro East and Pastor Ferdie Cabiling of Victory Ortigas.

Here are my 10 take aways from today’s sessions:

1. Before change happens around you, it first has to happen in you. – Wayne Alcorn

2. Self awareness is a leadership gift. When we know who we are, we are able to lead from a place of security. – Wayne Alcorn

3. If you were charged due to being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? – Wayne Alcorn

4. When you understand the “why”, every other “what” makes sense. – Wayne Alcorn

5. Why do preachers want to sing and singers want to preach? Just be comfortable with who God made you to be. – Wayne Alcorn

6. Horses reproduce horses. Ducks reproduce ducks. Leaders reproduce leaders. – Wayne Alcorn

7. Be the leader you want to reproduce. What you are is what you’ll reproduce. – Wayne Alcorn

8. Pastor Jeff Dacumos told a powerful story on discipleship and leadership development. Michaelangelo, when asked about he is able to work on sculpting his famous work, “David”. How was he able to see a sculpture out of a plain old big rock. His answer?

“I just take out the parts that don’t look like David.”

9. Pastor Ferdie Cabiling was his usual fiery sermonator that he is.

God uses different personality types to reach people for Christ

1.Confrontational
2. Intellectual
3. Testimonial
4. Relational
5. Invitational
6. Serving

But whatever personality you have, God can use you to tell the greatest story ever told.

10. Sharing your faith doesn’t have to be complicated. Just share how Jesus changed your life. – Ferdie Cabiling

Have you ever lost or misplaced something valuable?

I have. Several times.

And when we do, we take the whole day if necessary to look for what we’ve misplaced. Why? Because it’s valuable to us. The value we place on an item will determine the extent of effort we are going to put in to search for it. If it was a mere safety pin or paper clip, it won’t bother us one bit. But if it was our wallet that had our credit cards and driver’s license, then we will search the whole house to look for it.

When God asked Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” It wasn’t because He didn’t know where they were. He was asking, “Where are you in terms of our relationship?” To this day, He still asks and to this day He is seeking. Why? It is because God is a Seeker and a Saver. Luke 19:10 says that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.

The word lost can be offensive. And there are 3 kinds of lost. First, there are those who are lost but don’t know they are. Secondly, there are those who pretend they’re not lost. (Ask husbands who drive around for hours getting in an argument with their wives and still not admitting they’re not lost.) Thirdly, there are those who don’t even care if they’re lost.

Jesus searched for Zacchaeus. Initially, Zacchaeus was curious to find out about this Jesus. Little did he know that it was Jesus that was seeking for him.

Here’s the message from yesterday’s second installment from our series entitled “Simple.”

In a social networking world, we can actually “follow” someone without actually having a relationship with them. I can tell you that Katy Perry who has the most Twitter followers in the world (about 62M) is now in Milan Italy and that she is enjoying the Italian tapas. However, that doesn’t mean I know her personally.

There are many who “follow” Jesus the way they would Katy Perry. The call to follow Him is not the twitter-follow kind. The word used was a present imperative which denotes continuity and is an ongoing command. It’s as if He’s saying, “Keep following Me. Do it on an ongoing basis to your last breath.”

FOLLOWING JESUS HAS A COST.

Someone came to Jesus and said, “I will follow You wherever You go.” He was ecstatic because he just saw 5000 people got fed with 2 fish and 5 loaves.

Jesus replied by saying, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58)

In effect, He was telling the guy that it will be inconvenient. He will be pulled out of his comfort zone. We are not told if the guy continued in following Christ.

FOLLOWING JESUS WILL CHANGE OUR PRIORITIES.

After His conversation, Jesus turned to another and said, “Follow Me.”

The 2nd guy’s reply was this. “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60)

Was Jesus being mean? This guy’s dad just died!

Here’s the thing.
Number 1, his dad wasn’t dead. Jewish custom requires immediate burial for the person who just passed away. Number 2, Jewish tradition tells us that mourning takes 30 days. In other words, he wouldn’t even be there if his dad was dead.

In effect, what he was saying was this, “Lord, I need to wait and bury my father and wait for my inheritance. You already said it will be inconvenient. If I get my inheritance, then at least, I have a fallback.”

Following Jesus will change our priorities.

FOLLOWING JESUS WILL REQUIRE TOTAL COMMITMENT

The 3rd guy comes and tells Jesus that he will follow Him.
Jesus says something similar and said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, there’s no looking back.

Responding to Christ is not a matter of emotion. It’s not a matter of an event. It’s not a matter of a momentary decision. It is total self-sacrifice… total commitment.

The following is the testimony of Vanessa who made a decision to follow Jesus. When she did, she understood that it had a cost, it will change her priorities and require total commitment.