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.

 

Does time really heal all wounds?

I spoke to a young guy today and we talked about what he’s been going through lately.

No matter how we try to commiserate with another person, it still is difficult to fully understand what they’re going through because of context, background, past experiences and current circumstance.

The pat answer to a person hurting is this very statement: “Time heals all wounds.”

Does it really?

Two quick thoughts about this…

1. DECISION.

Forgiveness is a decision more than a feeling.  This is where the principle of “motion-emotion” gets into play. I know people who have never been able to forgive for decades because they just simply haven’t felt like forgiving the person who offended them.  For some, the person has been in the grave for years and yet forgiveness has yet to be released.

I realize that people will say, “You’ll never understand until what he did happens to you.”

Granted.

However, you still have to face the fact that everytime you hear his/her name, or see him/her in the mall, your day is ruined.

Deciding is never easy but it is well worth the effort.

I know. I’ve done it a few times. Email me and I can write you back and tell you the stories of times when I’ve had to decide to forgive.

Bitterness kills.

It’s like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

Decide to let go of the hurt, the pain and the offense.

2. JESUS.

Letting go of the hurt, the pride and the offense is a supernatural work.

Forgiving is letting the person off the hook and resolve to not bring it up again.

Now, THAT is not easy.

That is why I said “Jesus.” He is the One who can give grace to forgive.

Only when we realize how much we have been forgiven is the time when we can choose to let go and forgive others.

That is the GOSPEL – understanding the magnitude of my debt and the greatness of His provision.

He loved me inspite of me.  He chose to die for me despite my actions toward Him.

Because of that, since I have freely received, I am able to freely give.

Will time heal all wounds?

It will help but it is when we decide and let Jesus cover our situation with His grace can we truly, truly experience freedom through forgiveness.

Ramchand was supposed to be operated on for inguinal hernia at UP-PGH.

But something happened…

Here’s his story.

Since 2008, he has been suffering from inguinal hernia and it has affected his daily activities.  Much of the time, he was in pain and couldn’t go on with his physical activities.  May this year, he had a check up with the doctor and told him that he needed an operation.

July came.  During our EN2010 world conference, after the worship moment with 20,000 people singing Amazing Grace with Darlene Zschech, he felt God did something miraculous.

After coming down from the bus that night on the way home, he felt different.  The pain was gone and he felt healed.

To be sure, Ramchand went back to have himself checked.  As a confirmation of what God has done, just this afternoon, Ramchand together with our campus minister, Christian Dionglay shared with Doc Jun Aguilar and I the good news of God’s healing miracle.

Amazing!  God is indeed a miracle-working God.

In our message last night, I shared a testimony of a father who saw firsthand the miracle working power of God.  Here’s the story of Guia Baluyot …

———–

Hi Pastor Paolo. I will attempt to write to you in length what happened to her. My daughter is now 9 years old and if you see her you wouldn’t find any trace that one time she had congenital heart disease.

She was born on January 30 of 2001 in Angeles University Foundation Hospital in Pampanga. My wife had a normal pregnancy and a normal delivery. Our daughter looked healthy upon delivery. One thing that we noticed though was that she was having difficulty in feeding. She couldn’t take milk in normal amounts. It’s as if she’s drowning when she was being fed. After 5 days my wife noticed that she looked deathly pale. She keeps on yawning and gasping for air. I was in Manila at that time. I received a call from my wife. She was crying over the phone. She told me that Guia was in the emergency room of Makabali Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga. I decided to drive back home to be with them. While I was driving I started to contact several of my friends who are doctors. I was a Medical Representative at the time. The doctor who responded to my call was Dr. Jimenez. I told him the situation. He immediately attended my daughter. After a few minutes I received a call from this doctor. He told me that they need to bring Guia to a hospital and she needed to be intubated either in UST or at Fe Del Mundo Hospital. She ended up going to Fe Del Mundo Hospital. I immediately proceeded there and waited for the ambulance that was carrying my daughter. When they arrived the hospital staff immediately brought my daughter to the NICU. They found out that she had bilateral pneumonia (both of her lungs were infected) and her heart was enlarged. After several tests they concluded that she had Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Patent Ductus Arteriousus (PDA). Their main concern though was treating her lung infection. Two doctors handled her case, a neonatologist and a pediatric cardiologist. Their advice was to treat the infection first then do an open heart surgery once she recovered from the infection. The church started praying for us and our daughter. We stayed in the hospital for more than a month. Her condition was good one day and worse the next. One of the babies lying next to her in the NICU who had a similar case, who even looked healthier, didn’t make it. But our daughter survived.

This wasn’t the end of the fight though. The infection may have gone but the holes were still there. We were discharged from the hospital but we have been instructed to come back to Manila for a follow up check up. After one month we went to her cardiologist. She said that the heart murmurs are still there but she will give her a few more months to see if the condition improves. We were now advised to come back after 3 months. When the time came we went to her doctor again. But before seeing her we were told to have our daughter undergo 2D Echocardiogram at the Heart Center. My wife assisted my daughter during this exam. What she told me later made the hairs of my body raised. She told me that when our daughter was undergoing 2D Echo the staff first saw the holes. After awhile they couldn’t find them anymore. So they called a higher up to do the examination. Finally the results came. Zero defects! We immediately brought the result of the exam to her cardiologist. She said, “You’re daughter is healed. She’s fine now.” Before we left the clinic the doctor’s secretary raised her voice and asked the doctor, “Doktora kailan po sila babalik?” The doctor replied, “Di na sila babalik.” I will never forget that moment.

My daughter got healed because God answered our prayers and the prayers of the church. We serve an awesome God!