In Acts 1:8 Jesus gave the church and all believers a mission. Jesus drew 3 circles for our mission, each one larger than the last. As He told that first group to go into Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and all the world it became clear that He was giving us an order and a plan. The way I see it, Jesus was calling us to be local, regional, and global in our mission. As churches and people of faith we will find unique ways and methods to accomplish this, but the overall mission and plan was given to us by Jesus Himself.
I think the mission that Christ has given us is not only a command, but a gift. Whether we realize it or not, we all deeply long for purpose in our lives. We all can remember that pivotal moment when we began to ask the deep life questions of why we’re here and what life is all about. It is in those moment that Jesus words to us become so full of life and hope. We have a purpose and a mission! We have a reason for still existing on this big spinning ball called Earth.
There’s few feelings more dark and hopeless than that of a total lack of purpose. It is into this black hole of darkness and hopelessness that Jesus shines the light of life purpose. To think that the God of Heaven would invite us to partner with Him to accomplish His work in the Earth is unfathomable, yet true. In all of our weaknesses and unworthiness we are reminded by Christ that He made us worthy of the mission by taking our place and making us right before God. It is Jesus who gave us the mission, empowers us to do the mission, and makes us worthy for the mission.
I find it interesting that Jesus gave the disciples and the early church their mission just before He went to Heaven. Surely they would be in deep grief and possibly some confusion when He left. There were going to be some really hard days ahead for this group. Persecution, torture, and terror were right around the corner. Many of them would soon die horrifically for their faith in Christ. Knowing all of this, Jesus gave them a mission and purpose that would give them assurance and encouragement in their darkest moments. He would give them power to partner with Him to reach the world. Locally, regionally, and globally the Gospel message began to explode and spread. This world has never been the same.
Much has changed in 2000 years, but the mission has not. You and I are called to join our God in this quest to spread the Gospel and make disciples in our communities, regions, and across the globe.