Missions is perhaps one of the most interesting, intriguing & interpreted idea among Christians, Disciples of Christ, Theologians, Missionaries and Mission leaders.
Just like the disciples, we are often confused when to comes to the kingdom. Acts 1:6 says, then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Imagine Jesus’s predicament when they asked him that question? After 3 ½ years of ministry and forty days of teaching, they had missed the whole point.
Very similar to most of us, as we often miss the whole point, thinking about what God will do for me? or what I can do for God ? or how we can help people go to heaven or how can we share the gospel or the pressure that we need to do some ministry or we need to convert people, etc.
We appease this need with many things…good things…church things…even some new things…but somehow we end up missing the point. And sometimes we can even miss the whole point as a Church…
Two infamous quotes that resound this malady are :
“God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.” ― E.M. Bounds
“My job as a Christian is not to get people to heaven when they die, it’s to get heaven to people while they’re alive” ― D.R. Silva
We will try to understand it better as we focus on the 3Ps ( Living out His Peace, Praise, Power) and what does the Bible say about it.
Living out His Peace – Unity with the Holy Spirit, to live in Peace & harmony with God, ourselves & people
“v4- Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. v5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”
Living His Peace is waiting for God to fulfil His Promises. God has promised us His peace. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:7. The Peace of God guards our hearts & minds from becoming foolish and falling prey to Satan’s tactics.
When we refuse to wait and instead try things on our own, we often end up losing our peace – we loose peace with God, with ourselves and also with people.
Without God’s peace, we will fail to be a part of the Ministry of Reconciliation. We cannot BE the witness God wants us to be.
We will be stressed – struggling & chasing after things, after people, after opportunities. There are many restless souls in Christian ministry& church, who have missed this point and end up building their own kingdoms.
We will continue to be stressed after getting what we desire. We will be unable to truly enjoy it, because we do not have the peace that enables us to enjoy God, enjoy Life, enjoy Gods blessing.
The original rebellion of humanity in Eden was an attempt to cut God out of the picture and take control for ourselves. And this same tendency is represented throughout the Scriptures.
Sometimes the desire to live over God is fuelled by arrogant pride, but just as often it is birthed out of fear.
The Kingdom of God is built on the altar of Surrender. We are useless to God till we refuse His peace by yielding control to the Holy Spirit and letting Him guide us in the rule of our King.
What is preventing your to enjoy the Peace of God ? No matter what not, it has become SIN in your life. God wants to give you His peace, if you can let go of that Sin.
Living out His Praise – Conformity to God’s Purpose to BE His Witnesses as He guide
v7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. v8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Living His praise is living in Conformity to Gods Purpose. We may not know the times, dates, people… but we can still BE his witness, praising His name, living under God’s Authority. Its about Being (Not Doing) His Witnesses. Also, There is no witness without the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to BE a WITNESS ?
v3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
He presented himself to them. Being a Witness needs YOU to be there. It is Personal and validated by the person. Witnesses need to come forward to testify.
Witnesses are known to people…do people know you as a disciple of Christ ? Will your social media, social standing, social status reveal that you are a witness for Christ ?
Gave many convincing proofs that he was alive:- A Witness needs to be verified. Concurrence required between Word & Reality.
How convinced are people about our faith, our lives ? Have you turned a blind eye to someone’s suffering ? What proof are your giving about your witness ?
Over a period of forty days. Witnessing is not an action or an event and definitely not a one-time event. It requires consistency & continuity. Patience is key – cannot give up/cannot write off.
We need to speak about the kingdom of God. Our speech needs to maintain living like a witness. Speaking comes only after action. Speaking without action is self-defeating.
The Kingdom does not need marketing… it is solely based on obedience of witnesses. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world. John 18:36
The central theme of Jesus Christ’s preaching was the Kingdom of God. In this kingdom, God’s authority is recognized, and his will is obeyed.
The concept of a Kingdom of God is not primarily one of space, territory, or politics, as in a national kingdom, but rather one of kingly rule, reign, and sovereign control.
- Gods Perspective – Kingdom not Church or denomination.
- God’s Purpose – Rule of Christ not popular or cultural acceptance.
- God’s Plan – Reconciliation, Redemption & Renewing of soul not Salvation or Heaven or Prosperity.
- God’s Proposal – God’s news not Good news – If you have never spoken about the Kingdom, you have witnessed about Christ, not for Christ.
Living out His Power – Ability given by God to demonstrate the Kingdom of God everywhere
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
You will receive power… you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.Living His Power is the Ability given by God to demonstrate the Kingdom of God everywhere.
When we live by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will bear fruits, we will multiply the talents, we will find the lost coin, lost sheep, we will sell all our possession for the 1 valuable stone, we will be ready for the bridegroom with oil in our lamps, We will give an account to the Masters son, We will be the Light… We will be the salt.
IF we are not …. Then we are living without the power of the Holy Spirit. We are living by our sight or by might but not by power.
In summary, we need to understand that:
- Living out His Peace – Unity with the Holy Spirit, to live in Peace & harmony with God, ourselves & everyone.
- Living out His Praise – Conformity to God’s Purpose to BE His Witnesses as He guides.
- Living out His Power – Ability given by God to demonstrate the Kingdom of God everywhere.
Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash