The Sending God

The word mission carries the idea of sending or being sent. To fully understand the call for Christ followers to live out the mission of Jesus we must enter the story of God being a sending God.

1. The Father sends the Son

(see John 8:42 and here)

Jesus is God on mission in the flesh. As the one sent from the Father, he embodies the mission of the Father.

2. The Father and Son send the Spirit

(see John 14:16-18; John 15:26-27; John 16:7)

The Holy Spirit is the power for this mission. He is sent from the Father and the Son to indwell disciples. God, himself, lives in us.

3. Jesus sends the church indwelt, enabled and empowered by the Spirit.

(see John 20:21-22; Acts 1:8; 1 John 4:13-14)

The church continues God’s mission today. By ourselves we do not have the power or the wisdom to get the job done but we are not left alone in the task. God has placed his Spirit within us.

We get our identity as sent ones from the very nature of this sending God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Spend some time this week in scripture and the story of our sending God.

Grace and Peace,

Terry

It’s Friday But…

Igniter Media Group describes their video Sunday’s Comin with these words:

The story of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion is one of betrayal, brutality, despair, and pain. Yet we know even before His death that redemption was promised to be coming soon. We know that the story does not end at the cross. We know what many did not realize — that Sunday’s comin’.

Watch here as Pastor John L. Jefferson narrates . . .

It's Friday But Sunday's Comin

Related Posts from 7 Days Leading Up To Easter

  1. Sunday – What Kind Of Entry Was It?
  2. Monday – 12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter
  3. Tuesday – Seeing The Unnoticed
  4. Wednesday – The Calm Before The Storm
  5. Thursday – How Washing The Disciple’s Feet Pictures The Incarnation
  6. Friday – It’s Friday But . . .
  7. Saturday – Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb

Foot WashingOn Thursday of the final week in the life of Jesus we have the stories of the upper room where Jesus observed the Passover meal, washed the disciple’s feet and instituted the meal of the new covenant. John records a long section of the teachings of Jesus in chapters 14-17. We also have the stories of the betrayal by Judas, Jesus praying in Gethsemane, his arrest and illegal night trial conducted by the Jewish Sanhedrin.

Today I want to focus on Jesus washing the feet of the disciples in the upper room as recorded in John 13:1-17 and view it as a picture of the incarnation. We will compare it with Philippians 2:5-11.

  1. Jesus knew that he had come from God and was going to God
    • Jesus is in very nature God
  2. Jesus got up from the meal
    • Jesus, not considering his equality with God something to be grasped, got up from his position of eternal, pre-existent equality with God
  3. Jesus lay aside his outer clothing
    • Jesus left his splendor and glory with the Father
  4. Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist
    • Jesus clothed himself with humanity
  5. Jesus took the position of a slave and washed the disciple’s feet
    • Jesus made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant
  6. Jesus finished his task, put on his clothes and returned to the table
    • Jesus finished his work on earth, ascended to the Father and was exalted to the highest place

So what does this have to do with us?

After washing their feet, Jesus told the disciples:

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. – John 13:13-17 NIV

Jesus does not call us to sit around discussing the mystery of the incarnation. He calls us to live out that mystery.

He lives in us. The church is his body in the world today.

We are to incarnate the community – and wash feet.

Grace and Peace,
Terry

Related Posts from 7 Days Leading Up To Easter

  1. Sunday – What Kind Of Entry Was It?
  2. Monday – 12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter
  3. Tuesday – Seeing The Unnoticed
  4. Wednesday – The Calm Before The Storm
  5. Thursday – How Washing The Disciple’s Feet Pictures The Incarnation
  6. Friday – It’s Friday But . . .
  7. Saturday – Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb

The Calm Before The Storm

The Discipline of SilenceWednesday is a day of silence in the final week in the life of Jesus. There is no biblical reference to any activity on the part of Jesus or the disciples.

We can only assume what might have gone on that day. Did Jesus spend time alone in prayer as was his custom? Did he enjoy the closeness and fellowship of friends?

Whatever Jesus did, that Wednesday was the calm before the storm. In a few hours he would be facing arrest, trials, beatings and ultimately crucifixion.

Most of us find silence difficult.

We try to fill the emptiness of our hearts with noise and busyness. Noise keeps us from focusing on those things we don’t want to think about.

“Silence is frightening because it strips us as nothing else does, throwing us upon the stark realities of our life.” – Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines

But this is a silent Wednesday. Here we learn the discipline of quieting every voice, including our own inner voice as well as outer voices, so we can hear God.

If the mission of Jesus were marked with times of silence, we too need this habit.

Why should we practice the habit of silence?

  • To follow the example of Jesus
  • To better hear God’s voice
  • To regain spiritual perspective
  • To affirm God’s will
  • To prepare for difficult times
  • To help withstand trials

Give the discipline of silence a try.

Grace and Peace,
Terry

Related Posts from 7 Days Leading Up To Easter

    1. Sunday – What Kind Of Entry Was It?
    2. Monday – 12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter
    3. Tuesday – Seeing The Unnoticed
    4. Wednesday – The Calm Before The Storm
    5. Thursday – How Washing The Disciple’s Feet Pictures The Incarnation
    6. Friday – It’s Friday But . . .
    7. Saturday – Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb

      What Kind of Entry Was It?

      It’s Sunday in the final week of Jesus’ life leading to the cross and the resurrection. Jesus entered Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey as the admiring crowd hailed him with shouts of “Hosanna – blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” The story recorded in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44 and John 12:12-19 is traditionally called the Triumphal Entry.

      Yet when we read the account in Luke we find that we might ask what kind of entry was this, really?

      As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 19:41-44 NIV

      As Jesus approaches Jerusalem what he sees causes tears to well up inside him and burst forth.  Jesus was sent by the Father to seek and save the lost, to open their eyes to see his grace and love. God, himself, had come to his people. Looking for them. Seeking them. Longing for them to come to him and find his peace. He came to his own but his own did not receive him.

      For whom did these tears fall?

      I don’t believe that Jesus is crying about himself and the fate that awaits him. He is coming as the Prince of Peace, astride his royal donkey. He is coming to the city called peace – and the people will not receive the peace with God that he offers. Jesus wept because the people refuse to accept him and the result will be devestation.

      The question I have been asking myself as I think about this final week is, “What do these passages reveal to me about the mission of the Father and how are we to participate in that mission?”

      Let me ask three questions about this mission:

      1. Are we coming near as Jesus did?

      Are we coming near the city, town, community where God has placed us or are we keeping away from the people who inhabit that place. Are we getting closer to the people who need God’s peace or are we living peacefully behind the walls of our houses (or church buildings)?

      Jesus was able to ride into town on a donkey becasue of the incarnation – God taking on human flesh. He was there to interact with sinful humanity and show them the way to God. Are we incarnating the place where we live?

      2. Do we see the city like Jesus did?

      As Jesus came near Jerusalem – he saw it. He did more than stop for a panoramic view. He studied it and what he saw broke his heart. Are our eyes open? Do we see the hurt, the pain, the loneliness around us? Do we see where God is needed? Are we looking to see where he is working so we can join him?

      3. Are our eyes wet with tears like the eyes of Jesus?

      Jesus cared and desired that the people come to God. Do we? Are we weeping over the city or are we ignoring the inhabitants?

      Let’s spend some time this Easter season drawing near those who need God and really look for where his love and grace are needed. It just might bring a few tears to our eyes.

      Grace and Peace,
      Terry

      Join the Conversation: What keeps us from coming near and seeing the need?

      Related Posts from 7 Days Leading Up To Easter

        1. Sunday – What Kind Of Entry Was It?
        2. Monday – 12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter
        3. Tuesday – Seeing The Unnoticed
        4. Wednesday – The Calm Before The Storm
        5. Thursday – How Washing The Disciple’s Feet Pictures The Incarnation
        6. Friday – It’s Friday But . . .
        7. Saturday – Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb

          God’s Son Was a Missionary

          Writing to his brother, Charles, David Livingstone said . . .

          God Had An Only Son

          Is it unreasonable to think that all Christ followers could live this way?

          Grace and Peace,
          Terry