“So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him.” – Acts 1:6-11.
Jesus has completed His public ministry. He has proclaimed the good news. He has healed the sick. He has died the death that we all deserve. And He has been raised to life in the resurrection. It’s no wonder then, that the disciples are wondering, “has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” (Acts 1:6) They are wondering if Israel’s everlasting reign and rule have finally arrived.
Jesus’ answer shocks them. He assures them that His reign and rule are coming, but it is not here yet. In the meantime, He tells them to “be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)
God is behind all of our missions plans and efforts. God chooses to work through His people to accomplish His purposes. He invites them to join Him, bidding them to adjust their lives to Him. The prophet Amos indicated that “Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7). When God heard the cry of the children of Israel and decided to deliver them, He appeared to Moses. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, God worked in the same way as He did with Moses, inviting His people to be on mission with Him. God initiates a relationship with us and invites us to join Him.
We should not forget that mission is and always has been God’s before it becomes ours. The entire storyline of the Bible reveals a God of missional activity. God is on mission and we join His mission as His invited guests, His co-laborers. Missions: God starts it, leads it, sustains it, and calls us into His mission.
If we are faithful to join God’s mission, no matter how small or ordinary our contribution may seem to us, God will use it: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)
- On a scale of 1–10, how well are you living with an uncluttered pursuit of God’s mission? What influenced your rating? What will you do to move your number closer to 10?