Living On Mission
Pray: That God may open his Word to us by the power of His Spirit. That we may grow in our knowledge and love of Jesus. That we may share this joy in all our lives and to those around us.
Read: Mark 1:35-45
Two years ago, I turned forty. After all the old-man jokes and black balloons, I settled into a new phase of life and soon realized I was going to have even more for me to bear. In every facet of my life, my level of responsibility was increasing: at work, at church, my wife and three kids, on and on. Our family schedule was joyous, but also non-stop. I was busy when I was younger, but this new pace is different. Now, people, lots of them, were counting on me in ways like never before. With all of these responsibilities and needs around me, honestly, it had become even harder to stay focused on what is most important.
As our savior and spiritual advocate, Jesus experienced many of the same challenges we face everyday. The Gospel of Mark 1:35-45 recounts the scene in which Jesus had performed so many miraculous healings, He was unintentionally popularized and the entire town began following him. So how did Jesus respond? He ran away to the wilderness to pray!
Did Jesus have his priorities mixed up? No. Why then, would Jesus leave while so many suffering people could have been healed by him? Did he lack compassion? No. (see vs. 41) Jesus had a mission beyond meeting the physical needs of struggling people. He chose the mission over the moment, the spiritual over the physical, the road to the cross over a persons quality of life.
Sometimes I hear parents say, "I don't teach my kids about God. I'll just let me kids decide what they want to about God". Sure, this may seem to make parenting easier or seems more palatable to a child but this is an example of putting a temporary improvement in quality of life but could be tragic for their soul. Jesus chose not to heal the needy at this point in Mark in order to focus on His primary mission.
When Simon Peter finds him alone in the wilderness, he says “Everyone is looking for you,” to which Jesus replies, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” (vs. 37) Preach what? We might ask. To find an answer, just keep reading.
Jesus spoke the word of God, (2:2), the gospel, the good news (16:16) that “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Yes, but from what? From condemnation, (16:17), from the suffering caused by our sin, from the twisted logic of the age, that allows us to avoid or ignore the eternal consequences of our lives. Jesus came to set the captives free! This is the mission Jesus was on. For believers, we join Jesus on mission by intentionally bringing the good news of Jesus to those who are still held captive. Our world is so full of suffering but we carry the keys to eternal life. Let’s live focussed on the primary mission with Jesus this week!
- What is Jesus’ mission? Am I on it or am I just doing my own thing?
- In what ways are your letting your responsibilities in life overshadow our mission to tell others about Jesus?
- How might I serve and ease the suffering of others this week, while also sharing with them the keys to eternal life in Jesus?
Memorize: Mark 1:41
This week's devotional is written by Michael Strickland. Michael is a City Church Owner and serves as a City Group Leader and in the band. He works in the FSU College of Music as the IT Director.