Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
‘Love God, Serve People, Transform Lives’ is the mission of the church.
Has our church’s mission changed since COVID-19? No, our mission has not changed. Have the methods changed? Of course, we have the internet now!
Mark 3:13-14 “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. 14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,”
The first call is to be with Him. You can be with Him at church and at home and anywhere you happen to be. The second call is to help others be with Him. That is the mission.
Jesus said, ‘The son of man came to seek and to save that which is lost.’
When God is trying to do something in your life, it’s easy to be distracted. We have an enemy that is always trying to distract. The enemy will try to bring a decoy that makes you think that’s the enemy that you need to defeat rather than the real enemy you need to defeat.
Remember when David killed Goliath? David used a sling and killed that giant with a rock. He had already been anointed king. He had seven older brothers. When Samuel came to anoint the next king, he saw David’s older brother and thought that surely that older brother was the one. But, God had not chosen him. He went through all the brothers until the youngest came in from tending the sheep. Samuel dumped a whole horn of oil over his head in front of his brothers. Imagine how his older brothers felt. David, king over them? He wasn’t even old enough to fight in combat.
Then, his brothers were in battle and David was sent to bring them bread and cheese. When he got there, he heard Goliath defying God and Israel. Destiny hit David and he sought to kill Goliath. Then, there was instantly a distraction. His older brother said, ‘Who do you think you are?’ David spent one verse addressing the distraction, ‘Is there not a cause?’ He didn’t argue with his brother. He focused on the enemy.
Turn away from the distraction, even if the distraction tries to pick a fight with you. David wasn’t supposed to fight his brother. He was supposed to fight Goliath.
Don’t spend your time distracted fighting the wrong battle. We don’t need to fight our brother! Fight the real enemy, not the distraction.
The next distraction was King Saul who had zero faith in David. Other people’s opinions mattered to King Saul more than the anointing and calling of God. Why were the Israelites (and their king!) cowering from Goliath in the first place? Wasn’t God their God too?
David’s response to King Saul (second distraction) was ‘I fought a lion and a bear. I can do this!’ David was on mission. He was focused and understood his purpose.
Do you know who you are?
Do you know how easy it is to be distracted?
There are things and purposes and causes that also easily distract us from the causes of God. Remember that just because you have a ‘good cause’ doesn’t mean it’s a ‘God cause.’
Peter told Jesus that, ‘no he wouldn’t let Jesus die.’ Jesus said, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan.’ Jesus knew His enemy. It wasn’t Peter, it was Satan. Jesus needed to die for man’s sins. Things of God versus the things of man are different. This can get you off mission.
Jesus was a man on mission. He was in a house one day and He was teaching. The house was packed. During his teaching, he was told that his mother and brothers were outside. Jesus’ response was to not get distracted. He continued to teach. Jesus’ mother received it well. She didn’t always understand, but she did trust Him.
Martha was always busy. Mary liked to sit and just listen to Jesus. All the culture said that Mary should be in the kitchen.
Luke 10:40 “But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.”
To be ‘cumbered about’ means to be dragged around. An example of this is one of medieval times Europe’s brutal ways to torture people. They tied a person’s four limbs each to four different horses and made them run until the person was literally torn apart. The french called this ‘distraction.’
Luke 10:41-42 “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Psalm 27:4 “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.”
Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes and was such a bitter man. Yet, at the very end, he wrote, ‘This is the conclusion of the whole matter, fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.’
That is the mission.
‘What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world yet loses his soul?’
We need to get back on mission. We’ve gotten distracted.
When the first person lost their way, it was God who came looking for him. ‘Adam, where are you?’
Are you on mission?
Forget the things that are behind us and press forward. Don’t look to the left or right. Surely goodness and mercy will follow you if you are following the Lord.
2 Peter 3:17 “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”
1 Peter 5:9 “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
‘Steadfast’ means ‘to be stuck to’ whatever your mission is.
When we get off track, we don’t just get distracted, we forfeit some promises that we have a right to in our lives.
We’ve been promised some things, but distractions will allow us to give those promises away. When you pull back on prayer and fasting and faith, we’ll lose things that belong to us.
The real enemy is not the news. News is propaganda. If you believe everything you read, pick up the Bible!
Wake up and recognize a lie when you see it, recognize the truth also. God does love you and His Word is true.
We have got an enemy. It’s not a black man or a white man or the president. Our enemy is not human. We’ve got to love people and hate the things that God hates.
The promises that God has made you He will keep. He hasn’t forgotten you. He still has a plan for good for your life. Job came through and came out like pure gold.
Don’t be distracted. Stay on mission! Focus on what God has called you to do and He will make it prosper in His time.
Know why you’re still alive? Because you have a mission. You have a purpose.
We are a diverse church, different ethnicities, different financially, different socially, different cultures. There is nothing wrong with being diverse! There is no such thing as racism in the church.
You can’t be a Christian and be racist! Our enemy is not people. The Bible says our enemy is under our feet. Our enemy is a liar.
It is still right for you to reach the lost, especially those who are different from you. That’s what Jesus did.
Stay on Mission!
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- What really stuck out at you in this sermon?
- What distractions do you have to deal with?
- Read 1 Cor 13:8-13. What is eternal and what is momentary? How do we deal with situations and distractions and stay on mission?
- How can we help other people around us to ‘be with Him’?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.