First Things First

Last Sunday, we began a new series, Called to Mission. Kyle taught us that we are all called to mission for Christ. This week, we laid the foundation for our mission, with four "first things" that lead us into sharing Christ's love with others.

God is a seeking God

The first thing we need to know about our call to mission is that God is and has always been a God who pursues us. Ever since the garden of Eden, God has sought his people. When God seeks, He provides grace. He always seeks to find, to repair, to heal, and to do good to His children, whom He loves.

God is a sending God

Not only does God always seek, but after He seeks, He sends. God sent Adam and Eve to be good stewards of the earth; He sent Abraham to the land of Canaan; He sent Moses to deliver the Israelites from captivity; He sent Isaiah and the prophets to spread His message; and He sent Jesus to seek and save the lost. But the story doesn't end there. God sends us, too. We are sent to proclaim the good news and to make disciples.

We love God because God loved us

All God's seeking and sending is based on His love, and because God loves us, we respond by loving God. God, who seeks and sends, enables us to seek Him and to be sent because of His love. Christ's love for us powers our love for Him and flows back to Him.

Christ's love compels our love for others

2 Corinthians 5:14-21 says: 

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

In other words, Christ's love for us not only enables us to love God, but to love others. This message of reconciliation is our mission, and we can pursue that mission because Christ's love drives us to do so. Our call to mission isn't a duty; it's a delight, based on our loving relationship with God.

Questions to Consider:

  • How has God sought me throughout my life? How does God's example teach me to seek others who need help and love?
  • Have I responded to God's sending me?
  • Am I putting my love for Christ first so that my actions toward Him and others flows from love?

Listen to the whole sermon series here and read more sermon notes from this series here