How to Live on Mission like Jesus
“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.‘”John 20:21
This past weekend, we moved our daughter into her new dorm at the University of Florida. The weekend before that, we drove another daughter up to Long Island University for her final year as a musical theater major. And this coming weekend, we drop off yet another daughter at Word of Life Bible Institute in New York for her second year in Biblical studies. In the midst of sending off three daughters to college this month, I found myself thinking about the Biblical concept of “being sent” and how Jesus lived sent and prepared His disciples to live sent.
With each of our girls, there is the preparation to go. The shopping, the packing, the check-listing, the schedule-making, the car oil changing. After all that preparation, there is the commissioning to go. The conversations over “last suppers,” the instruction and encouragement on the long drive, and the hugs and prayers before we leave. Finally, after preparation and commissioning comes the sending. They are on their own, figuring out their way, learning to make wise decisions and follow Jesus even when those around them might be headed in a different direction.
Living sent is about following Jesus with an everyday, anywhere, anytime, with anyone intentionality. It’s about having a missionary mindset right where you’re at.
We see this Biblical concept of being and living sent throughout the Gospels.
Jesus made it clear that He was sent by the Father.
“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”
When you’re sent, you have an obligation to fulfill the purpose for which you were sent.
Jesus knew the purpose for which He was sent.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”John 3:17
When you’re sent, the primary purpose of your mission is the salvation of those who are far from God. You might be sent to a specific group, or focus on specific needs, but the primary purpose remains the same: make new disciples!
Jesus knew whom He was sent to.
“He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.'”Matthew 15:24
When you’re sent, having clarity on the WHO helps to focus your HOW.
Jesus understood that being sent didn’t mean He was now alone.
‘The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”John 8:29
When you’re sent, the one who has sent you, though maybe not visible, still provides encouragement and accountability.
Jesus knew that the mission He was sent to accomplish would require supernatural power.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…”Luke 4:18
When you’re sent, you might feel like you’re in over your head, but when God sends you on a mission, He provides everything you need to accomplish the mission. The anointing of the Spirit is the divine enablement to finish the work you’ve been sent to accomplish.
Jesus accepted the fact that the mission given to Him was something that required God’s involvement to accomplish.
“By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.“John 5:30
When you’re sent, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, but just remember who sent you.
Jesus trusted God to give Him the right words to say at the right time.
“Jesus answered, ‘My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.'”John 7:16
“For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.”John 12:49
When you’re sent, ask God what specific message He is sending you to deliver.
Jesus understood that being sent was time-sensitive.
“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”John 9:4
When you’re sent, it should be with a sense of urgency for the mission that needs to be completed.
Jesus found a great sense of fulfillment in living out His purpose.
“‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.'”John 4:34
When you’re sent, celebrate the great privilege and honor that you’re being given to know and live out your purpose.
Jesus made it clear that it’s impossible to follow Him and not accept the responsibility of being sent.
“‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.'”Matthew 4:19
When you’re sent, see that this is a significant part of the journey for every Christ-follower. It’s an oxymoron to be a non-sent Christian.
Jesus’ presence with you prepares you for the inevitability of being sent by Him.
“He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach….”Mark 3:14
When you’re sent, reflect on the intimate moments you’ve experienced with Jesus as He’s prepared you for this moment.
Jesus prepared His disciples for the inevitability of hardship when they were sent.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”Matthew 10:16
When you’re sent, expect obstacles. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks, but rather, see them as set-ups for God to do what only He can do.
Jesus wanted His disciples to trust in God to provide for everything they would need as they were sent.
“Then Jesus asked them, ‘When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?’ ‘Nothing,’ they answered.“Luke 22:35
When you’re sent, remember this: God’s vision never lacks God’s provision. He will provide everything that is needed to accomplish His work in His way.
Jesus saw the value in being sent with others.
“Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.“Mark 6:7
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.“Luke 10:1
When you’re sent, who is God pairing you up with for this mission? How do your strengths complement one another? How can you “spur one another on” in the mission?
Jesus prays for everyone He sends.
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”John 17:18
When you’re sent, know that you are the answer to Jesus’ prayer, the fulfillment of His mission that He was sent by the Father to accomplish.