“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” ~ Acts 1:8
Do you hope to grow in your relationship with the Lord for the rest of your life? Do you hope to become more godly and righteous—more like Christ—until you meet Him in heaven? I pray you do because this is God’s plan for you.
It’s not necessarily easy. In fact, sometimes it’s downright hard. We might make bad decisions or stupid mistakes along the way that feel like major setbacks. We will face tests, trials, and temptations—the natural results of living in a fallen world and of very real spiritual warfare being waged against us. We shouldn’t be surprised. Jesus warned us, “In this world, we will have trouble . . .” But He also encouraged us, “Take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Think about that for a second . . . the Sovereign God, the One who created you and redeemed you, has a perfect plan for you, and He has already overcome the world! It is because of this truth that James is able to write:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2–4).
In other words, even as you face difficulties in life, God is working on you and in you.
God has called you to remain steadfastly faithful to what He has called you to do and who He has called you to be. Perseverance and resilience are critical qualities the believer must develop. To help bolster your perseverance as you face those inevitable trials, remember the mission that God has given you.
In the Bible, Joshua serves as a great example of one who persevered and gained victory because he remembered the mission. As a young man, Moses sent Joshua, along with eleven other spies, into the Promised Land to scout it out. When they returned, 10 of the 12 turned the people against Moses and against God. They cried that they could never take the land, that God had let them down. Only Joshua and Caleb urged the people to follow God’s leading. Not only did the people reject their pleas—they threatened to kill them!
Joshua, however, remained faithful. He persevered . . . for 40 years in the wilderness. Joshua never faltered. He remained faithful. He remembered the mission. Even as his whole generation passed away, Joshua never lost sight of what God had called His people to do. And when he finally entered the land, the real work began. God would make Joshua a great leader and give him triumphant victories because Joshua remembered this mission and remained faithful.
In the same way, we must remember the mission that God has called us to pursue. First Baptist Dallas exists to glorify God, proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, and make disciples who are wholly devoted to Him. Christ has commissioned us to do the most important work on earth (Matthew 28:19–20), and He has outlined a means for us to accomplish our task. Remember, Mission 1:8 is just our way of putting into practice the “strategic plan” Jesus already outlined in Acts 1:8:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
As His witnesses, we want to fulfill the Great Commission locally (our Jerusalem), nationally (our Judea and Samaria), and globally (to the ends of the earth). When you commit your time, your talent, and your treasure—your tithes and offerings—to His work through Mission 1:8, you are being faithful to what God has called you to do. You are helping to transform the world with the truth of His Word . . . one life at a time!
When you remember the mission and faithfully persevere, God works through you to do a great work in the lives of others. But it doesn’t stop there. At the same time, God also works in you to do a great work in your heart. As Jesus taught us, where you invest yourself determines who you become. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When you give your time, your talent, and your treasure to the Lord through His church in order to pursue His mission, you are opening yourself up for God to transform you. By letting go of what you once thought of as your own, you are softening your heart, allowing God to mold what you love and conform you further into the image of Jesus Christ. This is how you find joy and fulfill God’s purpose for your life!
So, remember, be faithful to what God has called you to do and who He has called you to be like Joshua was. Remember the mission! And be forever changed in the process.
Questions for Thought
- First, if you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, God has called you to be His disciple and to become more like Him. How has God’s call changed the direction of your life? What next step do you need to take to grow in your relationship with Him?
- Second, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, God has also commissioned you to serve Him. How are you using your time, talent, and treasure to build His church and advance His kingdom? What next step do you need to take to serve Him better?
Ben serves by leading and overseeing the ministries and operations of First Baptist Dallas as the Executive Pastor. He has served in full-time ministry for more than a decade and is passionate about building the church of Jesus Christ and equipping the saints for the work of ministry. Ben earned a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University and a B.B.A. from Hardin-Simmons University. He and his wife, Parris, have four boys and one girl.