Your Mission Statement

 If you are like me, you are intrigued by bumper stickers. They are often a reflection of a person’s political persuasions and who he voted for in the last presidential election. Or a bumper sticker may indicate a person’s spiritual interests.  Years ago, when we lived in Portland, we drove a Volkswagen Beatle (Bug) with a bumper sticker that read: “IN CASE OF RAPTURE, THIS VEHICLE WILL SELF-DESTRUCT!”  It was always fun to look in the rear-view mirror and see the puzzlement on people’s faces as they tried to figure out what that meant. I’m sure many, who hadn’t a clue what the rapture is, thought it said,”IN CASE OF RUPTURE…!”  Many bumper stickers indicate what people would rather be doing than driving their car right now: “I’D RATHER BE GOLFING…SKIING…FLYING…HUNTING…”  Their bumper sticker reveals their hobby or passion in life, what it is that drives them. In essence, it is their “Mission Statement.” 

     Most organizations, businesses, churches, and para-church organizations have a “Mission Statement,” in which they summarize in a brief statement why they exist, what their main purpose is.  For example, the mission statement of the church we now attend is: “Faith Bible Church exists to be a Christ-centered, Bible-teaching church whose mission is exalting Jesus Christ, evangelizing and discipling people in service for Him, and connecting with each other.”  Yesterday, in fact, during adult Sunday School, we were discussing the church’s “Core Values” and “Mission Statement,” and one gentleman suggested that we should be able to replace the church name with ourselves, or “I, Dave Nelson, exist to be a Christ-centered, Bible-teaching man, whose mission is exalting Jesus Christ, evangelizing and discipling people in service for Him, and connecting with others.” Quite a challenge!  What about you? Could you put your name in that “Mission Statement” ?
     I thought about several passages by the Apostle Paul where he, in essence, gave us his “Missions Statement.”  For example, in his letter to the Philippians, he wrote: “According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:20,21).  If you were to consider the phrase, “For me to live is ______________,” what would you put in the blank: my job, my family, my hobby, my friends, my possessions?  Or would you be able, with Paul to say, “For me to live is Christ”?  That was really his mission statement. It was the main purpose of his life to exalt Christ in all that he did–whether through being alive to minister to others, or through his death.  Later in that same letter, Paul wrote this: “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:7-10).  During the three verses prior to this, Paul had listed some of the rather spectacular credits he had obtained “in the flesh” (3:4). His family lineage and achievements were both professionally stellar and legally blameless. He had every right to be proud of himself. Yet, in strong language, Paul values these personal achievements as the excrement of animals when he compares the gain of being given “the righteousness of God by faith.” What a contrast! 
     When Paul invited the elders from the church at Ephesus to come see him at Miletus, he said to them: “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).  We know that Paul, inspite of all the adversity he faced (see II Cor. 11:24-28), stayed on course, because he was committed to following his “Mission Statement.” In the final letter he wrote before being martyred for His faith, he was able to say this to Timothy: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (II Tim. 4:6,7).  Everything Paul did flowed out of his purpose for living, out of his “Mission Statement.”  He, of course, was only able to do so because He depended upon the power of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling Christ within him. He wrote: “And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Col. 1:29). “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). 
     So, what’s your “Mission Statement”?  What is your main purpose for living?  Is it to exalt Christ in all that you do?  Well, then how do all the activities in your life fit into that mission?  That’s a great way to examine what needs to be added to and deleted from your life. If you don’t have a personal “Mission Statement,” I suggest you work on one and then make it the basis for all you do the rest of your days, so that you too can “finish your course and the ministry which you have received from the Lord Jesus to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord, you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Col. 3:23,24).   
 
                                                                                                                Forever His,
                                                                                                                            Pastor Dave
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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