A buzz word that is on the street is “mission statement”. When you first think of that word, you think of it as a business terminology, which it is. According to “Wikipedia” “A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making.” There are even groups out there saying that everyone should have a mission statement, whether in their own life, career, or ministry. I have to say, it seems a little weird to “create” a mission statement for my own life, but I see the value in it. A mission statement gives direction to your intended goal. If you do not have any goals, it doesn’t matter what direction you go; but if you have “end goals” you know what direction to direct your energies.
Today I “stumbled” upon a verse, and the first thing I thought of was, “This is a clear mission statement given directly from Jesus’ mouth. 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.” Now I have read this multiple times and never really caught this. When you accept Christ as your personal savior, the Holy Spirit is indwelt within you to help you. With the Holy Spirit indwelt in you and helping you, Jesus says, “you will be my witnesses”. You might be asking, “What is a witness?” According to Mr. Webster, a witness is “someone who testifies of a fact or event, or one who has personal knowledge of something.” The disciples were told to tell others what they personally know about or what they saw. The disciples saw the many miracles in Jesus’ life, and that he was put death, buried in a tomb (proof of the death), and was resurrected on the third day. They personally knew that he was God’s son (Matt. 3:16-17). Now the disciples were told to tell others what they know and saw about Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection; starting where they were at (in Jerusalem) and to go out from there (to Judea, Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth).
Just to shake things up a little, the word “witness” (martys) is where we get our word “martyr” from. I liked how the Frigburg lexicon defined martys: “as one who tells what he believes, even though it results in his being killed for it.” Remember, Jesus told his disciples that they will be empowered with the Holy Spirit to proceed with this new mission, because He knew in their own power, they would be fearful of telling others, but when they are empowered by the Holy Spirit, they will be bold witnesses for Jesus.
This same thing is what Jesus wants from us.
Now we were not there to see Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, or the works in his life first hand, but we have a reliable resource (the bible) that tells us these truths. Having the bible, we know what is true and like the disciples, we need to tell others what we know about Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection.
I know that a time or two (okay many more times than that) I have been afraid to tell others about Jesus and maybe, so have you. But I encourage you to let the fear melt away, because the Holy Spirit is with you; helping you and empowering you. Starting were you are at (your Jerusalem), tell others what you know about Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection.
Take this mission statement seriously!
Jesus said, “be my witnesses” and you might be one who turns this world “upside down.”
Acts 17:6…“These men who have turned the “WORLD UPSIDE DOWN” have come here also,