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Made for a Mission (5 of 5)
J. Gerald Harris
Today we come to the fifth and final purpose for which we were created. Rick Warren says, "You were made for a mission... God wants you to have both a ministry in the body of Christ and a mission in the world. Your ministry is your service to believers and your mission is your service to unbelievers."
And then he says, "Telling others how they can have eternal life is the greatest thing you can do..."
J. I. Packer said, "Always and everywhere the servants of Christ are under orders to evangelize."
Leighton, who for many years was Billy Graham's partner in ministry, said, "We're to evangelize, not because it is pleasant, not because it is easy, not because we may be successful, but because Christ has called us. He is our Lord. We have no other choice but to obey Him."
Now, the text which I have chosen for this morning is one of the most amazing statements in the Bible. You would do well to look at this verse and extract joy from it continually. Feast on it for a day, a week and a month. Come back to it again and again. This is one of the great passages in the Bible.
Paul is at Miletus. He has gathered together the elders of the church. He is talking to them about the life he lived among them when he was preaching in Ephesus. In verse 22 he indicates that he is motivated by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem. And in verse 23 he declares that the Holy Spirit has communicated to him that "in every city...chains and tribulations await (him)."
Here is a man who has been serving Christ. He has endured affliction and suffering for Christ's sake for many years. You want to say to Paul, "Surely there is a time when you will retire from all of this. Surely there is a time when you will take it easy. Surely there is a time when you will not be afflicted anymore."
And Paul says, "I'm not thinking about retirement -- no, not in this world. I cannot give up the work that God has called me to do, ...
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