Remember the television show, Mission Impossible? I used to love that show! In the late 60’s and even in the 70’s, I couldn’t wait to sit in front of the tube and wait for the opening theme music. I wanted to see how the secret tape, with the instructions on it, was going to be delivered. It came with an envelope containing pictures of people the team was to target. If you were a fan too, you know the classic line even before I say it. That’s right! “Your mission, should you decide to accept it,…” was always right before the tape self-destructed within 5 seconds.
God has a mission also, should you decide to accept it.
Mission: Love Overflow
Over the years, God has taught me the importance of allowing His love to overflow into my church. I’ve spent my life in church. I know from personal experience that church is a place where love needs to overflow.
In the church there are seekers, those who have not yet accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation, but are there seeking the truth and looking for answers and help. They operate, have relationships, and make choices based on their own understanding, what they feel is right. That makes sense, since they aren’t Christians yet, but are seeking to know the way to a better life. God loves seekers and so must we. Seekers need our love.
Sometimes you might meet what are called carnal Christians. At first glance, they may look like a mature Christian, but upon closer observation, you will discover that they are led by their emotions and their flesh. Whatever their body tells them to think and to do, they follow. They have great difficulty submitting to Godly authority. While they have accepted His gift of salvation, they are spiritual babies. They have not grown to the place where they know, love, and trust God enough to obey Him. They are still at a place where they are led by their emotions and often the dictates of their flesh, their senses, making them hard to distinguish from non-believers. They have just begun the process of sanctification. They have not begun to consistently study to understand God’s Word and obey it by applying to their lives. They have not fully submitted their lives to God. Christian babies, like natural babies require a lot of love and nurturing.
Then, there are growing Christians, those who are listening to the Holy Spirit as He leads them. They are walking daily, by faith, with God. They have made a commitment to trust Him. They have decided to worship Him, and to love Him with all of their minds, their hearts, and their souls. These growing Christians are determined to demonstrate their love for God and others by the choices they make, the words they say, and the deeds or actions they take. Their desire is to lead others to the safe place that’s found in Christ.
The victories you see in their lives are often the direct results of having to overcome their own set of struggles and strongholds, resist their share of temptations, and suffer their personal trials and tribulations. Their goal is maturity, where they are no longer swayed to and fro by winds of doctrine. Growing Christians want to get to the place where they have allowed trials and tribulations to complete it’s work in them so they can have hope, joy, peace, love, and strength, no matter the circumstance. They, too, need encouragement and love.
No one is exempt. Everyone is in need of God’s love, demonstrated in a practical way, one believer to another.That’s why we have to accept the mission to let God’s love to us overflow into the lives of our church family. The world will know that we are Christians by our love; in other words, how we treat each other. I’m learning everyday that opportunities to love exist even when we don’t realize it. We must remember our mission.
Those who really want to find out if Christ’s love is really true are watching from the sidelines to see how genuinely we love.
We fail in our mission when:
- People at the next table, at our favorite restaurant, overhear us speaking negatively about another believer, especially those in leadership.
- Our unsaved family members hear us complain about having to participate in a church project or criticize someone in our church family when we don’t get our way.
- Our friends hear us huff and puff when we have to return for another afternoon service.
- We sit around and talk about the mean-spirited actions that took place among some of the church members, then give our judgmental response to it.
Wouldn’t it be nice if sanctification, the process of becoming more and more like Christ, would be instantaneous? That would be like instantaneously losing 300 lbs. It’s not happening! Learning how to love is a process. It really does require the aid of the Holy Spirit. I’ve discovered that the more I love, the easier it is for me to love. God calls us to allow our lights to shine before men, that they may see our good deeds and praise our Father in Heaven. (Matt. 5:16)
So tell me, if you were the leader of the Mission Impossible team, and had been handed an envelope containing pictures and information about the members of your church, then played that all important tape, would you have accepted the challenge before the tape destructed?
It’s really not mission impossible, you know. God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above anything that you and I ask or think. There is nothing to hard for God… so I’ve decided to accept the challenge, the mission, the assignment.
Love overflow… It’s the best way to enjoy the journey!
Questions to consider: What love-overflow mission for your church has God given to you recently? Who are the people He has targeted for you to pour out an overflow of your love? Have you accepted the challenge?
Scriptures that may help you on your journey:
We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin.
[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.
So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!] I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough [to be ready for it]; but even yet you are not strong enough [to be ready for it], For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men? unable to talk yet!]
Additional scriptures are:
1 Corinthians 5
(If you’ve forgotten the Mission Impossible Theme song or are too young to know it, you may clink on the link below.) Before you go, though, remember to come back next time to finish the series on Love Overflow.
© 2009 God’s Perspective
This post has been republished from the archives in case you missed it. You don’t want to miss the next post on Enjoying the Journey3!