The Sending Nature of God

Latin: missio, missionis

Definitions:

  1. dismissal, discharge (of soldiers)
  2. mission, sending (away)

Our Creator is a sender. In modern times, the missionary focus both in writing and practice has been centered around the believer. Missionaries pack their bags and ‘go’ or are ‘sent’ to a particular place to share the good news of Jesus Christ. However, historically, this missional focus was not on the human response to the Gospel, but the sending nature of God.

We need to return the concept of sending and pursuing back to its missional roots within the heart of our Creator.

One need only poke around in their bibles with this theme to recognize a meta-narrative, a grand theme that emerges around the activity of Creator in creation. God is engaged, plans, executes, sends and receives, as a General in a cosmic battle.

Consider the Gospel narrative and it’s primary characters:

  • Elijah the Prophet (2 Kings 2:11-12)
    • SENT from God
    • Will SEND again before Messiah (Mal 4:6)
  • John the Baptist (Matt 17:3, 10-13)
    • SENT from God
    • Jesus says was Elijah (Spirit)
  • Jesus the Son of God (Jn 5:23-24, 37, 38, 11:42, 12:44-45)
    • SENT from the Father
  • Jesus promised will SEND Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26, 15:26-27, 16:7, 17:8)
    • SENT at Pentecost (Acts 2)
  • Sends Disciples (John 17:18-21, Matt 28)
    • SENT to participate and extend Jesus ministry on earth as a covenant people.

What’s with all this ‘sending’? Trace through the Gospels and you’ll find it’s a major theme of Jesus life and message. I’m wondering how on earth I spent most of my life wafting over the pages of scripture with this unmistakable realty?

“I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Jesus of Nazareth

Creators mission was to come to His creation, in the form of a Person – Jesus. To believe is not simply to acknowledge that Jesus existed, or even died on a Roman Cross, but to comprehend by faith that Jesus was SENT FROM the NATURE of the Father. Do you believe and personally know that God incarnate, the invisible eternal God of the universe wrapped in flesh (Col 1:15) was SENT to reveal, communicate and form the very nature of God (Heb 1:-1-3). Jesus, the same Jesus that walked on earth 2,000 years ago pre-existed creation and through Him all things were made (visible and invisible!).

Do you allow God’s perfect revelation in the Son to triumph over all your religious beliefs and take supremacy over your thoughts about God? Sometimes I read or listen to believers that paint a picture of God that looks nothing like Jesus from scripture. Freedom, liberation, and joyful (vs fearful) surrender comes when the character and personality of Creator is rooted in the steady, loving, unmistakable love of Christ. God has come to show his relational nature, His sending heart.

“The God Christians worship loves sinners, redeems failures, delights in second chances and fresh starts, and never tires of pursuing lost sheep, waiting for prodigal children, or rescuing those damaged by life and left on the sides of its paths.”

David Benner

Finally, in Acts 2:33 we see the Holy Spirit poured out, the promise of the Father fulfilled. The Holy Spirit is introduced as the gift sent from God. The sending enterprise of Creator God throughout the narrative of Scripture doesn’t stop with the Sent Christ, but a Sent people. To participate in Creator’s missio sending heart, we must receive His gift, the very Spirit of our Triune God. Without this abiding, promised Helper, we are clanging symbols in this world. We must know His love to give it. We must be poured into to participate in the pouring out. This comes from believing Jesus was, and is, and will be forever, God’s sent Son.

To enter Creator’s loving union in Himself, this was Creators sending purpose throughout the ages for creation. Believers are those who have not only acknowledged the miracle of God’s incarnation, but by faith are experiencing this love today.

This is why I #missiodei in social media. It’s become my hearts deepest cry, my worldview from which I perceive and interact with the world. The sending heart of the Triune Creator unlocks Scripture, finds highest meaning in the Son, who is the Glory of God. Jesus reveals a God much different than religion of our day. God, by evidence of Christ is not locked out of human history, but active, moving and passionately pouring out His Spirit upon all that believe He was sent from the Father.

This, I believe is the very good news we have for the world. All who believe Jesus came from the Father will know the heart of the Creator, that He is beauty and the essence of relational love within Himself. What a God we have to share to the lost and broken humanity around us! It’s not a set of doctrines to cognitively understood alone, it’s the very nature of God revealed exclusively through the sent Son, to be experienced! Receive the sent gift of the Spirit today, we have been created, pursued, found!

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3

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