What a power-packed weekend we had with our special guests – Robby Dawkins, Tyshone Roland, and Todd White. We’ve received many testimonies of healing and breakthroughs, especially from our young people at the FOPx ‘GO’ Conference. Many were blessed and inspired by the evangelists’ ministry to fulfil the Great Commission and go into all the world to preach the Gospel to all creation.
This December, we’ll be sending out 15 Couriers teams (short-term missions) comprising 133 members, into 10 nations. Here are a few simple truths that I’ve gleaned from John 17, generally known as the Farewell Prayer or the High Priestly Prayer, given that it’s an intercession of Jesus for His Church and the apostles (‘the sent ones’).
1. You’re Loved
Several times in these verses, Jesus mentioned that the Father loved Him. God’s love for us is enduring, constant, and unwavering. There’s nothing we can do to increase or decrease His love for us. When we go out into the world, God wants us to know that we have His love and we’re able to share this love with others.
If Jesus was motivated by the Father’s love to bring hope to a broken world, then love needs to be our motivation as well. A true son will know that he’s sent, with the Father’s love, to love. God is love.
The Apostle Paul was compelled to preach the Gospel by this love. Look at what he wrote to the Church in Corinth. ‘Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. For Christ’s love compels us…’ 2 Cor 5:11
If you were to ask the Apostle Paul what motivated him to share the Gospel – even in the face of tremendous suffering – I think he’d reply with one word – “Love”. As He wrote in 1 Cor 13:1, ‘If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.’
2. You’re One
Scripture leaves no doubt as to the imperative nature of the call to live together in unity, oneness, brotherly love, and harmony. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 highlights, “Father, I pray that they may be one.” John 17:11, 20-23
He repeated His command for us to “be one” with the words, “That the world may know that You (the Father) sent me.” (John 17:21, 23). It’s clear that only in our unity can the world see a true demonstration of the power of the Gospel.
Remember this – when we go, we’re not going as individuals, but as a body. We’re to be joined to God and to His people, both locally and globally. As we interact with others and learn to understand and respect people of different cultures without a spirit of superiority and judgment, we build bridges of tolerance and acceptance. We come to realise that the things that unite us are greater than those that divide us. This demonstration of unity empowers our mission and enables our witness.
‘For the Lord God is one, and so are we! For we share in one faith, one baptism, and one Father. He’s the perfect Father who leads us all, works through us all, and lives in us all!’ Eph 4:5-6 (Passion Translation).
3. You’re Sent
Jesus, the Son of God knew very well that He was sent and that the world would know that He was sent by the Father.
There’s a saying that goes ‘Some are sent, others packed their bags and just went.’ This is so true as I’ve counselled many ‘casualties’ who went without proper submission, preparation, and sending. Since the Church began organising mission trips in Acts 13, missions have been about the Church – not just an individual.
Paul made the bold declaration in 2 Cor 5:20, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors.” Every ambassador is sent on a mission to live in a foreign country and represent the country that sent him. In the same way, we have a mission as Christ’s ambassadors – to represent the authority and the culture of His Kingdom.
In fact, Paul said that when he talked to someone about Christ, it was actually God Himself speaking through him, pleading with that person to be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:20 ESV). Every ambassador is empowered to speak or act on behalf of his authority: his words are to be taken as the very words of the One he’s called to serve. Your words become His. You represent the One who sent you.
Think about it – these principles can also be applied to our daily lives. God has sent us here on earth as Christ’s ambassadors and His image-bearers to our families, neighbourhoods, workplaces, and schools, to share His love and carry out His Great Commission. As you go, remember that you’re loved, you’re one, and you’re sent! Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21