It was now or possibly never.
Millions of lives depended on whether one man could make the shot of a lifetime.
If he could pull it off, he would return a hero.
The alternative was unthinkable.
He steadied himself.
The enemy was closing in.
But he still had time to aim.
He locked in the target.
He took the shot …
… and Red Leader missed.
Fortunately, Luke Skywalker was there to save the day.
Too often we know the mission, affirm the need for the mission, recognize the cost involved to fulfill the mission, intend to make strides to complete the mission, but often fall very short of the mission. We miss the target. Fortunately, Jesus Christ is here to save the day.
In the past Jesus saved the day by doing something for us we could never do: paid for our sins and satisfied God’s wrath by dying on the cross. So that all who believe in him are free from the punishment of sin. But when Jesus saves the day here in the present he does it through us, by continually changing us and making us different. Not different in a weird way (no need for monkish clothes), rather he makes us live differently—selflessly, humbly, patiently, godly, righteously, holy … Jesus Christ is working in us and on us right now. So when we miss the target, we can reset and aim again. We can not only intend to make strides to complete the mission, but in his strength actually complete it.
First, let’s define our mission. We will look at just one piece of it today. As a church one aspect of our mission is Gathering for the Gospel. The gathering is what it sounds like, we get together. Corporate worship is an indispensable part of gathering. We hear God-given leaders preach his word, we participate in baptism and communion, and we encourage one another. Bible study is another necessary part of gathering. Whether in homes during community groups or over coffee, God’s people study the word together. Fellowship is also a vital part of gathering. Sharing life on Sunday afternoons and evenings, during the week in community groups or in homes, or meeting up at a restaurant or a park.
Gathering is essential. So, don’t miss the target.
Second, let’s quantify gathering. Why is gathering as a church so crucial? The Bible commands gathering. One of the more straightforward sections in Scripture on gathering is found in Hebrews 10:24-25. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
The Bible promotes gathering as incredibly beneficial to our spiritual life. Let me share with you some benefits listed in Hebrews 10:24-25.
Gathering promotes love: consider how to stir up one another to love.
Gathering promotes godliness: consider how to stir up one another to … good works.
Gathering encourages one another: but encouraging one another.
The Bible presents gathering as growing in prominence in light of eternity: all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Last, let’s commit to gathering. Attending church on Sunday and community group during the week, showing up at Bible study and church family fun nights, and hosting church families in your home may seem at times mundane or routine, maybe even unimportant. But I assure you gathering for the gospel is gloriously fascinating and exciting. The minute you begin sharing your life with others and serving others your gathering together will never suffer from boredom or monotony.
So get out there Red Leader! Let’s stay on target and complete the mission!