The Greatest Choice Ever Made©

Hours before his death, Jesus made one last request of God: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” Luke 22:42 (NIV). Jesus was asking God if he really had to finish what he had started. Certainly, Jesus was willing, but he was also asking God if it was necessary that he endure the suffering that lay ahead. We all know the answer, but do we consider the meaning of this choice by Jesus?

We often think about Jesus’ path as pre-ordained by God, but we all know that Jesus was a man–a human–and he suffered as a man at the end of his life. He could have chosen not to finish his mission, but he chose to honor and listen to God’s will. This choice provided us with the amazing gift of forgiveness of our sins and everything else that flows from this gift of love from God: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16 (NIV).

In addition to this eternal life-giving gift, Jesus’ choice gives us a powerful lesson about mission–specifically, about living out our mission. In order to fully live his mission, Jesus had to die on the cross and rise from the dead. That was his mission. Imagine if Jesus had stopped short and only suffered at the hands of his persecutors, but had not died on the cross. All of his work up to that point in time would have remained, but his mission would not have been fulfilled. Jesus’ mission was an all-or-nothing mission and, in much the same way, each of us has a mission to fulfill and live.

This leaves you with two questions: 1. What is your personal mission; and 2. Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to fully live out that mission? In my experience, few of us have ever figured out our deepest personal mission. You have goals and objectives, but have you given thought and prayer to the mission that God intends for you? Whether you are meant to figure it out or simply to listen in order to hear God’s direction, you can’t live a mission until you know what it is.

Once you’ve discerned your mission, it’s up to you to live it–all in and fully. The thing about missions is that they are all-or-nothing propositions. Just as Jesus lived his mission to the fullest, down to the last act of surrender on the cross, each of you has been given a mission to carry out. Are you committed to discerning that mission and, once determined, are you prepared to fully and authentically live that mission?

As you prepare for the blessed holiday season, I invite you to invest some time in prayer and meditation to listen to the word of God and his directives on your life’s mission. Once you know it, it’s up to you to choose to live it or not. Jesus made the greatest choice ever made, but that choice gave each of us the opportunity to make mission-driven choices as well. Will you live your mission? The choice is yours!

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