February 5, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
For we are God’s fellow workers…. - 1 Corinthians 3:9.
Over the past several days we have mourned the loss of the Columbia astronauts. They were all brilliant and courageous with so much more to offer in service to the world if they had lived. The commitment and dedication of those astronauts is an inspiration to all who aspire to greater service. Their mission of conquering and learning more about space, which included expanding all human knowledge, was a part of every aspect of their lives. Their mission was a continual focus moving them forward to greater heights. Sunday morning CNN newscaster Paula Zahn spoke with awe about their “devotion to the mission” and their “sense of discipline.”
It may be that in the background of our thoughts we are thinking if we had such a great mission, we too would have devotion to the mission and great discipline in achieving that mission. But the fact is that every child of God, every Christian has a great mission. In many respects our mission, your mission, is a greater mission than that of the shuttle astronauts. No, you are not going out into space to go boldly where no human has gone before. No, you have a greater mission. Eternal destinies hang in the balance and your “devotion to the mission” and your “sense of discipline” will make the difference.
What is your mission? It is an amazing thing. We are to join God Himself in His work! We are to follow the example of Jesus who said, “the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel (John 5:19-20).” We are to look to where the Father is working and join Him in that work. The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians makes it clear that we are co-laborers with God when he writes to the Corinthians, “For we are God’s fellow workers (1 Corinthians 3:9a).” Paul was a fellow worker in Christ and often greeted others such as Priscilla and Aquila in that way.
After the resurrection of Jesus and before He ascended to Heaven He left some last important instructions to his followers. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20).” Those instructions, actually commands, are still in effect for us today. That is your mission. And, God has not changed His mind.
Will you join God in this great mission? Will you blaze the trails so that others will follow in the future? Will you have great devotion, courage, and discipline in fulfilling the mission that God has given to you? Look around and you will see that your Father is at work and is calling you to join in this great work of eternal purpose. Remember the great example of devotion to mission and discipline that the shuttle astronauts have given you and move forward in the power of God (Acts 1:8) to complete your mission.