God is calling us to himself. This alone encourages me to go and become a witness for Jesus. I go and share Jesus to others because God’s calling is before me and moving in the lives of the people whom I am with. There are some verses from the Gospel of John that illustrates this truth about God’s calling and his missionary character. Let me cite John 20:21-22 to you.
“Again [Jesus] said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ Then he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:21-22) The question here is not: How is Jesus sent? Or Where is Jesus sent to?, but rather, Who is sending Jesus? The Great Commission in John 20:19-23 speaks of the Father sending the Son. Who is the Father? What will help us in our answer is to go back to our definition of mission. What is mission? Here is a simple definition based from the John’s text. “God calls us to himself, shows us his salvation in Christ, and leads us by the Spirit to a celebration of the kingdom of God.” In this definition, everything goes back to who God is and what he is doing.
Now, to our question: Who is the God the Father? He is the one who calls everyone to himself. We shall call this as God’s creation call. In the first three chapters of Genesis, we see God calling Adam and Eve to a life here on earth. He breathe into humanity giving them life. He coaches Adam to call the animals, and to give them names. In the beginning God called all creation to life. And in Jesus was life, and he was the light of the world. (Genesis 2 and John 1)
Some people forget that God’s call is a creation call. They think that God calls people to salvation only after they have committed sin or after offending God. No. God’s call was already there at creation, even before sin entered the world. This means that his desire to have fellowship with us is based, not on our need for salvation or the depravity of sin, but from his very being which we can see at creation.
What does this mean in everyday life? A good example is our way of helping others. When we begin with the creation call of the Father, then we do not start with sin or the person’s offensive behavior. We do not say, “You need Jesus because your life is in disarray.” No! We tell people: “You need Jesus because God loves you and has a beautiful plan for your life.” We help others by leading them to the Father who have already called them from the beginning of time, even before that person was born. God is calling each person to himself. This missionary God the Father is going before us.