“Commission” means “individual assignment.” It is something given specifically to each of us in God’s family. God doesn’t just have this great, big, global mission that he assigns to the church at large. He also has an individual assignment—a commission—for you. He has a purpose for your time, talents, and treasures in the church. And if you don’t do it, it won’t get done.
I’m sure Paul loved all the physical comforts of the world, just like the rest of us, but here he is modeling for us one of the most profound ways we will live out our salvation: joyful sacrifice. Joyful sacrifice is giving up something you love for something you love even more. Paul loved seeing people come to Christ even more than he loved his personal freedoms or personal comfort.
What could possibly be lacking in Christ’s afflictions? Didn’t Jesus say from the cross, “It is finished”? Hasn’t he done everything necessary to save us? How did Paul’s suffering and sacrifice for the gospel have any effect on what Jesus has already done for us?
Many years ago at The Summit Church, there was a group of people who said, “Jesus and his mission will be first.” But here’s what happens: When churches like ours get big and “settled,” so to speak, they experience a natural inertia. Within a generation, they move from mission to maintenance. They go from being reckless in the mission to being comfortable in the institution.
If we feel slighted by a meal in which we were only a secondhand thought, imagine how Jesus must feel when we give him our leftovers, when our giving reflects that our treasure lies with something other than him. Jesus does not deserve our leftovers. He deserves the first place in everything. What gets the first and best of your treasures?
Receiving an invitation to a meal is an honor because eating with someone is one of the most intimate connections you can make with other people. A meal together is fellowship. It’s engagement. It’s acceptance. Jesus Christ has extended to you an invitation to his banquet. Wouldn’t that invitation overrule everything else going on in your life—everything on the earth?