In his second epistle (2 Peter 1:12-15), St. Peter wrote: “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.”
Businesses and corporations often adopt a mission statement and goals to help them stay focused on what is truly important and to keep them from going off on tangents which waste company time and resources. And it is wise for individuals, too, to adopt a mission statement for their lives to keep them focused on what is truly important and to prevent them from wasting time and energy on things which are of no benefit in the long run.
Several years ago, I adopted a personal mission statement to make sure I made it my focus to make known to my children and grandchildren (and all who will hear me) the truths of God’s Word that they too might know and trust in their Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a theme verse, I would certainly include the following: “O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, your power to everyone who is to come” (Psalm 71:17-18).
I remind my children and fellow believers, again and again, to read and study their Bibles. Why? Because the Bible contains all we need that we might know and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation. The Holy Spirit works through the Word to reveal to us Jesus Christ and to create faith in our hearts. Through God’s Word, we see our utter sinfulness and, through the Word, we are offered and receive by faith forgiveness for all our sins and life eternal for the sake of the innocent sufferings and death of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is why Paul reminded Timothy: “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
That is what Peter is also doing in His two letters to believers. He says this when he writes: “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.”
While here in this world — and Peter knew his time was short — he reminded believers again and again of the precious promises they had heard before. In Jesus, they had a living hope. They had been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. They had now received mercy and were a part of God’s people — part of the family of God — through faith in Jesus Christ.
Peter, by the working of the Holy Spirit who moved Him to write and inspired the words he wrote, reminded his hearers of the message of God’s Word and still reminds us today of the precious truth upon which our faith rests.
As a called pastor, I have included my congregation in my family and in my mission statement. That is why I remind them, again and again, of the teaching of God’s Word. It’s why I teach them from the Scriptures. It’s why I encourage them to read their Bibles. It’s why I write and publish devotions and Scriptural lessons. It’s why I lift them up daily in my prayers.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
It’s through the Scriptures that our faith in Christ is created, strengthened and preserved. That is why I direct people to the Scriptures and to the comfort God gives in His Word and through the Sacraments given us through God’s Word.
And Christian congregations should have a mission statement, too, which includes encouraging each other and building each other up in the true and saving faith through the hearing of God’s Word. This is especially important as we draw ever closer to the day of Christ’s return, and it’s also why it is so important for us to reach out to our fellow believers with the encouragement of the Holy Scriptures.
The Scriptures admonish us: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16; cf Hebrews 10:19-25).
I encourage you and will continue to remind you, again and again, to make it your mission statement to read and study the Scriptures, to come and hear the Scriptures and to receive the comfort and assurance of the Scriptures. And I encourage you to reach out with that comfort of the Scriptures to your family of believers.
Why? That none be lost to Christ’s kingdom! That we all continue to trust in Christ Jesus for forgiveness and life! That we continue in the true and saving faith unto life everlasting!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.