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What is your vision of the good life? We all have one. To be human, in some sense, is to be animated by some vision of a flourishing, pleasurable existence. Perhaps your vision of the good life is portrayed on the pages of Vogue or Sports Illustrated, on the screens of Netflix or Hulu, on the hardwood or the gridiron. We all have a vision of a life marked by certain habits, possessions, or statuses that would satisfy us. Embedded within that vision is the awareness that its achievement requires devotion to certain practices. Every vision demands action for it to be fully realized. The question is not whether you have a vision for the good life and its associated practices; the question is whose vision is it and what practices are needed? 

The Bible’s Picture of the Good Life

The Bible paints for its readers a picture of the good life that is marked by a particular vision of human flourishing, and a corresponding set of practices that would lead one toward that vision. The vision the Bible depicts is one where God is glorified in the joyful satisfaction of his people. This is the essence of the New Covenant detailed in places like Jeremiah 31:33, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The Bible’s vision of the good life is one in which obedience to God’s word and the joy of the believer’s heart meet. Therefore, the good life is one devoted to the biblical practices that would produce such joyful satisfaction, and such glorying in God. 

Missions is the Means

If the good life the Scriptures set out for the Christian is one in which God is glorified in the joyful satisfaction of his people, then missions must be the practice to which the Christian, and the church, devotes herself. It is the means by which the glory of God and the joyful satisfaction of his people overlap; the true essence of the good life. In missions, both goals of the good life are met: the glory of God and the joy of God’s people. Here are 2 ways Christians can pursue this dimension of the good life. 

#1: Pray for God’s Joys to Be Your Joys

The promise of the gospel is transformation; that the human heart would beat for obedience to God’s word. In regeneration, part of the work of the Holy Spirit is in changing the desires of one’s hearts so that they align more fully with the will of God. One of the primary ways in which the Christian enjoys this transformation is in devotion to prayer. Prayer is the way God shapes one further into his image, the way in which he continually shifts the longings of the heart to match his ways. The Christian, in hopes of seeing the will of God and her own joy overlap, ought to give herself to prayer. Pray that your heart would continue to be transformed so that you might love the gospel and the nations more. Pray that God would release your heart from the clutches of comfort, prestige, and safety so that you might serve him without fear. Pray that God would give you an ever-growing burden for the lost that would drive you to share. Praying in these ways will be used by God to align your joys with his. 

#2 Seek First the Kingdom

A second way that Christians can pursue the role of missions in the good life is by following the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” The temptation we all face is to seek first our own agendas and only then look to see if obedience to God might fit in with what we already desire. However, due to the way God has designed our hearts, this approach will rob us of true satisfaction and lasting joy. We are designed by God to find true satisfaction and lasting joy in obedience to his word – the truly good life. Therefore, in order to live this good life filled with joy, we must prioritize giving ourselves over to practices of the kingdom of God. This is what it means to seek the kingdom first; to obey God’s word in the proclamation of the gospel, and to find in that obedience, the addition of all that God has planned for your life. 


The good life is found in the overlap of obedience to God’s word and the joy of the human heart. Central to experiencing this good life is the practice of missions. Christians and churches must, therefore, devote themselves to the proclamation of the gospel if they are to experience the good life that God has designed. 

Matt Messner

The Author

Matt Messner is the Pastor of Teaching & Vision at Redeemer Baptist Church and has served on the Board of Directors at AIRO for the last 3 years. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Riverside, CA with their two kids.

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