Jesus went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 The Message)
I’ve written before on these specific commands of Jesus which all begin with love.
Do you have a profound desire to go on a mission trip to another country? Neither do I.
Do you ache to learn apologetics? Neither do I!
Do you have a hunger to walk in strange neighborhoods knocking on doors? Neither do I!
How, then, do we as Christians not reject the Commission of Jesus?
As we live our lives obeying the commands of Jesus we become more like him; we reflect his image. We mature in our faith and embody faith and works. We allow those who cannot see him to know him through us.
“Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Fr. Francis of Assisi
We don’t need to travel to spread the gospel. Our “there” is where ever we are. Our “there” is our home, our car, our friend’s house, our workplace, our school, our neighborhood, our gym, our coffee shop, our restaurant, our grocery store, our hardware store, our nightclub, our jail cell, (the dmv, the airport) our social media hangout. It’s how we speak and act when we are “there.”
“There” is how we treat our family, our friends, and strangers when we are “there.” “There” is the decisions we make when we are “there.” There is no “here” and “there.” There is only “there.” And we are “there” all of the time.
How many times do we extend grace to a friend who has made a mistake, but refuse to extend grace to a stranger who makes a mistake? Couldn’t we expand the gospel by widening our circle of grace?
Please begin to think about the commission God commanded Jesus to pass along to us. Please allow the Spirit to stir your heart. Please allow the words of Jesus to play across your mind. Please open up the possibility that people who don’t know Jesus can see him through you.
I fall to my knees and pray to our Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your love be the rich soil where your lives take root; may it be the bedrock where your lives are founded. And may you have the power to understand the love of Christ is infinitely long, wide, high and deep, surpassing everything you have previously experienced. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)