Daily Spirit & Word, 516: You Are Called To Go On A Mission.
40 Days With Jesus: Day 32. Matthew 28:19.
Good morning my friends. I’m back in my study with a lovely warm mug of coffee. You know or did I tell you yesterday that I love Sundays 😎 I felt so up-lifted by yesterday’s gathering. I shared with the fellowship my pains during the week and how I believe the Lord uses pain to sometimes enable us to pray for others more fervently. Well, as I encouraged people to come and share what Jesus was doing in their lives, they did; you know my friends, God is amazing! He’ll show up in our lives in the most unexpected ways. This meeting with Jesus, when He gives the Disciples the GREAT COMMISSION, was an amazing encounter too. Jesus gave them their marching orders, but they were to await the empowerment.
It’s like the General conveying to His troops the battle plan, but before they embark upon their mission, they’re going to require the BIG GUNS. Jesus didn’t send His Disciples out into the Battle without state or the art weapons or protective armour, to defeat the enemy and to protect ourselves in the fight. We’re coming to that later, but today we’re thinking about the Battle Plan.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The Israelites were God’s chosen people, they were just one Nation on the Earth, called by the LORD to come and worship Him. They were called to be a light to the Nations. However, when Jesus had fulfilled His Mission from the Father, the call was changed from being a one Nation family into a Universal call to all the peoples of the world. I’m reminded of Jesus’ Command almost every day, because there’s a church just up the road from where I live called; “The Church of the Nations”, and that truly is what every Christian is a member of, we’re a world-wide family, with a world-wide Mission. There’s another church further up the road called, “The World Wide Mission Fellowship”. We’re so blessed in London, there are literally hundreds or thousands of churches, gatherings of Christians of all flavours. Our own church is quite unique amongst over 30 Churches within a half-mile radius of St Luke’s West Norwood in London. Because, though they claim or call themselves ‘Church of the Nations and World-Wide Mission Fellowship or South American Fellowship’ they all predominantly appeal to Christians from the Nation of origin of the Lead Pastor: Brazillian, Nigerian, West Indian, etc. However, St Luke’s Church, though it doesn’t state it in the name, is made up of peoples from over 30 Nations around the world. On our Preaching and Leadership Team, we’ve got people from; West Indian, Nigerian, Chech Republic, English and Scottish (me). When we go out into the streets for Evangelism, we’re the same. London is a mix of people’s from every Nation in the world, they’ve come to work and settle here, so we truly do have a heart for the Lord’s call to this World Wide Mission.
So, Jesus commissioned the Disciples and every Christian to take the Gospel to everyone in every part of the world; for the vast majority of Christians that will mean sharing the Good News where you live; with your neighbours, family, friends, work-colleagues, School and College friends and any clubs or societies that you might belong to.
But HOW? How are we to obey His call to Mission.
Thankfully the Lord has shown us; First He said, “Go”, then once we’re off we’re told to “Make Disciples” then to “Baptize” those who become disciples, then we’re to “Teach those new Disciples Obedience to the Commands of Jesus”.
- Going: to All Nations.
- Discipling: Everyone. (Making Disciples = Sharing the Good News of Jesus with a Demonstration of the Spirit’s Power to enable people to put their faith and trust in Christ alone).
- Baptizing: In God’s Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Teaching Obedience: To the Commands / Teachings of Jesus (The Gospels and Epistles).
- Presence of the Lord: God is with us for this Mission.
That tells is the Plan, what we are to do, but it doesn’t really tell us HOW to do it. Thankfully, the LORD has seen fit to inspire more than one Gospel writer and we get the HOW from others like Mark, John, the Book of Acts and the Epsitles or the New Testament.
The Other GREAT Commission: Mark 16:14-20.
Mark 16:14-20 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Once we’ve been obedient to Jesus Command to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News” We’re NOT left to our own devices. Jesus will CONFIRM His Word with SINGS AND WONDERS.
We pick up from Paul, the Apostle, that this is exactly what happened. It’s the NORMAL experience of Christians (or is should be) that signs will accompany the proclamation of the Good News. Here’s what Paul said;
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
There we have it my friends, the HOW: Notice what Paul (The Holy Spirit) declared that it isn’t: NOT with WISE or PERSUASIVE word. We’re not to use the techniques of the world: Manipulation or Persuasion. We, those who’re being obedient to the LORD’S Commands to Go, are to depend upon something else: “A DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT’S POWER”.
The Bible tells us, that FAITH comes by Hearing the Word of God: Romans 10:10-17. Faith comes alive when we proclaim God’s Word. That’s the FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT: Bringing Faith Alive in those who Hear the Good News.
The FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT: Bringing Faith Alive in those who Hear the Good News.
You’ll have noticed if you’re reading Dave Smith’s little book, that I’ve deviated from what He’s teaching on Day 32 here, not because I disagree with his words, but to emphasise something different, something that I believe to be an even more important aspect. His booklet tends to dwell (IMHO) too much upon the HUMAN aspects; what we’re to do, but I want us to know and to dwell upon the facts that we’re NOT ALONE, we’re not just being obedient, it’s not just down to us my friends, Jesus is WITH US when we go, because most people are like Paul and all the GREAT MEN OF FAITH in the Bible: they’re feeling; WEAK, FEAR-FILLED and MUCH TREMBLING when they go out. I do too, but each time the LORD emboldens when we finally get out there and do it. When you go out in obedience in weakness, fear and much-trembling, you are in GREAT Company: Think about Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, Elijah: none of them thought they could do it and that is how we should be feeling too, because in our own strength, we can’t even win a single convert. If we did, they’d be depending upon us and not the LORD (As Paul revealed above). No my friends, when we go, we’re not to depend upon ourselves, our language, our technique, our training, our skills or our anything else; we’re to be totally dependent as Paul and the other apostles were in the book of acts, upon the Holy Spirit’s POWER. If we depend too much upon anything else, we’re not going to depend upon the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Himself is the MODEL of HOW to do it: Filled with the Spirit He performed miracles. The rest of the New Testament is an illustration of HOW to do it. The NORMAL Christian experience of fulfilling God’s Great Commission.
Yes we may need a little training, that’s for sure, but it should be training to DEPEND upon the SPIRIT, not theology, not bible knowledge (but we should be studying God’s Word) we’re to depend solely upon God’s Spirit who comes with us when we go out in obedience to Jesus commands. He accompanies and works with us to bring others to faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the HOW my friends. Read your Bible from Acts to Revelations and you’ll see that this is the NORMAL Christian method of fulfilling your call to Christ’s Mission to ALL NATIONS.
What is the Message we are called to deliver? The Good News! We’ll come onto what the Gospel is later 🙂
Today, think about the HOW: You are called to go on a mission: However, you are not called to depend or rely upon yourself, otherwise only a few would ever go, but you are called to be Depending upon God’s Spirit as you go.
Read through the book of ACTS in one sitting. It might take you a couple of hours. But I can guarantee that it will be better than sitting watching a film on the TV or going to the Cinema. I know we live in a generation that hates the discipline of reading, but it’s going to take commitment to be a follower of Jesus. We need more Christians who’re totally devoted to the LORD Jesus and His Mission rather than being entertained with worldly pleasures. To be honest, I find spending TIME in God’s word far more enjoyable than a good film anyway. You will too my friends. Get to it and get your head down into God’s Good BOOK: God’s Word, The Bible, Holy Scripture and read the book of Acts and you’ll see that it’s a DEMONSTRATION of the SPIRIT’S POWER from start to finish, this is to be the NORMAL Christian experience.
As you are obedient, you’ll discover too, that it’s no ordinary Mission that you are being sent on. These things that we read in the book of Acts of the Holy Spirit are happening today; I encourage you to read what happened to Rosa, they are happening every day all over the world as Christians follow Jesus. But do try and take Jesus at His WORD and share the Gospel as best you know how. He’ll be with you and in you as you do.
God bless for another GREAT week with Jesus,
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Note: Tomorrow we’re going to dwell upon Baptism. But this ‘Making Disciple’ ‘Taking the Good News Out’ is not finished with yet: The 40 Days With Jesus Series doesn’t quite focus enough on “What is the Gospel Message” we’re to deliver for Jesus.
40 Days With Jesus: Day 32: You Are Called To A Mission.