Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 3 February 21:
Matthew 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The Book of Matthew records very little after Jesus’ resurrection – the bribing of the guards and then the Great Commission, upon which the book concludes. I believe the abrupt ending at the Great Commission is intentional, leaving us with our marching orders – “Go.”
According to Barna Research Group, 51% of churchgoing Christians said they had never “heard of the Great Commission” term and among those who had, only 17% were familiar with the Biblical passage reference.
How important is the Great Commission to Jesus? Consider Jesus’ “Farewell Prayer” in John 17:18, 20 — “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world…. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.” Facing the cross, Jesus’ heart, thoughts and prayers were on His disciples, not only on the eleven, but on all those who would believe in Him throughout the age until His return.
What is your deepest prayer? How important is the Great Commission to you? Does your heart match Christ’s heart for the lost? Are you “one” with Christ as He prayed you would be?
- Matthew 18:12-14 — What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
- 2 Peter 3:9 — The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
- Acts 26:20 — …but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
- 2 Timothy 4:1-2 — I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:2 — For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
Some feel they don’t need to clearly communicate the Gospel to others but only love them with good deeds. But how can you love someone more than to share the Gospel with them? And if you do love someone, how could you not share the Gospel with them?
Who will you share the Gospel with this week? Where does sharing the Gospel sit on your priority list today?
- Romans 10:13-14 — For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? [Question: Is your pastor more likely to reach your family members, neighbors, co-workers, and friends preaching the Gospel, or are you more likely?]
- 1 Peter 3:15 — But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect….
- Mark 13:10 — And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.
- John 15:8 — By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
- Proverbs 11:30 — The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.
- 2 Corinthians 5:20 — Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
- Matthew 9:37 — Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few….
- 1 Chronicles 16:24 — Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
- 2 Timothy 4:5 — As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 3 Feb 21: Commit to sharing the Gospel message with at least one person today. Then, repeat every day.