The Great Commission – Part 1

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.– Matt. 28:19 NLT

Matthew 28:16-20 NLT 

We are all very familiar with the Great Commission that Jesus gave His disciples.  Luke tells us that shortly after this, Jesus ascends leaving the disciples without the only leader they had ever known. If we had been there and been one of the disciples of Jesus, what would our initial response have been?  If it were anything similar to what I believe mine would have been, it would have caused me to ask a lot of questions.  Where do I start, which direction do I go, who is going to support me as I make the trip and who is going to take care of my family while I am gone?  I don’t have any speeches prepared to present to the people, what will I say?  I’m not prepared to go on some long journey to some place I have never been and I haven’t prepared my family for such a venture.  I would not only be doubting my abilities to carry out this mission (which is totally true}, I would be doubting God’s ability to enable me to carry out His mission (which is totally wrong and therefore sinful).  I would be doubting His ability to provide for me and to take care of me.  I would be saying “God is able” but my thoughts and my actions would be saying “I don’t really believe that”.
As true believers, our response should not be one of worry and doubt but of agreement, just as Isaiah said when God asked Him “who shall we send?” and Isaiah answers “Here am I, Lord, send me.”.

.Isaiah 6:5-8 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 02-02-2019

No Plan B

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22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way. – Ezra 8:22A NLT
 
Ezra was a priest and a scribe who was in captivity in Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia.  Ezra had fasted and prayed and God had given Ezra great favor with the king.  So, when Ezra determined to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple the king not only allowed Ezra to go but gave him permission to take any Jews that would volunteer to go with him. The king also gave him great treasures totaling over 110 million in today’s market to take with him to help in rebuilding the temple. (Ezra 9:26-27)  Ezra had gathered the people by the Ahava Canal and they fasted and prayed for God to give them a safe journey to Jerusalem.  Ezra was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers to protect them because he had told the king “Our God’s hand of protection is on all who worship him”.  How many times do we ask God for something and He answers but then we decide we need a plan B just in case?  We should be like Ezra, we should be ashamed to ask the world to give us what our God has already promised to us He is the author and the finisher of our faith, He has begun a good work in us and He will complete it.  When God gives us a mission, we need to fast and pray and then take the first step. Trust Him, He will provide.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-31-2018

Go and Make Disciples – Part ll

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19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.– Matt. 28:19 NLT
In yesterday’s reading, we thought about how we might have reacted to the instructions of Jesus to “go and make disciples of all the nations”.  The important part for us in any work in which God asks us to participate is to agree and believe.  How do we get to that point?  We start by remembering that God never asks us to do anything that He has not prepared us to do and that He is ready to provide everything we need to complete the work. Look at the training that Jesus had given the disciples.  They had had three years of walking and talking with Him on a daily basis, observing Him as He interacted with people on all levels of society and healing them.  In today’s society, that would probably qualify them for a doctorate degree in Christianity.  God had used the evil Romans to build the roads necessary and to make the country safe enough to travel.   He had sent the disciples out once before with absolutely nothing but the clothes on their back and the sandals on their feet.  They had passed the survival test then and they would again.  When God calls us to participate in His Kingdom work, He just wants us to agree and be available,  He provides everything else.  So when you feel that little nudge, don’t doubt, don’t fear, don’t be a Zechariah and get struck dumb for nine months, be a Mary and become “blessed above all”. 
 

Go and Make Disciples! – Part 1

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19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.– Matt. 28:19 NLT
 
We are all very familiar with the Great Commission that Jesus gave His disciples.  Luke tells us that shortly after this, Jesus ascends leaving the disciples without the only leader they had ever known. If we had been there and been one of the disciples of Jesus, what would our initial repsonse have been?  If it were anything similar to what I believe mine would have been, it would have caused me to ask a lot of questions.  Where do I start, which direction do I go, who is going to support me as I make the trip and who is going to take care of my family while I am gone?  I don’t have any speeches prepared to present to the people, what will I say?  I’m not prepared to go on some long journey to some place I have never been and I haven’t prepared my family for such a venture.  I would not only be doubting my abilities to carry out this mission (which is totally true}, I would be doubting God’s ability to enable me to carry out His mission (which is totally wrong and therfore sinful).  I would be doubting His ability to provide for me and to take care of me.  I would be saying “God is able” but my thoughts and my actions would be saying “I don’t really believe that”.
As true believers, our response should not be one of worry and doubt but of agreement, just as Isaiah said when God asked HIm “who shall we send?” and Isaiah answers “Here am I, Lord, send me.”.
 
Post 06-08-2016

He Can And He Will!!

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38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?  — Luke 24:38 NLT
As the two men who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus were sharing their story with the disciples, Jesus suddenly appeared among them.  Jesus spoke to them and said “Peace be with you”.  But they were startled and frightened, how could this be?   After three years of walking with Jesus and hearing HIs teachings on a daily basis, the disciples were still not convinced that Jesus would really be resurrected.  They thought they were looking at a ghost.  Jesus told them to look closely and see that it was really HIm.  He invited them to touch Him and know that He was real.  Still, they were not fully convinced, so Jesus asked for something to eat.  We can wonder at the unbelief and lack of faith of the disciples but we show that same unbelief and lack of faith when we are fearful and worry about things.  We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the same questions that Jesus asked the disciples, “why are we frightened and why are our hearts filled with doubt”?  God has told us over 365 times in the Bible in one form or the other, :“DO NOT FEAR!”.  Yet, is there a day that goes by that we do not express fear and doubt with our words and/or actions?  Instead of accessing the peace and the joy that Jesus has promised and is waiting to give each of us so that we can enjoy today with Him, we obsess over what MIGHT happen tomorrow.  If we really believe that Jesus can and will provide our every need, then we should just rest in His arms and allow Him do exactly what He said He would do.
Post 05-03-2016

Hearts Like This

even-smaller-bug-light128 “The Lord heard the request you made to me. And he said, ‘I have heard what the people said to you, and they are right. 29 Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever. — Deut. 5:28, 29 NLT

God chose the children of Israel to be His people and as long as they were obedient, He blessed them and provided for them.  But, oftentimes, they were disobedient and God had to discipline them.  He has chosen us to be His peculiar people in today’s world.  It is His heart’s desire to bless us daily and provide everything that we need to live Godly lives.  We, like the children of Israel, often require discipline.  Because of choices we make, a just God cannot bless us during our times of disobedience.  This does not mean that every rough patch we go through means we have sinned, some of those times, God allows so that we can grow spiritually.  God is not looking for times to discipline us, He is looking for times that He can pour out His blessings on us.  He is looking for those whose hearts are totally committed to Him.  As we read in verse 29, God says “Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they would fear me and keep all my commandments.”    If we have that kind of heart, then God promises us that we will prosper forever.​  He is still looking for those with that kind of heart today, hearts that are fully committed to Him.
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. — 2 Chronicles 16:9a NLT
Post  03-06-2016

A Call To Service

even-smaller-bug-light110 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. — 1 Thess. 3:10-13

​Paul’s love and concern for the new converts that he and his companions have led to Christ is a great example for us to follow​.  We may never be missionaries in  a faraway land, but we are missionaries in a land that is not our home. We are aliens and strangers wherever we are on this earth. Therefore, we need to have the same concern for those new converts in our own churches. Every church body needs Barnabases and Timothys to encourage and teach new and older converts. We need Esthers and Priscillas to teach self-sacrifice, humbleness and obedience.
 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” –Esther 4:15, 16
We need Ezras to teach leadership, fasting, praying and complete reliance on God.
21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. — Ezra 8;21-23
We need​ workplace ministers like Paul who witnessed while carrying on his occupation as a tentmaker and Lydias to encourage, support and provide for those laboring in God’s fields.
14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. — Acts 16:14, 15
​We are all servants in God’s army and God needs us to serve and stand firm wherever we are and complete the tasks He has called us to do, whatever that may be.​He has a plan and a purpose for everyone He calls.
 
Have you discovered your purpose in the Kingdom?  If not, talk to Him today about it and get started.
Post 10-27-2015