Go in my authority and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I am with you every day. Matthew 28:19-20
These are the last words of Jesus before he left the world he gave everything for.
His time of ministry is complete. Jesus Messiah left his followers with powerful, unforgettable teaching, life-changing miracles, and a perfect example of humble service. Then on the most terrible, beautiful day in history, he gave his own life in a stunning expression of his love. And now He speaks to the friends he loves as the Risen Saviour with a last message of instruction and encouragement. Please don’t miss the weight of these words.
You just have to know how alone those disciples would have felt without Jesus physically beside them. The question for all of them: “Now what?” The One, who knows their hearts, takes great care to make it uncomplicated. “Go make disciples.” With eternity at stake, Jesus does not want his followers to forget that this life is not about them. There is work to be done and good news to share. They are called to live with radical hope, in such a way that they have to constantly give an explanation for the hope they have. (1 Peter 3:15)
The message is the same for us.
Ever wonder why Jesus didn’t just take you right to heaven the moment you believed? He died to be with you, after all. Friend, let me tell you: I just can’t wait to get there. I long for the day I see Jesus’ face. When I sing and worship, I imagine what it will be like to sing and worship there. But there is one thing that you and I can never ever do in heaven. We can’t reach the lost. We can’t have an impact on people that do not know Jesus. We can’t live and speak and serve in such a way that those who see us wonder about the hope that we have. The time to make disciples is now.
Then the sweetest words are said. Jesus speaks straight to their hearts, “I am with you always.” He reminds his followers that they are never alone. Can I remind you of the same thing? Life gets messy sometimes. We can find ourselves longing to live boldly, and victoriously. Instead we go to Jesus a bit broken, not sure what to even ask for, and whisper, “Now what?”
You are loved. You have a purpose. You have a unique testimony. The hardest times in life can speak the loudest of our Saviour. Please don’t underestimate what he can do through your story and how God can use you today to make disciples.
Reflect and Respond:
1. Jesus tells the disciples to teach people to obey his commands. Surrender and obedience go hand in hand. Spend some time in prayer asking God to show you an area in your life where you can grow in obedience.
2. Take an honest look at your life. Who is following you? Who is paying attention to your story? Your home and your place of work can be a sacred mission field. Pray for eyes to see where God can use you to encourage those around you.
3. Pray about how you may be able to stretch your impact into “all the world.” Consider financially encouraging a disciple-maker on the mission field, or sponsoring a child overseas and write them faithfully.
Encouragement: God has placed you where you are for a reason. It is not a small calling, friend, to be faithful in living boldly for Jesus right where you are.
Recommended Resource: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan