The Great Commission: Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 AMP)
You and I have a purpose in this world: Spread the love of Jesus to all. Not the ones just like us. Not the ones we deem in trouble or lost. Not the ones sinning. Everyone. Those we live with in our homes. Those we see when we get our mail. Those who are driving on the roads next to us. Those we see while waiting in line. The ones in our children’s classrooms. The ones in the stores we frequent. Those in our churches. Those on the streets. Everyone God brings into our lives each day.
This is no easy task. It requires us to combat our prejudices, our stereotypes, and our misconceptions about those around us and about ourselves.
We have been saved by grace but it is not ours to keep for ourselves. We must share it.
Not by casting blame.
Not by pointing out sin.
Not by exclusion until change has been made.
Not by hatred.
But with Love.
We are to love all as Jesus first loved our broken selves. We were not sinless. We deserved blame. We deserved our sins being pointed out for all to see. We deserved to be excluded. We were wretched.
But for the loving grace and mercy of Jesus Christ we would still be lost. And yet, Jesus loved us. He wooed us tenderly to him, wanting us to taste and see that He was good.
How can we not reach out in love and mercy to share His grace with those around us then?
I believe it has to do with fear. We are afraid of other’s reactions. We are afraid of being called out. We are afraid we will some how do it wrong. It also has to do with pride. We believe we are in the right and they are in the wrong. We act as if there is only our way to Jesus and if it doesn’t look “right” they are cast aside.
It’s no wonder why Christians are associated with intolerance, hatred and anger is it?
This can change. Today. And it starts with you and me.
How to Live Out the Great Commission.
- Pray. We can ask for the wisdom to see our own faults and sins. We can ask for the power to remember how we saw life before the love of Christ transformed us. We can ask for eyes to see the hurting and lost the way God does, not with the eyes of our callous humanness. We can ask for courage to spread love, and the wisdom for how to do that with whomever we encounter that day. We can ask for the strength to patiently listen and wait, not moving or speaking until the Holy Spirit prompts us.
- Serve. Most of the time we try to live for ourselves, doing things before us in a way that benefits us (or causes us less pain and struggle). Jesus didn’t come here to live a life of comfort, but to uncomfortably serve others. He was patient, kind, and encouraging, spreading hope, not fear, worry, and doubt. Be patient. Be kind. Offer encouragement. Quell fear with hope. Consider the lives of others and respond in love.
- Love. When Jesus looks at you, he does so without condemnation of anything you have done. Can you look at others in the same way? Can you see them as Jesus would? Will you choose to see the pain, suffering, and hurts instead of the action and behavior? When we seek to love others as Jesus first loved us, compassion rules and hatred has no more room.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me
To bring good news to the humble and afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted,
To proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives
And freedom to prisoners, (Isaiah 61:1 AMP)
We have been anointed to preach the Good News! We do not need a degree in theology, only compassion for those around us. We do not need a formal ministry, only to embrace the ministry of reconciliation as we remember how Jesus rescued us without condemnation. We do not need a huge platform, only the reach of our voice to the person nearest to us.
I urge you, and myself, seek to be the light of Jesus’s love today in whatever way the Spirit leads you.