The last words spoken, before an individual passes away, are significant to those that love him or her. It usually signifies what is important.
The last recorded instructions given by Jesus to His disciples is known as “The Great Commission.” But, what is it?
“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.” Matthew 28:18-20
Then right before His ascension, His last words were “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
When we combine these last words, we get the following instructions from Jesus.
- There is a strong implication of when “Now!” in both verses. We are not to wait but to go and do it!
- We are told to go everywhere to be a witness for Jesus. Our focus should be at home, close to home and a long way from home!
- We are to do this in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not to do this in our own strength.
- We are the help others know what it means to follow Jesus. As they make personal decisions to follow Him, we are to batiste them. Baptism is the public witness of a follower.
- We must help them grow in there faith so that they can become faithful disciples as they know more truth.
After reading these two verses, something sticks out to me. It’s not what is said, but what is left out. Your first response is probably “what is it and why?” Surely, Jesus didn’t forget to tell us something.
What was left out is the “how.” We are not told how to do it. Why is that left out? Please read this carefully, “The message of the Gospel of Jesus never changes, but our methods must always be evaluated!” It is critical not to mix up messages and methods. This is what causes division and hurt in our churches.
So how do we do it? God has given each of us likes and dislikes. Why? To use them to reach like individuals. We are all different and must find different methods to reach and love on others. When we get stuck in the rut of doing it the same way over and over, we can pretty much count on the same results. We believe the lie that “real ministry can’t be enjoyable!” That is wrong. Even when things are hard or complicated, it doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable. It’s enjoyable because we are obedient to God.
On our first softball mission trip in 1988, we were resting after a long day of Ministry. As we sat in a hot tub, reflecting on the day while trying to ease the physical pain, Jim Hardy shared a great insight. None of us had ever done anything like this before. Jim, now the Athletic Director at Campbellsville University, looked at me. He shared, “Robby, I almost feel guilty.” I asked him, “Why?” What followed is one of the greatest quotes of all time. His reply was, “We have played softball all day and told people about Jesus. How does it get better than this?”
What great insight. But guess what, it can get better for you!
It’s better when you get to do what you love to do all day and tell people about Jesus!
What do you love to do? If you love it, others would love to do it with you. And they will listen to you talk about Jesus while you do it.
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