God spoke through Isaiah when he wrote, “They will proclaim My glory among the nations.” (Isaiah 66:19) Jesus told His disciples in the Great Commission to, “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19) We are also to declare His majesty…confess the wondrous things He does…profess our reverence and awe in Him…make known His worthiness…and reveal to those who don’t know Him yet that what they search for can be found in Him.
God’s ultimate plan and purpose for all Christians is to make His Name known among the nations. For His is a Missional plan and part of the Great Commission to go and make disciples. But before you start making excuses of why you can’t…Jesus said in John 20:21, “As the Father sent Me, I am sending you.” Fulfilling the Great Commission for you could involve traveling internationally and reaching people-groups very different from you, or it might be just touching the people you see everyday…God’s plan is unique for each one of us. But His purpose remains the same…Make My Name known among the nations.
What does denying self really look like? In this verse it means giving up our right to our-self…of becoming more like Jesus and less like ourselves. It’s refusing to allow our carnal nature to rule and reign on the throne of our life. But it’s even more basic than that. You can be saved, but not be a disciple. For discipleship means we have to first strip away pride and selfishness…rejecting our flesh to become more in the image of Christ. The Great Commission of Jesus is to, “Go make disciples…” But we can’t make disciples if we ourselves are not one first.
In this verse the Apostle Paul, (then called Saul) was describing his conversion on the road to Damascus. The Lord’s commission to Paul then was simple…Go, uncover the truth, and open blinded eyes. The Lord commissioned him as a servant, (a bringer of light and confirmation) and a witness, (a minister of the Word of Christ) to both Jew and Gentile. But if we think about it, as Believers, this commission applies to us also. We are all called to tell others about the Good News of Jesus. The easiest way to do that is to share your testimony…your personal story of how Jesus came into your life and how now your life has been changed forever by Him.
As Believers we are called to be a generous people…and this was displayed vividly this morning in Church. Our Pastor announced that as we left each family would be receiving a plain white envelope with cash inside ranging from $20- $100. We were to consider this a starting point to bless others during this holiday season. The Lord has called all of us to be missional…reaching outside the Church walls to help others. For we are to be His ambassadors… shining His light, expanding His Kingdom, and seeking to leave an eternal impact on our community and world. (A direct quote from the note enclosed in the envelope.) As I hold this bill in my hand, I know the Lord will not only direct us as to how much we are to add to it, but who we should bless with it.
God’s mission is our mission. But sometimes we need to reclaim and recommit to that calling we made so long ago. Too many of us live in a world of comfortable Christianity. We’ve found this niche of self contentment in our walk with the Lord…we’ve plateaued and become lukewarm in our passion and dedication. So what can we do to rekindle the flame that once burned so bright for the lost? We can begin to live a missional life…one that is dedicated to spreading the Gospel to those God brings across our path…looking for opportunities to speak life into those lives that are lost. Reclaim God’s mission in your life today and see what can happen.
Baptism…just as during the time of John the Baptist, is a public action, for an internal, personal decision for Christ. It symbolizes the spiritual cleansing through the forgiveness of sins to those who repent and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Baptism is part of the Great Commission that Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” As a new Christian, you don’t have to be perfect before you can be baptized…you don’t have to have it “all together” and cleaned up prior either. Baptism is a public “Just as I am” coming to Jesus moment.