Saturday, December 6, 2008

Matthew 28:16-20 "The Great Commission"

Read Matthew 28:16-20.

"Therefore go...." NIV

Here's our job -- our purpose on this earth. We were not made to sit on our hands and wait for Christ to return. He's given us something very important to do and that is to share Him with the world. He desires none to be lost, but all to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That is a pretty tall order and we all must do our part. If we were just to receive Christ and then sit around waiting for Him to come back, we might as well just die and go to heaven. There's nothing left for us to do. But that's not how He planned it, and we need to be obedient to His calling on our lives.

Last night, I was at my library's book club (yes, I'm a book club geek;-) We were discussing Lying Awake by Mark Salzman. It's about a cloistered nun. I thought it was interesting that in the discussion, a non-believer said that he thought it was very selfish of her to spend so much time in silence and prayer and not share what she had learned with the world or to help people other than the other 11 nuns in her convent. Now, I'm not speaking against cloistered contemplatives; we have learned from the writings of many of them over the years, such as, Teresa of Avila. But God calls very few people to an isolated contemplative life. Although we all should take regular times of prayer and contemplation, we are to live in the world and share what we learn and live with others. Not only do we have this Great Commission, but we have the greatest commandment that we discussed in an earlier post -- love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and the second, love your neighbor as yourself. To do so, we need to be out among people.

So how are we doing with the great commission? Obviously, we love studying the Word, and I, personally, am a lover of silence and solitude. But we can't just sit here with our Bibles all day. We also can't just go about our day in the world without letting people know about Jesus. We have a simple calling, lead people to a saving knowledge of Jesus and teach them how to live an obedient life. As we close out the Gospel of Matthew and studying the life of Jesus, now is a good time to evaluate how we are living our lives. Jesus not only came to save us through His crucifixion and resurrection, but He also is an example of how to live. If a gospel was written about us, what would it say about us in accomplishing the calling God has put on our lives? Maybe it's time for a few contemplative moments.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Matthew gives a very shortened version of Jesus Christ's life after the resurrection. For a broader view of His activities and lessons, read the other three gospels.
  2. Take some time today to list ways that you are living out the Great Commission. How are you doing?
  3. What are some giftings God has given you that you could put to better use to reach people for Him?

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