I Am With You

The Great Commission #6

Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Matthew 28:18-20 (WEB)

Over the course of this week, we have taken a good look at the Great Commission found in Matthew’s Gospel. I hope that you now appreciate (if you did not before) that it goes beyond simply sharing our faith – although that is clearly part of it.

In summary, Jesus tells His Eleven – and by extension, us as well – that they are to go, to make disciples, to baptise and to teach people to obey Him. We have explored each of these in turn, and I now ask you to reflect on how you can contribute to fulfilling each element.

I hope you agree that this is no small task! If you are feeling a little daunted by the idea of trying to fulfil this Commission, then you are not alone.

The first thing to remember is that God will never ask you to do anything that you cannot do. He would be unjust to do so. God is neither unreasonable nor sadistic, enjoying watching us struggle. Instead, God never lets us go through things we cannot bear.

No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (WEB)

Paul, talking of temptation here, points out that God does not allow any temptation beyond that which we can bear. He will provide a way of escape so that no temptation will overcome us.

In a similar way, I believe God will not lay a command us on that we cannot do. He equips us with all we need to succeed, be it gifts, talents, resources or indeed His very own Spirit.

#God equips us with everything we need to succeed. #Bible #Christianity #temptation

It is also important to remember that we are not expected to fulfil this task all on our own. We may have individual responsibilities yes, but it is not on any one person to complete this great work solo. We work together, as a family of believers, and united as the Church of God, we can complete the mission before us.

For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (WEB)

We, the church, are one body. We are made up of different parts, but all exist together as one, and only by co-operating can we hope to fulfil the Great Commission. I may be able to write (to some extent) but I surely cannot sing! What if someone is to be reached with a tuneful rendition of a biblical song? You will not be able to call on me to do this! Instead, you will need a different part of the body.

The truth is that you cannot do everything, but you can do something. God has purposely made us all different, and so each of us can bring our unique gifts, talents and experiences to bear. I cannot do it all, and neither can you, but together we can do a whole lot more.

I am with you

Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Matthew 28:20b (WEB)

Not only do we have one another’s help and support, we have Jesus’ too. Here, He tells us plainly that He is with us and will remain that way.

When we “go” in faith, stepping out to make disciples, baptise and teach, we do so with the Lord Himself. One of the keys to success is not trying to do this in our own strength, but in His. No one comes to the Father except through Christ Himself (John 14:6) so attempting to do this without Him is fruitless.

I recall a time when my wife and I had to move some furniture in our home. One of our children, who were rather young at the time, tried to help us. Their little amount of strength was insufficient to move the item, but with their father’s help, the job was completed.

Trying to fulfil the Great Commission without the strength and power of the Lord is like a little child trying to pick up and move a bed. It cannot be done.

I am reminded of Jesus’ words from earlier in Matthew’s Gospel:

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:29 (WEB)

A yoke combines the power of two or more oxen, so that the plough is more easily moved and the work done. If you only put one ox in the yoke, it will be lopsided and likely move in circles. Jesus asks us to link up with Him, and together the task will be completed.

Do not go it alone, but go out with Christ. He has promised to be with you, and only by working with Him can you extend His kingdom and share the Good News with the world. It is a great mystery that God chooses to involve us in His plans, yet I rejoice in that mystery and in being a part of that family.

I leave you with this thought; in heaven, you will be able to pray, to worship, to study Scripture, to fellowship with God and His people, but the one thing you cannot do is fulfil the Great Commission. Let this spur you on, united with the church, and in the power of the Spirit. Let us go out, make disciples, baptise and teach, knowing that Jesus is with us. Amen!

What will you do?

Ask yourselves these questions today:

  • What comfort do you gain from knowing Christ is with you?
  • How can you practically draw on His strength more?
  • Having read this series of posts, what three things can you do now to participate in this great mission?

6 thoughts on “I Am With You

  1. Your posts have been timely in more ways than one Andy. Yesterday I received in the post 2 books sent to me as part of the Bonhoeffer Course I am starting at the end of February. It’s a 10 week course on discipleship. The one book by Bill Hull is titled “Conversion & Discipleship; you can’t have one without the other”. I’m interested to read this book which is designed to provoke some thought and discussion ready for the teaching sessions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andy, thank you for encouraging us with the Word. It’s so comforting to know HE is with us~and may we be vessels of love, no matter how big or small we are, in our commission to share the goodness!

    Liked by 1 person

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