What Does The Great Commission Mean For You?
As believers we have all been tasked by Christ to fulfill The Great Commission. This call to intentionally go out and make disciples can be found in Matthew 28:16-20. We learn in verses 19-20 that we are supposed to “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” (ESV). The first step of this commission is to understand that our call is to “all nations” which means to proclaim truth wherever we go and with whomever we are around. Paul helps to clear this commission up in Acts 1 when he speaks of what we are to do once we receive the Holy Spirit. Paul writes in verse 8 that Christ challenged His disciples when He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”. With this in mind what does The Great Commission look like in your life?
I want to preface this with saying that the root of our commissioning is to show Christ to “all nations” regardless of where we are at—home or abroad! With that truth as the foundation lets move into what Christ tells his disciples in Acts 1. He tells them to be His witness in Jerusalem (their immediate home), Judea (their surrounding area), Samaria (the people and places a little bit further out), and to the end of the earth (the people who will not hear unless someone goes out to them). Throughout the growth of the church in Acts Paul tells us that all four of these areas are reached, so as Christians we win right? Sadly not because the world we currently live in is just as lost as it was when Christ gave this task to His disciples. This means that we must evaluate our lives to find out what we can do to get truth to our Jerusalem’s, Judea’s, Samaria’s, and end of the earth.
What is your Jerusalem? What do you consider your immediate home? You need to start with proclaiming truth to the people inside of your innermost sphere of influence. This would be your family and whoever you chose to let that consist of—your mother, father, sister, brother, best friends, etc. Take time to figure out what your Jerusalem looks like and who it consist of. Once you have done this think about how you are showing Christ to them. Are you doing a good job? What could you do to better yourself as a Christ-like example to them? When you are confident in the work being done to those in your “Jerusalem” you can move on to your “Judea”.
What is your Judea? This area of your life will consist of people in the next ring of your sphere of influence. The people who you have regular contact with natural proximity—people like classmates, coworkers, teammates, neighbors, etc. It is your job to be an example of Christ to them as well. Are you boldly proclaiming truth to your classmates, coworker, and other people you have regular interactions with? In what ways could you strengthen your witness to them? You get to see these people everyday, and they pick up on the little things so make sure you take advantage of opportunities when they arise!
We will dive into what our Samaria and end of the earth look like in the next post! I hope you take time to really analyze the work God is trying to do through you in your Jerusalem and Judea. Be intentional with how you use your witness to those closest to you!
Boldly Proclaiming Christ in Difficult Times
While preparing for this blog post I was also trying to figure out what topic to use for our Wednesday night bible studies that are starting back at The Church In The Valley. I went down a long rabbit hole while thinking of things that I thought would have been useful to me when I was in middle school and high school. The root of just about all of my struggles throughout those seven years was the same thing—low self-esteem. Between the ages of twelve and eighteen I didn’t have much to hold on to in regards to creating my own identity, or at least that is what I had convinced myself. I didn’t realize until years later while reflecting on that time of my life that during most of that time I had the greatest identity someone can have, I was a Christ follower! This brought to light my obvious struggle of trying to be the hero of my own movie, when it was actually a supporting role I was meant to play.
The middle and high school years of your life are a difficult time for anyone. Attempting to overcome the obstacles you face during that phase of your life alone is the most ridiculous thing you can do—especially as a believer. We have a heavenly Father who wants nothing but the best for us when are a part of His family. One of the things He asks for in return is that we boldly proclaim Him in our day-to-day lives. Of course this is usually easier said than done, I mean even Peter caved to the crowds when asked if he was a follower of Christ moments before Christ was crucified. (Luke 22:54-62)
However, standing up for Christ is one of the most influential ways we can make a difference in the lives of those around us. Being willing to place our identity in His sacrifice and becoming accepting of what that makes you is the most freeing experience someone can have. Our heavenly Father has a love for us that is so deep and perfect that it is called unconditional, unending, and unexplainable! Rather than trying to take on the world ourselves we should lean into this love and embrace it for what it is. God’s love for us is what gives us true identity. Through God’s love Christ was sent to be our sacrifice so that our identity could be found in Him and not in the world. Keep this in mind when you are faced with difficult times during middle school, high school, or frankly any phase of life.
I think that Timothy explains it best in 2 Timothy 2:11-13 “The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.” Be willing to boldly proclaim Christ in your life because if we are persecuted even to death, we will live with Him. Be willing to boldly proclaim Christ in your life because when we endure through the hardships life throws our way, we will reign with Him. Be willing to boldly proclaim Christ in your life because even when we have a lapse in faithfulness, He remains faithful. Pray that you will have the courage to boldly proclaim Christ in all the difficult times of your life!