Summary: God’s call is for every Christian. We have been given the good news of God’s love and forgiveness so that we can share it with everyone we meet.
Matthew 28:19-20 “Go Make Disciples”
It had been an afternoon filled with sledding and enjoying the recent six-inch snowfall for my two sons and their friends. Faye and I decided to help the boys warm up with mugs of hot chocolate. The next time they came in to warm up we presented them with the piping hot mugs. “Hot Chocolate,” they exclaimed. “Can we tell the others?” After a nod of consent, they rushed to the door and announced to the whole world that hot chocolate was available. Our home was filled in minutes.
Jesus has given us much more that hot chocolate. He has given us the forgiveness of sin, God’s love, and a new life. But like having hot chocolate, Jesus does expect us to enthusiastically proclaim the good news with everyone around us.
GOOD NEWS TRAVELS FAST
Recently Sav Mor Pharmacy announced that it was closing. Even before the announcement the rumor mills around town were spreading the news. News travels fast when it is by word of mouth.
John Grisham is one of America’s favorite authors. His first book, A Time to Kill, sold only 5,000 copies and was basically considered a flop. His next book, The Firm received poor reviews and was headed in same direction as A Time to Kill. People started to read the book, though, and they began to tell others how much they enjoyed it. Eventually seven million copies of the book were sold.
Just before Jesus left his disciples, he gave them this great commission. He sent them into the world and told them to make disciples of all nations. The disciples obeyed. They didn’t use fancy advertising campaigns or dynamic praise bands. They simply shared by word of mouth what Jesus had done for them. Within thirty years, the gospel had spread to most of the Roman Empire and beyond.
TEACH BY EXAMPLE
One of the foundation ways that we teach others is by example. Parents are examples to their children. Coaches are examples to their athletes. Teachers are examples to their students. Our leaders are called to be examples to the American people. Whether one agrees with the politics of George Bush or not, one of the things that can be agreed upon is that he has been an example to us in a time of crisis.
It has been said that the proof of Christianity is not a book but a life. The power of Christianity is not a creed but a character and that when you see a life that has been transformed by the grace of God, you see a witness to the resurrection of Jesus.
All Christians teach by example. Yes, we are called to proclaim boldly our faith. We also acknowledge, though, that our actions speak louder than words. Our lives are often the only Gospel that people outside the church ever read.
The call to make disciples is given to all Christians, not just pastors or church leaders. Each and every one of us are challenged not only to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, but also to make disciples.
Disciples are people who are on the same journey. We make disciples when we invite people to walk with us as we follow Jesus, grow in faith, and strive to be faithful servants.
Disciples are life long learners. We make disciples when we invite people to join with us in learning more about God, our world, ourselves, and the teachings of Jesus.
When we seek to be faithful to this great commission and to make disciples we encounter a great challenge. We can lead and make disciples only as far as we have traveled in our walk with Jesus. This limits us, but it also an impetus for further growth in our lives.
Many people struggle with their purpose in life. This is not just the scourge of being a teenager. Many career people question the purpose of their lives, also and whether or not they are following the correct path.
The great commission helps us, at least partially, in our purpose questions. Whatever our vocation, we are called to let our light shine, to bear witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to make disciples of all nations.