“A few days ago,” Stan commented one morning, “I was talking with one of my neighbors about what Jesus said in what is commonly referred to ‘the Great Commission’.”
“Where He said to go into the world, or to ‘all nations,’ and make disciples?” I asked.
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And my neighbor was saying that he didn’t have the time to do that.”
“Oh,” I said, “I can understand that. I know for me it would be hard to get away. Plus it would be expensive to go to the other side of the world. I’m not sure I could afford that. Is that what your neighbor said?”
“Yeah,” Stan replied, “he said he’s very busy with his job, family, and a lot of other things that keep him close to home. He didn’t specifically mention the expense, but I’m sure that’s a factor also.”
“However,” he continued, “I think he’s missing the point of what Jesus said.”
“In what way?” I asked.
“We don’t all have to go to the other side of the world to proclaim the gospel and make disciples.”
“But that’s what Jesus said, isn’t it?” I replied.
“I don’t think so,” Stan said. “It seems to me that Jesus said to go proclaim the gospel and make disciples. And that ‘go’ may mean the other side of the world, but it may also mean the other side of a room, the other side of the street, the other side of town, or all sorts of ‘other sides’.”
Continuing, he added, “it seems that it could also include going to the other side of me.”
“Other side of you?” I said. “How so?”
“Well,” Stan said, “speaking about the person I know best, there are certainly a lot of times in my life when I need to submit to what God wants to do in transforming me into the image of Christ in being a disciple. It’s like going from the side of me that isn’t very disciple-like to the side God has for me in being a disciple.”
“Like in denying yourself, taking up what God has for you to take up, and following Him?” I said.
“That’s it, my friend,” Stan replied with a smile. “It’s going where He has for me to go, wherever that might be. It’s like going to the Great Commission from the ‘great omission’ of not going anywhere!”
Bible verses to consider:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, . . . . Matthew 28:19.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15.
Repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke 24:47.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for those people who were obedient to you in proclaiming the gospel to me so I could accept your free and gracious provision of life with you eternally when it is time. I confess that too often I do not proclaim the gospel and I do not seek to make disciples because I have too many excuses for not doing so. Please forgive me for ignoring what you have for me to do. Please help me in following every step of your lead so I do, in fact, go into the world to proclaim the gospel and make disciples, wherever that “world” may be and whatever it may look like. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you responded to the proclaiming of the gospel so you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence when it is time? If no, why have you not responded? Have you not heard of His free and gracious provision? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in following the “Great Commission” to proclaim the gospel and make disciples wherever that might be? Is it more like the “great omission” in your life? If you sense the need for change so you do proclaim the gospel and make disciples, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?