December 22, 2022 — You want me to go where and do what?

“I’ve been making my way through Mark’s gospel again, verse by verse,” Stan commented. This morning I was in the sixteenth chapter and was reminded about something a friend pointed out to me some time ago.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“The importance of reading the whole Bible,” Stan replied. “I’m near the end of Mark’s gospel and there’s something Jesus said, that if I stopped reading there, I would miss out on something that strikes me as being really important.”

“What were you looking at?”

“Where Mark records Jesus telling the disciples to go into all of the world and preach the gospel.”

“Seems pretty straightforward to me,” I replied. “Go and preach.”

“Yeah,” Stan said. “But it’s not the whole story.”

“Why not?”

“When I look at Matthew’s gospel about what Jesus said,” Stan replied, “I see an important difference.”


“Jesus said to go and make disciples of all the nations.”

“And that’s not the same thing as preaching the gospel?” I asked.

“I don’t think so,” Stan replied. “Of course the gospel has to be preached so people can know the truth and how to come to faith, but that’s only the beginning.”

“Beginning of what?”

“Becoming a disciple,” Stan replied. “I realize,” he continued, “that there are a lot of people who equate being a Christian with being a disciple, but it seems to me that it’s not that simple. If it were, why would Jesus have said to ‘go and make’? Wouldn’t ‘go and preach’ have taken care of it?”

“I see what you mean,” I said, “about the importance of reading and knowing the whole Bible. Otherwise something might be missed.”

“Might be?” Stan asked.


Bible verses to consider:

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Mathew 28:19-20.

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.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. James 2:26.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of Jesus so that all who believe can spend eternity in your presence when it’s time. Thank you, too, that you want me to work out the salvation that was worked in by the cross of Christ, and that such working involves being a disciple. I confess that too often I don’t deny myself, I don’t take up what you have for me to take up, and I don’t follow as you intend. As a result, I do not preach the gospel and I do not make disciples as you intend. Please forgive that foolishness. Help me to follow every step of your lead, just as you intend. 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 preaching of the gospel so you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence when it’s time? If no, why is that? What’s in the way? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how have you responded to the call to be a disciple who is working out the salvation that has been worked in by the cross of Christ? If you sense the need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

One thought on “December 22, 2022 — You want me to go where and do what?”

  1. We can either feel pressured, intimidated or excited about this aspect of what God informs about making disciples.

    Some thoughts I have:

    It seems to me that without intentional discipleship of those who choose to surrender to a life centered in Jesus, the Great Commission will never be fulfilled!

    I understand reading in Hebrews that without faith it is impossible to please God. Along with knowledge of God’s word, It also requires faith in Him that inspires me to reach out to others and disciple those who choose to receive Christ as Savior and Lord.

    It causes me to realize that my level of faith in Him and His word, is congruent with my level of engagement to practice His word in this life He has given me.

    The more I practice and apply His word the stronger my faith becomes in Him to do His will with greater dependence on His strength to fulfill His will in and through me for His glory and honor.

    Practicing surrender to Him and His ways increases desire toward obedience, rather than a mindset of sacrifice.


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