Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Missions, Salvation

The Great Compelling

photo credit: Trevor Butcher – Artist <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/27888428@N00/15765141041″>Jesus Cross</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

The Great Commission…

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20 KJV).”

What is my reaction, my response?

Am I compelled to obey by a sense of compassion and urgency?

Has the Great Commission of Jesus become the great compelling need?

“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (Luke 14:23 KJV).”

Christ followers are commissioned, called to go, to share the gospel.

I can’t help but notice the opening and close of the Great Commission.

It opens with “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18 KJV).”

The passage closes with “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Amen (Matthew 28:20 KJV).”

Jesus is the authority behind the commission. He provides His presence and power to carry it out.

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, The Church

Ready-Set-Go!

 

CROPPED NOVEMBER 2012 PROFILE PICTURE

Dressed in running clothes and gym shoes, the hopeful squat at the starting line, prepared to run. Hearts racing, listening acutely, they wait for the command.

 “Get ready, get set…  Go!”

 Before Jesus ascended back to His Father, He gave commands, not pep talks, to His disciples.

“The 11 disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Then Jesus came near and said to them, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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 everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:16-20 HCS).”

Jesus had been readying them each step along the way. Through His teaching, preaching and healing miracles they learned the ways of ministry and outreach. Sent out by Him on two-by-two mission assignments, they discovered the necessity of going empowered by Him.  Were they all set to proceed?

“While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. ‘This [He said, is what] you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now (Acts 1:4-5 HCS).”

Set, they waited and watched… “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8 HCS).”  Ready and set they waited on the Lord…

Preparation, presence, provision and power fell upon them. “When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech (Acts 2:1-4 HCS).” Peter and the others were at the starting line.

“Go!”    

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Timid Timothy

CROPPED NOVEMBER 2012 PROFILE PICTURE

He hangs his head as he meets people in the marketplace. He avoids eye contact when speaking, has sweaty palms and shakes uncontrollably. She blushes easily, is uncomfortable in a crowd and avoids church fellowships.  Recognize these symptoms of timidity? There once was a man named Timothy…

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, (2 Timothy 1:6-8a KJV).”

Paul had ordained Timothy; he felt confident Timothy would serve His Lord faithfully. Yet, he sensed Timothy needed a booster shot to ward off timidity. He need not fear rejection of his listeners. He preached Jesus crucified, buried and resurrected and did do in response to Christ’s great commission. (Matthew 28: 18-20) Tenacious, I resist my tendency to be as timid Timothy!