“Therefore, go… make disciples”

Posted Apr 13, 2019

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Daily Scripture

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. 18 Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”

Reflection Questions

The disciples made their way to the rendezvous point in Galilee. Understanding more fully who Jesus was after his resurrection, the eleven disciples probably worshiped him with more depth than ever before. “Some doubted” likely means some were still stunned, even dumbfounded that they found themselves with Jesus—a once-dead, now alive, risen Savior. He told his disciples to “go,” which is probably better translated as you are going. As you go about the daily rhythms in your ordinary life, the Savior said, prioritize the mission of disciple making. And as you do, realize the comforting presence of Jesus is with you every day.

  • To “make disciples” is to guide people to accept the claims of Christ. “Baptizing” and “teaching” are important aspects of being a disciple, but not necessarily the means to make disciples. People become disciples by coming into the community of believers and submitting to Christ as the Lord of their life. Teaching disciples means leading them toward a life of obedience to Jesus, not just intellectually teaching doctrine.* Jesus said “go.” How’s your “going,” anyway? Would you say that Christ is the Lord of your life? In what ways is your Lord leading you to make disciple-making a priority?

Respond

Explore. We are called to make disciples and we might all go about doing this in a different way. Consider how God might have uniquely gifted you to share. Take a spiritual gifts assessment online. Explore how God might be calling you use your gift to share about your faith.

  • My Spiritual Gift(s): How have I used this gift?
  • How might God be calling me to use this gift?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to glorify you with my faithful commitment to make disciples. Help me remember that you are always present with me as I live out your commission. Amen.

Family Activity

How can your family find ways to share the continuous Good News that “Jesus is alive”? Gather together and invite each person to share how he or she experiences the joy and love of Jesus in their life. Ask, “How do you know Jesus loves you? Or “When do you feel the love of Jesus in your heart?” Write these thoughts down, then create a list of people who might need to experience the love of Jesus. Choose one or two ways to share Jesus’ love with others. You might share kind and encouraging words or bake cookies. Maybe you want to share a song or a Scripture passage. Celebrate and share the good news of Jesus’ love all year long!


* NIV Bible Commentary Volume 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994, page 134.

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Dave Pullin

Dave Pullin

Through his life, Dave has learned that the person is more important than the task and that the process is just as important as the product. The way we do things, and the way we treat others, is vital.

I recently viewed an interview with Simon Sinek on leadership * in which he asked the interviewer, “Do you love your wife?” The interviewer responded that he did. Sinek then asked for proof: “What is the metric you use that proves you love your wife? Tell me the exact day you went from not loving your wife to loving your wife.” Of course the interviewer couldn’t provide the metric because there really isn’t a metric that proves love in the same way there is a metric that proves gross revenues and percent increase in market share. 

Sinek’s point was that the love between the interviewer and his wife developed over time due to the consistent repetition of small, seemingly insignificant acts of love. He then likened it to going to the gym: 3 hours at the gym one day a year won’t really do anything, but 30 minutes a day at the gym for 6 weeks will do quite a lot. When it comes to things like love, exercise and leadership, Sinek states that intensity means nothing, yet consistency means everything.  

I wonder if that principle applies to living out our faith, which is what I feel this Scripture, and honestly all of the spiritual practices we’ve been exploring, are about. What we practice, grows stronger. When we consistently practice loving acts to our spouse, children, and friends, our relationships grow stronger. When we consistently practice ethical and servant leadership at work, our employees become more loyal, more engaged and more effective. When we consistently practice the small and daily acts of giving thanks, studying Scripture, practicing justice and kindness, and living generously, we become a living example of what it means to be Christian (bearing witness).

Sometimes I think the word Christian has lost some of its meaning. It seems to be referred to as a club or status, or something. But it means so much more than that. The suffix -Ian actually has several meanings:

  •     Typical of or resembling of
  •     Adhering to or following
  •     Belonging or relating to

So when we apply that suffix and describe ourselves as Christ-ian, we reveal our intention to resemble, follow, and belong to Christ. But living as a Christian, just like loving your spouse or going to the gym, is not done through short, intermittent bursts of intensity. Living as a Christian, or living like Christ, sees greater transformation when done with a consistent dedication to the small behaviors. And those behaviors, over time, begin to shape and transform. It begins with us first, then those immediately around us like our family and coworkers, then it will continue to their networks of people and beyond.  

What we practice grows stronger. When we practice our faith consistently, it affects our behavior and has a positive impact on those around us, eventually trickling down to places and people we will never know. And these practices are really the practices of love in disguise. When we love God and love others, that is what I feel it means to be a witness.

* Sinek, S. (2019). This Talk Will Make You Rethink Your Entire Life. Inspire Discipline. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/SSQ536KTRxc

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