10 Jan A Harmonious Calling
God has shown us the greatest love ever known by sending His son Jesus Christ to take the punishment for our sins. As if the substitutional death of Christ wasn’t enough, our Father in Heaven invites us as His children to take part in The Great Commission. Matthew 28:18-20 says, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
There are four important reasons why we go and make disciples of all nations. First, we make disciples cross-culturally because Jesus tells us to. Remember that He has all authority in Heaven and on earth. We pray for and give to assist in the sending of those who go. Or, if we are called, we go to the nations leaving the physical and emotional comforts of our culture behind. Both are acts of obedience to make His name famous to the nations. Second, we go or send because He is worthy. In response to what He has done for us while we were still sinners, we respond obediently and with glad hearts to His command. Third, we follow this command because there is so much need around the world. The word tells us that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. According to the Joshua Project, over forty percent of the global population has yet to hear the Gospel. Finally, we go because many parts of the world have been infiltrated by western and indigenous cults, as well as the heresy of the prosperity gospel. With millions of people being deceived by false religions, gods, and teachers, who will go and be the light of Christ in all this darkness? Who will assist those who are called to physically go? Sadly, far too many Christians today are not obeying God in this calling when eternity is at stake for so many people around the world. Let Christ’s people never forget that following Jesus is about more than hanging out in a building on Sunday mornings for ninety minutes to hear some songs and someone speak. Of course going to church and corporately worshiping are important, but He calls us to so much more than passive spectating! We must tell others the good news on a global scale.
How do we fulfill the difficult task to which Christ has called us? In our own strength, it’s impossible! Part of the commission says that “Christ is with us to the end of the age.” It is only in keeping our eyes on Christ and what He has done that we can live missional lives. He imparts His strength upon us to fulfill what we could never fulfill in our own strength. It is by His strength that we either physically go, or assist in sending others.
There have to be both goers and senders for obedience to the global commission to be lived out. We cannot have goers without the senders offering the crucial prayer and finances needed for the body of Christ to live out The Great Commission. As Christ’s servants, we can’t fulfill this beautiful commitment without the involvement of both parties. The goers would be significantly handicapped without the prayer and financial support of their brethren; and the senders can’t “send” without those who will answer the call to physically go. What a harmonious and complimentary calling we have as the body of Christ! Pastor and author John Piper says, “There are only three kinds of Christians when it comes to world missions: zealous goers, zealous senders, and disobedient. May God deliver us from disobedience!” I wonder how many Christians are telling God, “No,” and giving the reason that global missions “isn’t their calling,” when this command is for everyone who knows Christ.
Spend some time in prayer in the coming days, weeks, and months to discover how you can apply this commandment from our Savior. Ask Him to give you perfect peace and clear understanding; whether you are called to go or to help send another. After prayer, if you feel the calling to leave your culture for a new one to teach others to obey the commands of Christ, earnestly seek Him on where He’d have you go. If, after prayer, if you feel called to help send a missionary (or missionaries) into the field, earnestly seek Him about whom He would have you send, whether through prayer and/or financial gifts. Either way, let us as Christians hear the words of Matthew, “Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matt 9:38), and be quick to obey them. There is nothing sweeter in this momentary life than obedience to Jesus. He has all authority to tell us to go or to send. Any sacrifice we make, or any affliction we face for the sake of His name will be neither wasted nor regretted. He is worthy, He is our treasure – now and forever.
Quote from the article titled “Driving Convictions Behind Foreign Missions” By John Piper, Desiring God 1996