Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20
"I'll be looking for you in heaven, every one of you. Please do not let me down." My grandfather, who was a pastor for many years, preached these words at a church one Sunday morning from a sermon entitled "Homecoming to Heaven." In this sermon, my grandfather talked about heaven. He dreamed about what it would be like and who he would see in heaven. As he finished his sermon, he urged those listening to him to turn to God and commit their lives to Him. He ended the sermon by saying "I'll be looking for you in heaven, every one of you. Please do not let me down." Years later, this sermon, "Homecoming to Heaven," was read at his funeral. Because of his faithfulness to God, even after his death, my grandfather's message and call for people to turn to God continued to be shared. He understood that his calling in life was to share the good news of Christ, and he did not shy away from this calling.
My grandfather was not the only one to have this calling to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:19-20 ensures us that sharing God's message of salvation is the calling of every believer. In these verses, Jesus calls His followers to make disciples, teach them, and baptize them. This is our calling, and this calling gives us a sense of purpose. When we are not living out this calling, we may often feel a gap, dwelling on where we thought our lives would be and where they actually are today. This gap can cause us to feel discouraged and disappointed with our lives. As we consider this gap, we must ask ourselves "What will be the communication of our lives?" When we lean into our calling and make our life's mission to share God's message with others, the gap we feel will begin to close because we are fulfilling our purpose.
My grandfather's message and lifestyle of sharing his faith have had a profound impact on me. I was in middle school when he passed away and, after his funeral, I went back to my school and read his sermon, "Homecoming to Heaven," to my classmates as a devotion one morning. My grandfather taught me the importance of sharing about heaven with those around me. Let's commit to letting out faith be the message of our lives. When the good news of Christ is the message of our lives, our message will outlast our very lives, much like my grandfather's message.
What is the message of your life? If it is not the good news of Christ, will you make that good news your life's message? In order for that to be our life's message, we must spend time around people who need to hear that message. Do you know someone who needs to hear that message? If so, share it with them today. If not, how can you re-orient your life so that you spend time around people who are far from God? Perhaps you can begin to have conversations with other parents at your child's soccer practice, get to know other members of your gym and strike up meaningful conversations with them, or have a consistent weekly or bi-weekly lunch with a coworker who does not know Christ. Whatever you decide, commit to spending time with those who do not know Christ and pray for them every day.
Read Matthew 28:1-20 (NLT)
Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”
As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.
Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
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