10/29/16: The Missionary Bug
Matthew chapter 28 gives us a condensed version of what happened after Jesus’ resurrection. Verses 1-15 tell about how an angel reported the news, the women rejoiced at the news, the soldiers reacted negatively to the news, and Jesus Himself ratified the news.
After this recounting of events comes verses 16-20, the last part of the chapter, and the end of the book of Matthew. Here we read what Christians call “the Great Commission.” After seeing Him and taking time to worship Him, the disciples receive their job description directly from Jesus. He tells them to “go… and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things” he had commanded them (Matthew 28:19-20a).
This Great Commission was not intended to be a job just for the 11 disciples. We are all commissioned to do more than just tell people about Jesus and compel them to enter into a relationship with Him. We are to “make disciples.”
The importance of making disciples was driven home to me as I participated in my first overseas missions trip to Kenya and Zambia in Africa. Other members of our team were great at picking people out to witness to and pray with to accept Christ. Some members had evangelistic sermons at the ready. Why was I there? All I do is teach.
Suddenly it became clear. Over the years, I have come to understand my gifting in the body of Christ as a teacher. God allows my brain to work in such a way that I can clearly explain scripture so that others can apply it in practical ways in their lives. And when they live out the Word they’ve come to understand, they are being disciples. That’s my job: to make disciples. Teaching is just as important as witnessing, preaching, and baptizing. I belonged on the team. Wow! I’m a missionary.
What’s your part in the Great Commission? Are you living out your spot on “the team”? Are you making disciples by witnessing, through the preaching of your life, by bringing people to baptism, and/or by teaching them how to “observe all things” Jesus commanded? God graciously used me to exercise my teaching gift and reach out in person to my brothers and sisters nine time zones away. Mosquitoes did not bite me but the missionary bug sure did. I pray God sends a swarm of missionary bugs to bite you too.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Mission Trip Update! After 7 airplane rides going and coming, our American team is home from Africa. I am forever changed. I send my most heartfelt thanks to all who helped through both prayer and finances. More details to come.
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- Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
- Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)
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