Saturday, September 24, 2016
Then Jesus came to them (the disciples) and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:18-20
These were the last words Jesus spoke before his ascension into heaven. This is Matthew's account of the Great Commission, which is where Jesus gave His disciples their mission. Jesus called them to go and make disciples. He didn't make the great suggestion but the Great Commission. We too are called to make disciples of all nations. We are to go. We are to preach. We are to speak with His authority.
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go...” The word authority in the Greek means power, force, strength, and delegated influence. Jesus has delegated His authority to us for the purpose of making disciples. This does not mean that we need to have forceful personalities, but as we obey the Lord in ministering to others, we do so in His power. And that power is perfected in weakness or dependence upon Him.
We can each become effective witnesses for Christ no matter our personality type. God wants to use us to spread His word and to teach believers how to live the Christian life.
Let us remember that we – like the early disciples – have been commissioned to make new disciples. Let's ask God to make us bold for Him and through Him. He will enable us to make a difference in the lives of those around us. With God all things are possible. He still desires to use vessels of clay like you and me to touch the world.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. John 15:26-27
An effective witness has something persuasive to say that affects the course of a judicial case. We, as witnesses for Christ, have the good news of the gospel to share with those in darkness. But when we share, are we persuasive? I can look back and see times where I was effective in communicating the gospel and times where I was not. I believe that in order for us to successfully testify of the good news, we must have something to give.
It's not enough for us to relate memorized messages to lead people to Christ. We must give from what we've received from the Holy Spirit. The Scripture says that the Spirit of truth will testify to us about Jesus. The Holy Spirit wants to give us a message to share and He wants us to know Jesus intimately. As we spend time with Him, He shows us more of who He us and gives us instruction from His word. When we witness to others from this place, our message will be clothed with power. When we allow the Lord to minister to us from the Bible and from the Spirit of God, we will have something to say to those lost in darkness.
We will be like Peter and John. The religious leaders were in awe of their courage. They determined that Peter and John spoke so boldly because they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). We will also find boldness to preach the gospel by spending time with Jesus. We must have an abiding relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the Three in One). Then we will have power to be persuasive witnesses. Then we will have an effect in people's lives toward their ultimate fate before the Judge of all mankind. We can help win them to Christ for eternity.