The Great Commission is one of the most familiar texts in the scriptures. In a certain way it is close to the heart of any sincere Christian yet it appears to be distant to the actual experience of many!
Should these words of Jesus significantly shape the life of every faithful Christian in a practical, everyday way, or are they only for a few “called” servants of God?
Who are the called? Do we need to be radically counter-cultural to heed the call? Must we "sell all" to be a true follower of Jesus? Can we be faithful to the call while selling cars, repairing cameras, or milking cows in Kansas City, Kalamazoo, or Kidron? Do we need to be translating, teaching, or trekking in the jungles?
Here's some points to consider, and then we'll get to the bottom line.
The Kingdom of God encompasses every legitimate calling in life. Some will go, others will give; one will preach, another will pray; still others will equip those who evangelize. The most spiritual thing any of us can ever do, is to do what God sets before us in any given moment.
There will be the rich and the poor; the simple and the sophisticated; men and women; world travelers and homebodies. The faithful include the "talker" and the timid; the handsome and the homely; the thinker and the doer.
The service of some will be recorded in books of history. Others will be recognized only by Jesus.
The bottom line is not who we are, where we are, or what we do. It is whether or not our heart is captured by the desire to serve Jesus as the person He made us to be, in the place and the way He has called and equipped us.
Here's some questions to ask ourselves:
- Is my life deliberately and significantly shaped by the mandate of the Great Commission?
- Am I doing all that God has called and equipped me to do, whether it be praying, going, giving, teaching, encouraging or - - - - ?
- Am I willing to do more, including "selling all", if He calls me to?
If we can answer "yes" to those questions, we are faithful to the call of Jesus in the Great Commission. If we cannot, we need to search our hearts carefully. Have we misunderstood the call and how it relates to everyday Christians in real life? Or have we heard the call but squelched it because of our love for the vanities of this world?
Either way, let's deal with it and move together as God's people to take the Good News to our "neighbor". He may be in the mansion next door or in a hut on the other side of the world.