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Jesus Commissions His Followers

(Mark 16:14-20; Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:44-49)

Lesson 4 -- third quarter 2005
June 26, 2005

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2005, Christian Light Publications

Probing Your Own Heart

Have you accepted the commission to proclaim the Gospel?

Are you living a life of power?

Building on Some Foundational Concepts

The Gospel is for everyone.

No one on the face of the earth has no need of Jesus. Everyone has sinned, so everyone needs the Saviour. Thus the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be proclaimed to everyone. Nobody should be excluded from its message. Without regard to anything about them, all people must hear the Good News. The Saviour and Sender said so.

The disciples of Jesus are the communicators of the Gospel.

God could have easily established that the angels of heaven would go about the earth preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus. Instead He chose to use those who had accepted to Gospel to communicate the Gospel. A package deal, you could say. Having accepted the privilege of walking in the Way with Him, we are commissioned with the responsibility of promoting it and Him.

Jesus accompanies and empowers His messengers.

While Jesus was here in His flesh, He began to declare the Gospel to the human race. Now He is here in our flesh, continuing to proclaim His message. He is with us, empowering us to live and communicate His life and Gospel!

The complete message must be conveyed.

Jesus expressly commanded us to teach others to "observe all things." That means we must observe these things ourselves. God needs followers who with joy and vigor set themselves to faithfully execute His ways. We cannot faithfully follow the Lord while at the same time putting conditions on obedience. Once we have firmly made the commitment to full obedience to the full Gospel of Jesus, we have the moral authority to teach others to "observe all things."

Questions and Responses

What makes this lesson truly practical for me?

When the Lord passed off His "baton" to the Apostles and other disciples, they seized it and took off. Full speed ahead. This was a race -- against time and the devil for men's souls. This was a race -- a race that demanded runners, not joggers, not walkers, not couch potatoes. Any other attitude and any other speed translated into minimizing what Jesus began.

And so it has been down through the ages. As one batch of runners expended their time, energy and resources -- their lives -- they carefully and faithfully passed off the baton. The new runners, with fresh time, energy, resources and life, blazed off toward the goal. On and on they ran, compelled to finish what Jesus began.

But not everybody has been faithful. For some, their hands were too close to full with the things of this life and...they fumbled the baton. For others, careless living consumed critical amounts of energy, time, resources and life and...they lagged further and further behind. For yet others, their distracted eyes missed the critical "pass off" time, or their earthly-overtaxed hearts succumbed, or their out-of-step stride upset the rhythm and...right, you got it.

Now it is your turn! Will you be faithful or careless? Where is the baton? Are you training? Remember, Jesus began and He is counting on you to carry the message and the life forward. The ribbon across the track is in sight. This isn't the time to relax and slack off, it is the time to give the home stretch everything we've got! Jesus began; will your generation get to finish?

What do I do if I don't have the motivation for reaching the lost?

First off, ask God for His perspective on the needs of humanity. We must lay our hearts before Him so that He can break us with those things which break His heart. We should ask the Lord to constrain us, compel us, drive us with His love.

Second, increase your exposure to God. Most of us are simply too lazy in Bible study, meditation, and prayer. How else shall we know the mind and heart of the Lord?!

Third, expose yourself to those who are aflame with the Gospel of the Kingdom. Find opportunities to listen to front-line missionaries. Read missionary biographies. This will broaden your perspective with the life views and values which drive those who have what you yet lack.

Fourth, work toward living in genuine simplicity. If you are truly a heavenly ambassador and an earthly stranger and pilgrim, lay up treasures in heaven instead of on earth. Loving the material things and comforts of this world will surely dull your spiritual sensitivities.

Fifth, GO! Obedience is first; feelings and zeal will surely come after. Seeing needy people first hand and up close can contribute greatly to giving you a loving sense of urgency about their condition.

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