The Great Promise

My calling is the Great Commission. It’s why I am here, and why you are here, too. God made us to go and grow with Him, and to share the love He so extravagantly poured out for us.

As Christians, we know that the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 are our marching orders. Yet, so many of our feet are stuck to the ground, motionless and unsure. In our hearts we want to be on mission for Jesus. We want the world to know Him! But, we don’t know where to begin. Go where? Make disciples how? Teach what? The harvest is tremendous, and sometimes it’s overwhelming to be called to something so far beyond our capabilities.

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” As God has emblazoned His calling and commission on our hearts, He works in ways that we can’t take credit for so that we give Him ALL the glory!! God wants us to step out with Him in faith to the fields white unto harvest, knowing that we can’t do this on our own and must fully rely on Him.

Every command in God’s Word is also a promise. As God calls and commands, He promises. So, when Jesus commands us to GO — He is there guiding, sending, leading, making a way. When He commands us to “make disciples of all nations” — He is there moving hearts, giving us His Words of life, doing miracles, drawing all men to Himself. When He commands us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit — He is there witnessing from Heaven and receiving our worship. When He commands us to “teach them to observe all that He commanded” — He is there teaching us, laying out His truth that will not return void, imprinting His Word in hearts and compelling us all to action. And, when Jesus ends this all-consuming, life-changing command with the promise that Jesus HIMSELF is with us always — HE MEANS IT.

This is our calling — this is why we were made — to Go and Grow and give glory to our Savior!

So, when we wake up each morning, it’s an opportunity to go, to share Jesus with our words and with our actions, to let the Gospel overflow our hearts. Let’s start each day asking God to lead us right where we need to be, to give us the words to share that will speak to each person’s heart, to show us how to love people the way Jesus loves them. Pray that God would push us through the doors He’s opened to boldly proclaim the Good News, and invite people to respond. Today, let’s ask God for the opportunities to reach into people’s lives here, and the uttermost places on the earth.

We can “go, therefore” because these verses in Matthew are not only our commission, they are His promise.

Journey to the Manger: Wise Men and Herod

Jackson works on his Journey to the Manger color by number of the Wise Men.

Jackson works on his Journey to the Manger color by number of the Wise Men.

Today, we went with the Wise Men to talk with King Herod on our Journey to the Manger.

When the Wise Men arrived in Judea, they went to the epicenter of the Jewish religion: Jerusalem. There they had an encounter with King Herod, who apparently did not know the King of the Jews had been born, and was not excited about the news. Herod inquired of the Jewish scribes, who told him Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah.

In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall become a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”

– Matthew 2:5-6

Wise Men talk with Herod

Wise Men talk with Herod

The Wise Men had followed the leading of God Almighty to make their trek across the desert to see the newborn King. The Star God had placed in the sky served as their compass. They trusted God’s divine guidance to bring them into the Son of God’s presence. So when King Herod tried to pull a fast one on them and trick them into giving over the child’s location to end the threat to his reign, the Wise Men trusted God again. Warned in a dream given by God, the Wise Men returned home another way. The Magi proved they truly were wise by following God’s word above human authority.

Wisdom was desperately needed in the time Jesus entered as a baby, and in our day, too. Wisdom can only be found in God, in listening for His voice and following His command. The Wise Men understood that a God who could shape and create the stars deserved their attention and worship. God is worthy of our trust and our obedience.

 

Click here to learn more about celebrating Advent with your family this Christmas, including access to a Scripture plan, free downloads and activity ideas. For more on Journey to the Manger, an advent experience from Focus on the Family, visit the Thriving Family website.