I was pleased to have 5 people in Sunday School today! YAY! We could officially begin our Max Lucado study!
My lesson this morning was meant more to give an understanding of the study and to explain the part we would each have to play. I began with a discussion on the Great Commission.
After Jesus died, he appeared to his faithful few. Before ascending to his Father, he gave an order. “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.” This was a big deal, guys! Jesus was telling his disciples to make disciples of ALL nations. Not just the Jews, but everyone. This was new. This was big. This was HUGE.
Acts 1:8 takes it even further. Speaking to the eleven before his ascension, Jesus said “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Did you catch where he told his witnesses to go? Are you familiar with these places? Ever been there? No, neither have I. But that isn’t the point. It is still important to us today.
Jerusalem… that’s where they were. So, Jesus was telling them to witness to their friends and family. The people closest to you. We all have those people. Hopefully witnessing to the people closest to us will be easy. My prayer is that we can all have open conversations with our dearest loved ones about Jesus and salvation.
Judea… surrounding Jerusalem, the people of Judea were their neighbors. These people are our acquaintances. Maybe we know them by name; we definitely know them by face. They are our bank tellers, our fast food servers, our grocery baggers. We see them semi-regularly and probably have a very good rapport with each one. Not as easy to strike up a conversation about our Lord and Savior… but definitely worth the effort.
Samaria… this is where is gets ugly. Samaritans were a hated group. No one would have wanted to be seen on the same side of the street with them, let alone TALK to them. Do we have people like this our lives? People we don’t want to see or be around. Maybe they have wronged us. Maybe there are old grudges between us… too much water under the bridge. First of all, God calls us to forgive. Secondly, Jesus calls us to witness to them. A mighty tall order to say the least. But, if we can open a conversation about our faith with these people, we can do anything!
All the ends of the earth… there is a mighty big world out there. More people than we can even fathom. People who believe differently from us. People who talk differently than us. People who look or act differently from us… Perfect strangers. Can we begin a conversation about Jesus with these people? They are strangers, after all… what do we have to lose?
Outlive Your Life encourages us to step out of our comfort zone and into the Lord’s arena. Accept the Great Commission. Be a witness for Him. That is our ultimate calling. Can you hear the call?