And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying,
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20
These are the last words spoken by Jesus to the disciples in the gospel of 1 John. I think we need to look closely at what is known as the ‘great commission.’ We are called to make disciples of new believers which takes time and gets messy. All fishermen know after the catch comes the less fun part of cleaning the fish if they are to be of any value to them. The same is true when we lead people to Christ, and those we are called to disciple. These are first and foremost your children and your family. When I made Christ the Lord of my life the first person I went after was my younger sister. Then my father and the whole family. When I became a mother it was, and still is my children, and now grandchildren that take prominence in my life. We are all called to full time ministry. For most of us we don’t get a title or pay. We are called to feed the flock of God among us He has placed in our lives living everyday ordinary lives. It is the one on one relationships that take time and have ups and downs, but we stay faithful to do what we are called to do which is to make disciples including baptizing and teaching obedience to the Word of God. It alone has the power to change all of us. But more importantly than that it has the power to restore us back to the God who created us to have fellowship with Him, to know Him intimately, and be loved by Him affectionately in the secret place, alone with our Lord.
When you know the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit intimately, which we are all called to, you cannot help but share what you have received in the "secret place" alone with the Word and your journal.I am a huge advocate for journaling what the Lord speaks to you. I learned it from scripture. What if David had not written down the Psalms? The Psalms are David’s journal! I often tell my children the most valuable thing I will leave behind is my journals consisting of the revelations He has given me. He is constantly revealing to His own how much he loves them as I try to with my own children and grandchildren. His love always turns outward to others in contrast to the natural man which always turns inward to self.
The greatest joy in my life is sharing what I have so freely received in His Presence. When Jesus sent out the disciples we read in Matthew 10:7-8:
And as you go, preach, saying,
"The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, now freely give."
When we allow ourselves to be filled with His love, it will spill out on others. It doesn’t have to be taught; it happens naturally and is without pretension. When it is a religious act people know the difference. Rather than bringing life, it brings legalism and dead works and produces self righteousness. Let us heed these powerful scriptures in John 5:39-44:
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me, and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men, but I know that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me, if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?"
We know we are of God the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit when our motives are simply out of our love for God Himselfconsisting of the Triune. We do not seek our own glory, we seek to glorify the only One who is worthy. His love enables us to fill ourselves with Him that we might be emptied out of seeking glory from any man for ourselves. Jesus is the Lifegiver, and as we give ourselves to Him we gain a happiness beyond words in sharing what we have freely received from Him. I recently experienced this with a friend whom I have discipled for over two years who had been in church all his life, very busy doing dead works. There were generational pastors in his family, and yet he had no personal relationship with our Lord. While praying together and seeking the Lord earnestly the Holy Spirit revealed true salvation to him. He was delivered from a religious spirit, and was re-baptised this time from the heart to please God, and not a religious ritual. God is judging our motives, not our external behaviour. He judges the motives of the heart as no one else can. He can also set us free from doctrines of demons rampant in the churches right now as we were often warned about in scripture. How easy it is to fall into a religious spirit if we do not get alone with the Lord in the secret place where there is only room for you and Him. You must spend more intimate time with Him than anyone else in your life if you want to worship in Spirit and in Truth, and live without error and deception.
Truly there is no greater joy in life than watching people you love and disciple begin to bear fruit and mature in their walk with the Lord as I experienced this past week. We cannot freely give what we ourselves have not freely received. It is receiving what Jesus promised the disciples before the ascension. He wants to be our Teacher through the Holy Spirit we now can have living inside us. He told us it was better for Him to go away for that reason. In John 16:7 Jesus declares:
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you."
1 John 2:27 proclaims:
"As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you, but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him."
What a blessed time to be alive in history on this side of the cross. We were all called to be priests when the curtain was torn into! We need time alone with the Godhead much more than we need time with each other. We have it backward in the church. May we all wake up to the realization that He desires each one of us as individuals. No one can take your place in the heart of God. We are each significantly loved and He longs to love you intimately alone. Then we can have true fellowship when we assemble together, not seeking glory or fulfilment from one another, but seeking to glorify Him in one another’s lives as we share His love and goodness. Only then will the lost want what we have, because we all are looking for the filling of the void in each of our lives we were born with that can only be fulfilled by the One who created us and is perfect love. And remember He is with us always, even to the end of the age.
In his love.
Yesterday I participated in one of the most difficult events I have ever done. First time 25k run added onto the Quest for the Crest on Mt Mitchell which boast highest peak east of the Mississippi River. I stepped out in faith with an ankle injury that should have made it impossible to successfully finish 17 miles of extremely challenging ascent and descent of this beast! Once again my Father proved Himself faithful and true to His "wild child," and enabled me to do the impossible once again. As I was given a remarkable strong finish I thought my heart might explode with gratitude for such grace and goodness in my life when I am so aware of how undeserving I am! He will do the same for you if you allow Him too!