Friday – December 23, 2016
Read: Matthew 28:18-20
Focus: vs 19
“Therefore, go and make disciples. . .”
When I was a young Christian, I wanted to be a foreign missionary because I wanted to go and tell others what a wonderful gift I had found in Christ. I thought that the only way to do this was to go away from a life of ease and favor in America and spend all my days reaching and teaching those who had never heard. The missionaries’ slides and stories really excited me. Once in college, I decided that teacher training would be helpful, as would also some Psychology and Sociology courses so that I might better know the people I would be serving. I have had a lifelong interest in missions and have led many women’s missionary groups, taught many children about MISSIONS, spent many hours in prayer for missionaries – but I never did go to a foreign mission field. God changed the direction of my life but never the purpose of my life. I became, as all Christians must, a home missionary. I met a certain fellow who was called to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to obey all the commands of God. Together we have spent 50+ years making Christ known and making disciples wherever he has called us. He promised to be with us always, and He has kept that promise.
But if all this is only about me, then I am just a “filthy rag” – I must do these good things because of God’s love and goodness to me. At Christmas we give gifts to shine the spotlight on God’s precious Gift of His Son and to reflect the love behind that Gift. Do you give gifts because you have to? Is it because it is expected of you, sort of a duty? Or do you give gifts freely and out of love – the way God gave His Son and still gives us freely of Himself.
I do believe this scripture in Matthew is for every Christian because it clarifies our purpose here on earth. If we will accept that calling, He will work out the details, and He will use us in the ways He knows to be best.