February 7th, 2023 - Come and See, Go and Tell

Come and See, Go and Tell

Happy Tuesday!

As we slow down today and invite the Lord's presence into our lives, we look at Psalm 100 from the Message paraphrase.

Psalm 100 
1-2 On your feet now—applaud God!
    Bring a gift of laughter,
    sing yourselves into his presence.
3 Know this: God is God, and God, God.
    He made us; we didn’t make him.
    We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
4 Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
    Thank him. Worship him.

5 For God is sheer beauty,
    all-generous in love,
    loyal always and ever.

As we begin our devotion today, follow the directions found in this Psalm and spend a moment thanking God for who he is and all that he has done in your life recently.

Father, Son, Holy Spirit we come to meet with you today with thankful hearts. We ask now that as we open up your word that you would draw near to us as we draw near to you.

“But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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; I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB)
Jesus began his public ministry by inviting a couple of John’s disciples to “Come and …see,” (John 1:39a, ESV) which led to them becoming part of His apostles that were commanded in Matthew 28, also known as the great Commission, to go and tell the world who He was and how He lived. I have heard that the best publicity in the world is through the personal endorsement of people who have sampled the product and liked it. Jesus began His earthly ministry by inviting individuals to come and spend time with Him in order to see if His way of life was worth sharing with others. Perhaps He instituted this principle? After 3 years of living with Him daily, seeing Him crucified and risen, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, these disciples were ready to tell everyone about Him. Not just friends, not just families, not just co-workers or neighbors, but everyone!
Jesus opens His final message to His followers  by announcing that He possesses “All authority…in heaven and on earth,” (v.18) therefore we must walk in that same authority if we are to fulfill His command. Consider that pronouncement for a moment; we have all authority to tell the world to come and see the way of Jesus. Do we know what it means to walk in the authority of Jesus? I sit asking myself that question and wondering if that includes the predisposition I have to assign a likelihood of conversion with the individual in question. Who am I to determine what the outcome of the conversation will be? The Messiah has given me His authority, which means I should expect similar results, right? Thousands of people rejected Him while He walked this earth, consenting to His death even though He was innocent. If others reject the message of Jesus as Savior that I share, then I am following the way of Jesus. I am walking in His authority when I continue to share, regardless of the number of previous rejections.

After we share with others, we may feel our work is done. Especially if our friends have started attending church with us. This may be where most of us step out of the authority of God and fail to fulfill the command of Jesus in the Great Commission. We are to make disciples, to baptize new converts, and then we are to teach them the Way of Jesus. The final command of Jesus includes a promise at the end, “…I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (v. 20) His presence in us, known as the Holy Spirit, will guide us through the entire process. Of course we want to know definitively how this works and how it will look, but since people are unique, perhaps the disciple-making process is also unique. We invite people to place their faith in Jesus, we encourage them to publicly declare their faith by being baptized, and then we disciple them by teaching them what we know about following Jesus. This happens intentionally as we include others in our lives, allowing them access to our daily rhythms, our spiritual disciplines, and the various opportunities we encounter every day. Let your new friend in the faith see how you handle being mistreated, being wrongly accused, being judged unfairly, or even how you handle success. That is part of the process of disciple-making. Let’s not lose sight of the One who saved us, gave us His authority, and promised to be with us.
Who in your life needs to have their eyes opened to the truth of Jesus and begin a relationship with Him? Spend some time now, praying for this person, or people, by name and ask the Lord to open up doors and opportunities for you to share the good news of Jesus with them.
Life can be busy and we can be timid in sharing our faith because we are unsure of how people will respond. But today we yield our pride to the Lord and push through our timidity to share with others.

2 Timothy 1:7
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Almighty God, please fill me with Your presence and give me the boldness to speak with the authority of Jesus. Show me the opportunities to share the Gospel with others and to begin making disciples. Help me to lead others to follow you as I make a practice of following you. AMEN