Vol. 7, No. 27 – July 10, 2022

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. –Matthew 28:16-20

You are sent! It is not enough for you to go to your church to worship Christ. The expectation is that you serve as well, yet the moment you exit the church you are actively sent. There is someone God is well-aware of, getting ready to cross your path. It is not an accident. It is intentional. The expectation is great. It is a life and death meet. Are you ready?

I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord. –Jeremiah 29:11-14

I desire that you live nearer to Christ than you have ever done before. Depend upon it, as it is when we think [make] much of Christ that we think little of ourselves, little of our troubles, and little of the doubts and fears that surround us. Begin from this day, and pray God changes our direction and outlook. –Charles Spurgeon

Spurgeon sees another crossing his path. His prayer is that the cares of life will not interfere with God’s sending him. And that God will continually change his heart to become more like Christ’s heart. I can imagine Spurgeon praying for those believers in the future, that he did not even know, to watch your path, that there is someone there you need to speak with.

In his Gospel writing, Luke records the voice of Jesus saying, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me (Luke 9:23). When someone asks us to follow, the implicit understanding is that we would be obedient. That is the expectation of one being sent. Obey.

Is there a message imprinted on the heart that needs to be uttered by the one sent? Yes. Sending implies we go to a particular destination. Because someone will meet us there.

What is the message? Who is in control? Should we pause and take six months to memorize an evangelical approach to telling another how they best can come to faith in Christ? What about the preacher that says, You are sent!

Life Application

There is an old hymn that is still sung, but not often: Onward Christian Soldiers.

The hymn carries the tune with marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. There is a reflection of the history of the church embedded in the hymn. There is a “sent” message in the hymn.

Paul picks up the hymn message, never having actually sung the song. His version is from Ephesians 6. Put on the whole armor of God. Fight the good fight (of faith). Occasionally he wrote encouragement to those who followed Christ to be good soldiers.

Being a good soldier includes meeting the expectations of the sender. Paul also indicated that Christians were peculiar people, having a peculiar ministry. Reconciliation. Since they were new creatures, Christians understood they had work to do. You cannot have a ministry of reconciliation without touching others’ lives. Impossible.

He also wrote that Christians are expected to be ambassadors. An ambassador says the same thing that the person sending them says. Would that our nation’s ambassadors catch the drift of that expectation.

How are you doing with your ministry of reconciliation? Or with your ministry as an ambassador? Or with looking out for the person who is about to cross your path? All this demands intentional focus because we are sent.

How is your intentional focus doing? Has someone sent you to do these things?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

July 10, 2022

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