Monday, October 11, 2010

Living the Mission Part 2

Mt 28:19 As you are going about your way, make disciples of all nations.

What does it mean to make disciples of all nations? The word nations really means people groups. It can refer to people in any group that we categorize them into. For the New Testament believers, there was a temptation to only share the gospel with those like themselves. This is dealt with by most writers in the New Testament, whether they are writing historical accounts in the Gospels or outlining theology and church practice in the epistles.

What are the dividing categories today? We suffer from the same tendencies as those in the New Testament Church. Many times we group people by nationality or race. We group people by gender. We group people by social class. We may even group people by those we like and those we don't. We tend to invite others to follow Jesus who are like us and avoid inviting those who are different.

Galatians 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Who is it challenging to invite along to follow and learn from Jesus? Sometimes it is difficult to invite people to follow Jesus who disagree with us in matters of politics or those who have a different world view. Democrats may not invite Republicans, Conservatives may not invite Liberals, hybrid car drivers may not invite those with SUV's. We may not be able to invite those who have wronged us in the past. We may not be inviting those we consider a threat to ourselves and others, like ex-offenders and parolees.

Colossians 3:11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

We must be willing to invite others along the way, even if they are not the people we would normally hang out with. God created each individual and gives each of us great value as his children. We need to look at others and see children of God instead of the typical labels. If we disagree on some issue or another, that is fine. If we trust God to teach others what he has taught us, we can rest assured that he will correct any attitude or opinion that is wrong. And we need to allow him to correct our wrong attitudes and opinions as well while we continue to follow and learn from him.

Jesus gave us this command, "Go and as you are going on your way, make disciples of all kinds of people." Let's trust him enough to obey.

No comments: