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The Missions Command

The back of a man walking toward a field in a valley with the words of the Missions command statement from Matthew 28:19-20, ESV, "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.”
by Beeda Speis for Peace in the Stillness

Today’s Bible verse is often used as the mission statement when discussing missions. It’s an imperative. It is the Missions Command. It’s not a suggestion. There is no way to misinterpret this passage. One could even break it down into baby steps:

  • Go
  • Make disciples
  • Baptize
  • Teach

Do we need to do these things alone? No. Christ is with us always, “to the end of the age.”

The Debate

What is confusing to some and debated is that “all nations” seems to indicate international missions. I disagree. Our country is filled with people of many nations. Perhaps you’ve met people from other countries living in your very own community? In all likelihood, they communicate with loved ones back home. By sharing the gospel with them, we’re sharing the gospel with people across an ocean.

If there’s an opportunity, build a relationship. We don’t have to go up to a total stranger and present the gospel unless the Holy Spirit moves us to do so. But, we can be friendly, ask questions, get to know the person/people. If they own a business, we can frequent that business and become a “regular,” building a foundation to talk to them about more important matters over time.

I also believe this command allows us to use our spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Ephesians 4:11-16). As an example, some have the gift of serving. By serving, they witness to non-believers and show them Christ. During the start of the pandemic, missionaries in other countries would take food and supplies to people. They didn’t need to tell them who they were or share the gospel. Just by their giving and compassion, people ASKED them, “Who are you? Why are you doing this?” They were overwhelmed with gratitude. They felt the love of Christ and saw Him through these missionaries. When they were told the gospel, many repented and were saved. All of this from one act of kindness; from being served by a believer.

Ask God how you can use your spiritual gifts to share the gospel. We can ask Him anything, anything we want to know (John 16:24). After you ask, the most important thing to remember is that you then have to stop and listen. Try it. What is His answer? Share in the comments if you feel led to.

Bible Verse of the Day

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 28:19-20 ESV

Pray

Heavenly Father, we come to You today inspired by the selfless acts and love of our missionaries around the world. We lift them up to You, Lord, and ask that you protect them and provide for them. We ask that You comfort and encourage those who are just this week embarking on their journey to another country. They’ve answered Your call, Lord, and raised the bar for those of us who remain here. Keep them in our hearts, Lord. Remind us to pray for them throughout the day, every day. Father, show each of us how we are to be obedient to Your call for each of our lives. Tell us what we’re to do for the Kingdom.
Father, we continue to lift up the people of Ukraine to You. Please bring peace to the battered country. Please allow them to triumph over the oppressive power of Russia. Lord, we pray with all our hearts for Your hand to intervene. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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