New International Version (NIV)
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot of what the real call of a Christian is. Is it going to church on Sunday or Saturday for some? is it singing “on the choir” – I never understood why we said “on the choir” but I digress… Is it leading praise & worship? Is it being a class act deacon with shiny shoes and the best Sunday suits? Not to mention nodding off during the sermon – is it organizing the annual fish fry? Or the youth services? It really is hard to say because I think people who do most of those things are considered “good christians” However, I tend to think a little differently. A real definition is a few sentences we call “The Great Commission” and it sums it up for us. (well for me at least) This is really Jesus’ last instructions to his disciples. After he’d been crucified, put in a tomb and resurrected, He came to his followers to give them some final marching orders . What did he say? Well, to paraphrase – simply make disciples, baptize and teach folks what I taught you.
Are we doing that? looks across the class room anybody, anybody?? No hands? OK, I’ll answer! Sure, some are but I’m not sure our message is getting across as it should. We are so much more public these days and I think we should use these public platforms as opportunities to be better followers of Christ. Obviously, the world is smaller because of the internet and social media – you know like Twitter (you can follow me Twitter.com/RiqTheRealMcCoy by the way) Facebook, Instagram etc…
I see lots and lots of email and posts that are coming from Christians. And some are hardly what you’d expect to see. I’ll admit, some things really rub be the wrong way. Its disturbs me to see so many emails and posts about hate and hate in the name of Jesus. Yes christian hate! I’m convinced we are increasingly turning into people who will only tolerate other people JUST like us. And it’s getting worse.
Whats with all the hate? We hate so easily under the guise of “Love the sinner hate the sin” That’s cool and all, but decoded it really means “I hate you and everything you do and stand for”. Truth is, we want people to be just like us, and further truth is if we really loved them we’d cover them, pray for them, help them and do everything in our power to pull them out of whatever we think they are drowning in. Just like we do our families and true loved ones – Instead, we make public statements to hurt and take jabs at people when what we really should be doing is loving people publicly and instructing them privately.
New International Version (NIV)
35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
So many of us turn people away, talk down to and humiliate people because they don’t share our views. What a terrible terrible waste of an opportunity to share God’s love. We have a great powerful opportunity to show love, compassion, humanity and we are in the perfect place to show the great commission and what it means.
Christians, we can easily love people who are like us, believe like us, look like us, and act like us. but the challenge really is loving the ones who WE THINK are the unloveable – People who do not believe like us, look like us, or even act like us.
Let’s show the REAL love of Christ and make disciples of people, teach people and love people.
And if you chose not to love people PLEASE do not include me on your email chain, or your social network posts! I will not join your petition to “hate them because they hate us” I will not protest and hold up messages that say they are going to hell, etc.
I will embrace the hurting, I will engage the ostracized, I will pray for the disconnected, I will lift the depressed, I will show compassion to the marginalized. I will be human. I will make a disciple. I will teach THEM. I will be a Christian. I will be a Christian.