This week we reflect on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We ponder the magnificence of the cross; the great exchange of Jesus taking our sin and giving us forgiveness and freedom from the slavery to sin we were in. We reflect on the miracle it is of Jesus defeating sin and death because He did not stay dead. Jesus overcame the grave! He is ALIVE! Never to die again (Romans 6:9).
The story did not end there. Jesus gave us His Holy Spirit (Acts 2) and included us into His mission on earth, to one day restore the earth and humanity to its Garden of Eden like state ( Isaiah 66:22, Revelation 21-22). He would continue His promise to Abraham that through Abraham ALL the nations of the world would be blessed (Genesis 22:18).
So what was on Jesus’ mind before He went back to be with the Father? What were some of His last words?
Jesus wraps up His time on earth by telling His disciples that ALL authority was given to Himself, and on behalf of this authority, He was sending His disciples out on a mission (Matt 28:16-20). This mission would carry out His plan from the beginning of time. The plan he let Abraham in on… that all nations would be blessed.
Jesus says “therefore, go and make disciples of all nations…”. Jesus’ heart has always been for the nations to be included into the people of God. The nations are so precious to God.
We live in one of the most unique settings in history. Most of the world is able to jump on a plane and travel for low costs and much of this generation can easily study abroad. The nations come to our own dorms. The nations are in our own classrooms. The nations are establishing businesses in America and raising their families here. God has given us such easy access to reach and bless all the nations of the earth.
But what we are we doing about this?
Many of us look with amazement at the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus during Easter time and then neglect such important last words of Jesus. “Make disciples of all nations”.
Romans 10:14 says, “But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?”
Jesus wants us to take seriously His command to make disciples of all nations. It’s not an optional request that Jesus gave in His lasts words. It was a command for us to follow, and to ignore it would mean to disobey Jesus’ commission to us; His ultimate purpose for keeping us on His earth.
What action steps should I take to carry out God’s commission over my life?
1. Ask the Spirit to give you a heart of repentance for ignoring Jesus command to reach the nations.
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you boldness to share the Gospel with your classmates, family members, and any others He may place in your sphere of influence (Ephesians 6:19, Acts 4:23-31).
3. Take note of the international population around you. Be intentional with them; many international students come to America have needs to be met. International students generally don’t have a car to get around to get groceries, the ability to check out bigger cities, or a home to go to during the holiday breaks. Many international students never get invited into an American’s home. Pray for opportunity to bless the nations God has brought to you in your dorm or apartment complex.
4. Be intentional about sharing your life story with those around you. People will never know Jesus if you don’t share the Gospel with them. (Romans 10:14)
5. Don’t say “no” for people. Much of the time we assume people are not interested because we feel insecure and fearful. I’m generally very surprised at the interest students (American and international) have when I share things about Jesus with them. They’re most interested than you think they are!
6. Give your insecurities to Jesus, along with those fears He wants them all! He wants to replace those feelings with boldness and peace. After all, He tells us “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). He fills, equips and sends you out, walking beside you every step of the way!
7. Entrust the results to God! God will move on behalf of our prayers for others to know Him. He includes us in the mission of praying and sharing but the ultimate results are God’s work on the heart through the Holy Spirit.
8. Continue to renew your mind with God’s Word:Genesis 12:3, Genesis 18:18, Exodus 9:16, Joshua 4:24, 1 Kings 8:43, 1 Kings 8:60, 1 Chronicles 16:24, Psalms 22:27, Psalms 33:8, Psalms 64:9, Psalms 48:10, Isaiah 45:22.
May this Easter be one of repentance and encouragement as you seek to take part in God’s mission for your life!