Insecurity and Uncertainty

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day five)

We tend to complicate things with our insecurity and uncertainty.  We then wrestle with questions and doubt.

The disciples were still processing all that had recently happened- Jesus’ trial, death, burial, resurrection. I’m sure there remained a thousand questions in their hearts and minds. Yet, they trusted and obeyed Jesus when He told them to go to Galilee. And once there, Jesus gives them one final exhortation. And what they did, we must do (even in the midst of insecurity and uncertainty)- they believed Him- at several levels. 1) His words were true. (He did have the authority to send them) 2)They could do what He had challenged them to do. (They were to make a global impact with the gospel) 3) He could and would do what He promised. (be with them every step of the way)

We have everything we need to trust and obey the great commission: the Holy Spirit, the scriptures, and our testimony. It’s time to trust and obey.

Not an Option

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day four)

“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.”
― J. Hudson Taylor

This is my favorite quote by my favorite missionary. Reading Hudson Taylor’s Biography changed the course of my life and motivated me to listen to the call of God which beckoned me to China. No one is qualified to be a missionary. I certainly was not. It was the boldness of other hero-believers such as Taylor that gave me the courage to “Go into all the world.” Obedience comes before understanding. I listened to my Savior, but I did not know how I would fulfill the Great Commission. All I knew how to do was “Go.” How do I teach them everything you commanded, or baptize them, or make disciples when I do not know their language or culture? Jesus only demands that we are willing to submit to His supreme authority and trust that He will never leave us to do the work alone. Believer, young and old, don’t be afraid of where God the Father calls you or what Jesus the Son commands you to do; JUST GO and TRUST His Holy Spirit to lead and guide you. Whatever you do, please do not ignore this command and say it is for someone else. If you do you are disobeying direct orders. There is no other reason we are left on this earth. Jesus is coming back soon! Let us be counted among the good and faithful! Ready. Set. Go!

Byron Pitts
Director of Community Missions & Evangelism

With

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day three)

“I am with you always.”

If a person sets out to speak to his neighbor according to a pre-conceived series of talking points with a pre-determined goal, chances are life with that neighbor will not grow very dear. That’s because people aren’t pre-fab slabs of protoplasm that respond predictably to meticulously applied stimuli. Revealing Christ to people requires less flow chart and more flow. Difficult questions, surprising twists, painful honesty, personal weakness—these all must remain on full display if you are to speak to someone about your own faith. That’s not good salesmanship. But Jesus is not a product. He’s the teacher of an eternal kind of life. And that’s why he says you will rely not on a set of principles, but on him. He never left you his notes, because he never left you at all.

Authority

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day two) 

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” 18b

Jesus was clear the authority was not given to the disciples. We are not sent of our will or choosing. God has called us, and we are to go. This is actually a great comfort to me. There is nothing about my persona or character that is going to win someone to Christ. My responsibility is to teach what I know. Not with authority, but rather a conviction that I know this Jesus, and I believe that others can know him too. Our relationship with Jesus is the basis for our testimony which will, but the moving of the Holy Spirit, help others form a new and greater understanding of who he is as well. Jesus, in the authority of heaven and earth has commanded us to go and tell his story.

Monday Re:Verse Blog Post – 8/19/19

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Matthew 28:18-20 (The Great Commission) in our Summer Sermon Series: “Meant for More. A Study of Commandments.”

Lens

Re:Verse passage –Matthew 22:35-39 (day seven)

David E. Garland noted in his commentary on Matthew, “(These two commandments) are the fundamental principles by which all other commandments in Scripture are to be interpreted and applied.” As we read through all of Scripture and seek ways to obey our Lord it always comes back to these two commandments:  Love God, and Love your neighbor.

All that we learn and all that we do must adhere to the words of Christ in Matthew 22:37-39.

Fear and Loving

Re:Verse passage –Matthew 22:35-39 (day six)

If we are honest, commanding love offends our American sensitivities.  You might be able to ask for someone’s love, certainly hope for it, but you never demand it. Truly, who has the right to demand love from someone? God does, according to Moses and Jesus.

God also demands that we fear him, but not the kind of fear “that flees from his presence, but the kind that longs to do his will.” (John Sailhammer). The greatest commandment, the call to love the Lord your God, further defines fear. What God is commanding is an authentic response to his oneness; our total awe and devotion. God can demand our love because He alone is worthy of it, and He alone is our greatest good.

When God demands from us, He never takes, He always fulfills. You are never left with less; you always have more.

Equal

Re:Verse passage –Matthew 22:35-39 (day five)

The desire for safety, friendship, love, significance, and purpose is very strong in the human heart. God has created these longings in us so that we might find them through a relationship with Him. And Jesus takes us a step further in the application and expression of our “self-love”.  He teaches that our longing and desire for these things should match or equal (His word-as) our longing and desire for those around us (neighbors) to find and have these things as well. This is a radical perspective. Jesus convicts and challenges us to understand that our own desires and needs are best met in our love for the Lord. And when the Lord meets those needs, we then must have an equal passion and burden (His word-love) to serve, minister, and help others to find the same  with God.

“He (Jesus) is commanding that our self- love, which has now discovered its fulfillment in God-love, be the measure and the content of our neighbor-love.”- John Piper

What You Focus on Expands

Re:Verse passage –Matthew 22:35-39 (day four)

Underneath my computer in my office I keep a sticky note with a quote from Tim Elmore that says, “What you focus on expands.” There is a reason that the scripture reiterates the word “all” in this command. Our innermost desires and thoughts should be rooted in the Lord. In the moments that we pause at work or school and begin to daydream, what are we dreaming about? What we focus on expands. As our heart and mind begin to dream and think, the things that we dream and think about expand. Our knowledge of those things increases. Our plans become more comprehensive. Taking a pause to dream is not a bad thing. It is when these thoughts and dreams consume our everyday lives that it becomes a hinderance to our faith. Jimmy Needham wrote a song that states, “Anything I want with all my heart is an idol. Anything I can’t stop thinking about is an idol.” What you focus on expands. Is what you are focusing on keeping you from focusing on God with all your heart?

Rick Henderson
Associate Pastor, Youth

Human

Re:Verse passage –Matthew 22:35-39 (day three)

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

“The Lord our God, the Lord is one”—and he exists as an eternal fellowship of three persons; he cannot exist otherwise and still be God. God created us in his image. To be human, then, is to bear in our being certain characteristics that we share with God. This commandment, both in its original iteration in Leviticus, and as quoted by Jesus here, in addition to the implicit ways in which it appears throughout scripture, indicates that life in fellowship with others is one of those characteristics marking the image of God in us. We cannot reject fellowship with others and still remain the fully human creatures God intended us to be. To fail to pay attention to your neighbor is not self-preservation, but the beginning of the extinction of the human race, yourself included.