Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Beautiful Burden (Christ' Great Commission)

Today, I baptized my youngest son, as one who has believed on, and in, Jesus Christ; as Savior, and as Lord. It will be up to him to remain faithful. His burden, that as it will surely be, is light in view of what Jesus did ...that we may even HAVE such a beautiful burden to carry.

Christ has, and has had, many doubters. Doubters of who He is. Doubters of what it is claimed He's done. Doubters that He is the way, the truth, and the life; that none get to the Father short of trusting in Him for salvation (John 14:6) and committing to make Him Lord of their lives. 

Today, I will ask you, my entrusted son, to be faithful to Christ in your burden, to always think back to the cross of Christ when you struggle, to cling to Christ when you are tempted to doubt (and you will be) and to know that no reward, no success, no failure, nor any struggle, in this world, compares to what faithfully following Christ promises; according to scripture. It won't be easy. It WILL be a joy-filled adventure. But you must commit to follow, to trust as you follow, and to even trust God when you fail. Don't merely be a "Believer". Don't merely be a "Christian". Filter, through scripture, what the world teaches you about Christ. Be a Christ-follower. Call yourself that every day.

Your journey starts now. As you go on your journey consider this command Christ gives you. Trust Him in it. Be obedient to it.

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee (sans Judas, who hanged himself), to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 28:16-20)

1. You will face doubts. You will face fears (vv. 16-17)
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe." Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:24-29 ESV)

2. When you do, go back to Jesus (v. 18)
    Study His Word
    Stay His Way

3. Be faithful. Be obedient. (v. 19)
    Do the work
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:1-2 ESV)

4. Learn. Teach. Learn. Preach (v. 20)
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:3-5 ESV)

5. Focus on Christ (v. 20)
It is often said... "God will not give you more than you can handle."
That is often corrected.... "God will not give you more than HE can handle."
Trust Him to handle anything, and everything, in your life. Because no matter what life throws you.... truth is, He's already handled it. You are promised a forever-home ...with Him.