Doing what Jesus asks is what Christianity is all about. Are we listening? Are we even in the same room?!
(13) Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it, but whoever respects a command is rewarded.
Our terminology has changed since Solomon’s time. We tend to think of the Spirit’s instruction and commands as urgings and suggestions. I think it’s because we know the LORD on such an intimate level that we see His love and gentleness and patience first. What we must do is look beyond His compassion to His Lordship and leadership.
We are called…by Whom? to what?
(6) And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Romans 1:6
(28) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
We belong to Jesus Christ. We have been bought by His blood on the cross. He paid a heavy price for us. We should be grateful.
We have been called according to His purpose, which is to be extensions of Him to this world. He came to show us the way and to pay the price. He then returned to His place by the Father’s side. Through His Spirit, we were recruited to be His ambassadors in this world.
The Great Commission, given in Matthew 28:19-20, is usually translated, “Go.” A better way to look at it is, “As you go.” The idea is to be intentional about making disciples as we live our daily lives. The method we use is determined by the person to whom we are talking. Some people come from a Christian background and will understand the lingo we use. Some will come from a religious background that actually gets in the way of understanding because of twisted theology. Some will have no basis at all for comprehending what we are telling them. We must give the Spirit time to cultivate a willing heart. In the meantime, we are to DEMONSTRATE Christ’s love just as He did for us. (8) But God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
“But what if it costs me something?”
“What if it hurts?”
“What if it means watching a loved one suffer?”
“What if I die, or my loved one dies?”
First, let’s remember that Christ showed us the way as a Suffering Servant. Second, don’t forget that He has a NEW WORLD awaiting us! With NEW BODIES! Third, let’s look at the example left by the disciples:
(41) The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Acts 5:41 They had been flogged because they wouldn’t quit preaching the Name of Christ (verse 40). So, what did they do? Go and hide and never speak Jesus’ name again? NO! (42) Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
What we must do as modern day Christians is to quit living like we belong to this world and start living like we belong to Christ and His world. We start by yielding our lives to Him each morning–even before coffee!
Are you worthy? Paul–from prison, no less– exhorts the Ephesian church to (4:1) “live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (2) Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (3) Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Are we willing to do as Paul said?
Where do we start? In our homes. If we can do it at home, then we can do it anywhere.
At church. It’s the practice field for our faith. If we can do it there, then we can do it anywhere.
At work, the ballfield, the lake, the mall, while driving (for those inside our cars as well as outside), Walmart, etc. They are where the Gospel needs to be demonstrated.
Just so you know, I’m preaching to myself here. May we all heed His instruction and follow His commands.
Abba, I know what to do; now, give me the desire and the power to do it! In Your name and for Your name, Amen.