Faithlife
Faithlife

All & Always

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The command is straightforward: make disciples. But our motivation will lead us astray unless we are anchored in Christ's autority and the Spirit's presence.

Notes & Transcripts
We are going to look at, hear from, and delight in the words of the Lord that are at the end of the gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 28, verses 16 through 20. You may know it as “The Great Commission”, the famous last words that Matthew records to complete his account of the good news of Jesus Christ. If you have a Bible, please turn there now. The verses are also available in the FBC app, in the “Worship” tab, in the cleverly named spot called “Sermon Notes”. If you don’t have a Bible, we’d be delighted to give you one at the Welcome Desk, but for now you can use the one in the pew in front of you.
While you are turning there, I’d like to share with you a story that Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher, liked to tell:
“Once upon a time there was a king who ruled over everything in a land. One day there was a gardener who grew an enormous carrot. He took it to his king and said, “My lord, this is the greatest carrot I’ve ever grown or ever will grow; therefore, I want to present it to you as a token of my love and respect for you.” The king was touched and discerned the man’s heart, so as he turned to go, the king said, “Wait! You are clearly a good steward of the earth. I want to give a plot of land to you freely as a gift, so you can garden it all.” The gardener was amazed and delighted and went home rejoicing.
But there was a nobleman at the king’s court who overheard all this, and he said, “My! If that is what you get for a carrot, what if you gave the king something better?” The next day the nobleman came before the king, and he was leading a handsome black stallion. He bowed low and said, “My lord, I breed horses, and this is the greatest horse I’ve ever bred or ever will; therefore, I want to present it to you as a token of my love and respect for you.” But the king discerned his heart and said, “Thank you,” and took the horse and simply dismissed him.
The nobleman was perplexed, so the king said, “Let me explain. That gardener was giving me the carrot, but you were giving yourself the horse.”
I think the reason for that story will become clear as we progress. Now,
If you are able, please stand as we read together God’s word.

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Let’s pray: Our Father, thank you for your grace and mercy in gathering us together today to sing your praises, to turn to you in prayer, and now as we hear your word proclaimed. Your words are as true today as they were 2,000 years ago, and may we see that they are still advancing your kingdom. Let our hearts sing with joy all authority and power are yours, and that your presence is with us even today. I ask that my words decrease, and your word increases and is magnified…in the mighty and present name of Jesus I pray. Let it be true.
Establishing context
Let’s set the stage for all that’s happening here.
Who
This passage takes place at least a week after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The “who” of this passage are the disciples - eleven of them, minus Judas, and of course Jesus himself. And while with them he gives a command. The command is:
When
This passage takes place at least a week after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Who
The “who” of this passage are the disciples - eleven of them, and of course Jesus himself.
When
Where:
They are in Galilee, at a mountain. In Matthew’s account of Jesus life, “the mountain” is a place of revelation from, and communication with, God. But Galilee is significant as well - in , Galilee is noted as a place where many Gentiles live. Jesus took his diciples from Jerusalem of the Jews to Galilee of the Gentiles, echoing the pattern that gets explicitly laid out in Acts: to the Jew first, and then to all who are not Jews…all the world. And while with them he gives a command. The command is:
They are in Galilee, at a mountain. In Matthew’s account of Jesus life, “the mountain” is a place of revelation from, and communication with, God. But Galilee is significant as well - in , Galilee is noted as a place where many Gentiles live. Jesus took his diciples from Jerusalem of the Jews to Galilee of the Gentiles, echoing the pattern that gets explicitly laid out in Acts: to the Jew first, and then to all who are not Jews…all the world.
What

Make disciples

Make disciples is the central command of this passage, was the main thing for the eleven, and it still is the main thing for us, today. To the english reader it may appear there are four commands, but in the original Greek there is only one..the rest support that command. Those three other command-like words are o, baptize, and teach.Taken in whole, go/baptize/teach is a life-long devotion to continual proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ to non-Christians and teaching Christians to follow Christ with all their heart, all their soul, all their mind, and all their strength. That person is a disciple.
The command-like words that show us how we are to make disciples are this: Go, baptize, and teach. (They will also be clearly seen if you look at your sermon outline)
So that is the commission of the Great Commission. Which brings us to the point we often miss, as we so often hear this command and each one of us thinks of it exclusively as applying to us “How am I fulfilling the Great Commission?” But while this is, of course, to be carried out by individuals, it’s important to note Jesus gave this to all eleven disciples to pass on to the church. This is not a ‘you, alone’ command. It is an “us, together” command. Aware of that, Pastor Rob asked me to preach, giving examples by showing some of the ways we fulfill this commission here at FBC.
Which brings us to the point we often miss, as we so often hear this command and each one of us thinks of it exclusively as applying to us “How am I fulfilling the Great Commission?” But while this is, of course, to be carried out by individuals, it’s important to note Jesus gave this to all eleven disciples to pass on to the church. This is not a ‘you, alone’ command. It is you, as part of a church. Aware of that, Pastor Rob asked me to preach, giving examples by showing some of the ways we fulfill this commission here at FBC.
In Galilee, where this all began, at a mountain. In Matthew’s account of Jesus life, “the mountain” is a place of revelation from, and communication with, God. But Galilee is significant as well - in , Galilee is noted as a place where many Gentiles live. Jesus took his diciples from Jerusalem to the Gentiles, echoing the pattern that gets explicitly laid out in Acts: to the Jew first, and then to all who are not Jews.
Our mission is “Pointing generations to Jesus.” Jesus is the point, the aim, the purpose, the object and the objective of all we do. We lose something vital if we each run out and only pursue making disciples on our own. When we join together, our individual gifts combine together and make each of us more beautiful…like him.
So, to sum up: Jesus has risen! Jesus gives a command, a command with 3 parts. This is a command the the Church, not to just you. So we are going to look at the command to “make disciples” based on how to fulfill it as a Church family. As this Church family.
This is a command the the Church, not to just you. So we are going to look at the command to “make disciples” based on how to fulfill it as a Church. As this Church. Right here, this morning, we have followers of Christ - disciples. Some of you, like some of the eleven, have been worshiping. Right now, you want to know how you can share the love of God, the transforming identity from Christ moving you from slave to son, and advance the kingdom of God through this Church. These words are for you.
Let’s look at how we are to make disciples and let that illuminate our mission at FBC. We begin with:
This is a command the the Church, not to just you. So we are going to look at the command to “make disciples” based on how to fulfill it as a Church. As this Church. Right here, this morning, we have followers of Christ - disciples. Some of you, like some of the eleven, have been worshiping. Right now, you want to know how you can share the love of God, the transforming identity from Christ moving you from slave to son, and advance the kingdom of God through this Church. These words are for you.
Some of you, like the rest of the eleven, are doubtful - hesitant. Maybe it’s simple confusion on how to behave in the presence of the most powerful being in the universe! (Am I supposed to fall to my knees, or give him a hug? Can I hug him from my knees??) Or, maybe you wonder what he thinks of you, in light of this passage. Maybe you think you don’t do enough to make disciples, and it is causing guilt. You think you should be on the mission field, or being bolder, or teaching more. These words are for you.
They are for all of you, because God brought you here this morning. He can…he has all authority on heaven and on earth. He wanted you to hear these words.
Let’s look at how we are to make disciples and let that illuminate our mission at FBC. We begin with:

Make disciples

Make disciples is the central point of this passage, so it is our point as well. Everything

go

Go. Straightforward! It is, but though a small word we can place a lot of emphasis on what we think it should mean. Some look at “go” and “all nations” and think “this only means going away to the nations everywhere.” With that mindset, foreign missionaries get elevated to a higher status of Christian than others…and as they will tell you, that is a dangerous burden to place on their shoulders. Others, pointing out that America is a “many nations” place, like the Roman Empire, say “go” means just “as you go”, and you make disciples only right where you are.
We at FBC think Jesus means both: All the places we go - make disciples of Christ on the downtown mall and out in Louisa county and in Daytona Beach or Sturges South Dakota and in Guatemala. All the places we go, make disciples. Normally at this time, as a preacher, I’d give an illustration to clarify this point for you. Maybe a story from Lottie Moon or our Uganda trips, or the Bakers in Southeast Asia. But we thought it would be clearer to have a visual illustration, so I’m going to invite our youth Pastor Ben Saunders to the platform to illustrate “All the places we go, make disciples”.
Others have As you go - witness to Christ on the downtown mall and out in Louisa county and in West Virginia and even in Guatemala.
Greetings Pastor Ben! Let’s start from the nations, and work backwards to right here in town.
What foreign nation are you focusing the Church’s efforts in?
How long have you been going there?
What sorts of work is the Church doing there?
What is one of the transformations have you seen both in the people of Guatemala and our people?
Okay, moving from the foreign nations to right here, what is the main way you ask the youth to “go” in Cville?
What is Youth Week, and what is its purpose? (If you mention Youth Week and Watermarks, great! I’ll just add “Watermarks” to the question)
Okay, moving from the nations everywhere to right here, what is the main way you ask the youth to “go” in Cville?
Are you seeing any fruit from events like Youth Week (and Watermarks)?
What is the first way you can believe that a profession of faith is credible?

baptize

Pastor Ben, you mentioned youth getting baptized…from Youth Week! First of all, what do we mean at FBC when we say “baptism”?
Pastor Ben, you mentioned youth getting baptized…from Youth Week! First of all, what do we mean at FBC when we say “baptism”?
Why did you ask them to get baptized?
It is a bold thing, to proclaim your Christian faith in today’s society. Are the youth who choose to do it excited/scared/delighted/worried?
I heard you had a profession of faith at Watermarks camp recently. Can you walk me through what happened?
Even though that young woman does not go to church here, should she still get baptized? Or wait until next year at Watermarks?
If someone here wants to be involved in helping with youth ministry, what’s the next step?
Thank you Pastor Ben! Everyone, let’s thank Pastor Ben for utterly exhausting himself this summer for these young men and women.
Ben did a great job covering what we do here with baptism, which is our second point. I’ll just make an observation about baptism from the width of Scripture. Baptism is a public proclamation of our faith. Connected to “all the places we go”, Christians from the original eleven through today see this part of the Great Commission as a call to evangelism. It’s not just “Is FBC willing to baptize someone who comes to our building and asks.” It is “Let’s go proclaim Jesus Christ as the only way, the truth, and the life.”
Now, do we just make converts and then leave them, after baptism, our work done? No, throughout the ages, Christ-followers know that while baptism is the beginning,

teach

Teaching is the lifelong process of knowing God’s word that restores our relationship with him and motivates us to action. Teach!
Evangelism & teaching go hand-in-hand in the Church. The ministries of the church overall are to have a healthy balance of both. Here at FBC, we teach the entire counsel of God that is found in the Bible. Because it is all the word of God, and when we teach his words we trust that his Spirit is leading us and guiding us into all truth.
Okay! It’s time to visually illustrate this point as well. To help with that, I’m going to ask Nancy Ryalls, our director of Children’s Ministry we call FIRSTkids, to join me up on the platform. Welcome Nancy!
Hi there Nancy! What is FIRSTkids?
Before we get to “teach”, I know that you believe the first two parts of “make disciples” are vital: Everywhere we go, make disciples, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. What is the main outreach & evangelism event in FIRSTkids? (VBS, of course!)
Tell us about the way VBS shares the good news?
It was an astounding year at VBS. Let’s say someone makes a profession of faith. What next? (Please talk about Jumpstart, baptism, and making sure it is a solid confession.)
That’s a great process! Now let’s move to “teach” and specifically how FIRSTkids teaches. Let’s say there is a parent or grandparent who has never seen FIRSTkids in action. Describe to them one specific way FIRSTkids teaches what Jesus commanded? (Please explain about Sunday morning, what the kids do, the role of the teachers.)
Here is question I know you get from time to time: "I drop off my kids to experts everywhere. Can just drop off my kid at birth and 18 years later they will be a great Christian? (I’m looking for something about partnering with the parent.)
Nancy, if there is someone out here who has heard this and thinks “I want to be a part of FIRSTkids, what do I do?”…what do they do?
Thank you Nancy. Everyone, please thank Nancy for the deep care she and the whole FIRSTkids team provides for our children.
Do you see the patterns here? In FIRSTkids, we have an outreach event in VBS. Those professions are meant to lead to baptism, and then the teaching week-in, week-out on Sunday mornings. Likewise is PSYM, we have the outreach of Youth Week, and it is meant to lead towards the public proclamation of faith through baptism, and then the week-in, week-out teachings on Sunday & Wednesday nights. I could have brought up members of our senior adult leadership, or some of the teachers in our adult Sunday Morning Groups. This pattern of “everywhere we go, make disciples by evangelizing and teaching” is meant to be woven into the fabric of this Church.
Do you see the patterns here? In FIRSTkids, we have an outreach event in VBS. Those professions are meant to lead to baptism, and then the teaching week-in, week-out on Sunday mornings. Likewise is PSYM, we have the outreach of Youth Week, and it is meant to lead towards the public proclamation of faith through baptism, and then the week-in, week-out teachings on Sunday & Wednesday nights.I could have brought up members of our senior adult leadership, or some of the teachers in our adult Sunday Morning Groups. They would have all done a great job. This pattern of “everywhere we go, make disciples by evangelizing and teaching” is meant to be woven into the fabric of this Church.

Here’s the problem.

But there is a problem with the commission. It looks like we’ve been de-commissioned. Nancy is looking for teachers in FIRSTkids. Pastor Ben needs teachers. It is difficult to get substitute teachers for Sunday School groups…and that is only the “teaching” side of this commission. If I was to go around this room I think we’d find that few people here are regularly proclaiming the good news of Jesus as you go, with an eye towards conversion and baptism. That’s not just at FBC, of course, but it is at FBC as well. No matter how many messages and exhortations we hear about getting off our seats and into the streets…we can’t do it.
Have you shared the good news this week? [LONG PAUSE!!!!]
What about this month? [LONG PAUSE!!!!] This Summer? [LONG PAUSE!!!!] This year? [LONG PAUSE!!!!]
Do you feel that? It’s an almost-palpable sense of guilt. Guilt! Oh, guilt, that massive motivator so often used. It doesn’t work, because guilt is not the problem. The problem is the lie that we have believed that gives us guilt. Let’s look under the guilt, dig into it.
Guilt! Oh, guilt, that massive motivator so often used to get us off out seats and into the streets! But just saying “don’t be guilty” will make some of you say “Yes, I know…I’m so sorry!” And feel guilty about your guilt. So let’s look under the guilt and see some of the lies that motivate guilt.

And I think the passage tells us why. We spend a lot of time on the commission itself: going, baptizing, teaching. Be honest. If you are a long-time Christian, a large percentage of us start with “Go” and end with “teach”. verse 19, and end with verse 20. That’s the part that is focused on us. And us will falter and fail. But all of us in this passage begins with, and finishes in, Christ:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me

Verse 20 is how this passage, and the book of Matthew end.

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

He has all authority
The lie is based on fear. It’s the lie that says “if you tell your your book club about Christ, they will turn away from you...your boss, he won’t promote you…your sister, she will reject you…your neighbors will no longer like you”
He has all authority
He will be with us always
Christ begins this command, Christ empowers the command, and Christ completes the command.
But it isn’t, is it? Somehow, this command becomes focused on us in one of two ways:
We dive into the discipling process, maybe here at FBC. And it works! We see people evangelized, baptized, and continually taught! And then, secretly, our heart can be filled with pride…eventually leading the Church to become prideful. Pride leads to damage and downfall in the Church. I think - I hope! - you would all agree with this. But pride is sneaky-hard to diagnose. Most of us don’t wake up and think “woah. I am beset with pride!” I’m turning to America’s greatest theologian, Jonathan Edwards, for some help on diagnosing pride in the Church. Yes, Edwards. Does he think this is a problem? “[pride] is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christ.” Yes, I’d say he does! So how is pride around success in our mission to make disciples detected? He gave seven ways pride is demonstrated in the life of the Church, I’ll give 3 of them:
When we have guilt around the Great Commission here at FBC, it is because we’ve replaced pleasing God with pleasing man. This is not a new thing, as Paul told the church in Thessalonica:
Fault-finding: “The spiritually proud person shows [pride] in his finding fault with other saints” Are you quick to discern and find deficiencies with brothers and sisters here? We all have deficiencies. Probably many of you could step up here and start listing mine. (But then we’d miss lunch.)
Easily offended: We live in an age of offense. This is Twitter’s stock in trade. But this is bitterness masquerading as something more palatable.
Easily offended: We live in an age of offense. This is Twitter’s stock in trade. But this is bitterness masquerading as something more palatable.
A harsh spirit: of irritation; frustration; or judgment. “Christians ought at least to treat one another with as much humility and gentleness as Christ treats them.”
If pride is one error we fall into with making disciples, even as a Church, what’s the other error?
If pride is one error we fall into with making disciples, even as a Church, what’s the other side? Guilt! Oh, guilt, that massive motivator so often used to get us off out seats and into the streets!
The first looks an awful lot like pride: Fault-finding. Just this time with yourself. Are you quick to discern and find deficiencies with yourself?
If you think you’ve failed
A harsh spirit: of irritation; frustration; or judgment…with yourself. Christians ought at least to treat themselves with as much gentleness as Christ treats them.
The third, though, is a deep one. It is fear of rejection. Look no further than Adam and Eve. When they were lied to and disobeyed…they hid. They thought God would reject them so they hid. The pattern is the same today with us. If we think we haven’t done enough in making disciples…we hide.
What do both Pride and guilt miss? They miss the gospel. Pride, on the one hand, thinks that God is happier with you because you are good at making disciples. Guilt also misses the gospel. It thinks God is mad at you because you haven’t done enough to make disciples. Both have the same root: they think the love of God is conditional…on us.
This is of course what happens when we just look at go, baptize, and teach. We have to fall into guilt (or pride!) because we cannot be the power, we cannot be the presence, and we are not the point.
Guilt also misses the gospel. It thinks God is mad at you because you haven’t done enough to make disciples.
If we forget what the “therefore” is there for, we’ve missed the whole point.
“Go, because all authority on heaven and earth has been given to me.”
“Baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, because all authority on heaven and earth has been given to me.”
“Teach them to obey all I commanded, because all authority on heaven and earth has been given to me.”
In this passage, Jesus Christ having all power and being always with us is the point. Jesus Christ, the gospel of God. Pride, on the one hand, thinks that God is happier with you because you are good at making disciples. Guilt also misses the gospel. It thinks God is mad at you because you haven’t done enough to make disciples. Both have the same root: they think the love of God is conditional…on us.

For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people

Out of fear that we will be rejected by men & women, we have replaced proclaiming the good news with living a good, upright life.
What do both Pride and guilt miss? They miss the gospel. Pride, on the one hand, thinks that God is happier with you because you are good at making disciples. Guilt also misses the gospel. It thinks God is mad at you because you haven’t done enough to make disciples. Both have the same root: they think the love of God is conditional…on us.

we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God

This is an effective lie because God’s love is conditional. But it is conditional on him, not on us. The gospel is that the conditions of being loved by God the Father - including making disciples - have been fulfilled. They were fulfilled for us by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. When we see all the conditions of love have been fulfilled, our heart is free to repent from pride & guilt and make disciples from the only true and sure foundation: love.
I’m not getting sappy here. This is deeply concrete. We are making disciples for Jesus Christ, and teaching them to obey all he commanded. And Jesus said the greatest commandment was this: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. You cannot teach what you do not know, and you certainly won’t risk status & comfort for it. Do you love him? We will never risk our status and comfort and go into potential danger until we see that he gave up his status and comfort to go into sure danger and death to make us a new home with our Father.
Here’s what I told myself at a coffee shop this week after a lengthy conversation with an unbeliever “Well, that went well, I told him I work at a Church and he’s not scared off. I did good!” Do you see the subtlety of the lie to please man? It gets you to say “If my book club, my boss, my sister, my neighbor…if Charlottesville sees that I am an honest, faithful individual then I am a great witness for Christ.” When that happens, we’re looking not to lose our status and comfort with people...more than to gain the pleasure of God.
When we have guilt around the Great Commission here at FBC, it is because we’ve replaced pleasing God with pleasing man.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?

He’s not the kind of king who sends you into battle to die for him. He’s the kind of king who who went into battle and died for you. He’s telling you he’s going with you. You will never be alone. Remember verse 17: some worshiped, some doubted. His answer to the doubters was not “try harder!” it was not frustration or fault-finding or bitterness. It was not to send a spirit of guilt. His answer to worshiper and doubter alike was simply this: All authority is mine, & I will be with you always. All & always.
He’s not asking you to go for him. He’s telling you he’s going with you. You will never be alone. Remember verse 17: some worshiped, some doubted. His answer to the doubters was not “just try harder!” it was not frustration or fault-finding or bitterness. It was not to send a spirit of guilt. His answer to worshiper and doubter alike was simply this: All & Always.
And I think the passage tells us why this happens. We spend a lot of time on the commission itself: going, baptizing, teaching. We have signs up, t-shirts printed, and memorize it...beginning with “Go” and ending with “teach”. That’s the part that is focused on us. But this passage begins with, and finishes with Christ:
verse 18: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me
He is the mightiest, noting can withstand him, he has all the power…including the power to overcome our fear of rejection.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me
verse 20: And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
He has all the power in heaven and earth
He wants to emphasize this: Behold! He is always with us. This is not a promise…it is a fact. There are no conditions for us to meet, he has met them all. And his presence is not a dour one. It is all love and all joy and all peace. All & always.
We are not the power that fuels the Great Commission, nor the love that sustains it. Christ begins this commission, Christ empowers the commission, and Christ completes the commission.
Fear of people is of course what happens when we just look at go, baptize, and teach. We have to fall into guilt because we cannot be the power, we cannot be the presence, and we are not the point.
So how are our hearts moved from wanting to please people instead of delighting God?
First, preach all the gospel to yourself always. Jesus is king - has all authority - but is not the kind of king who sends you into battle to die for him. He’s the kind of king who who went into battle and died for you. He’s the king who is going with you. You will never be alone. Remember verse 17: some worshiped, some doubted. His answer to the doubters was not “try harder!”. His answer to worshiper and doubter alike was…himself. Jesus Christ is the gospel of God. Remind yourself of the his power & love always and it will begin to flow out of you.
Next, let those thoughts move you to prayer. Just about any prayer is good, but I want this prayer to be specific. Listen! I read your prayer requests, and am so glad to pray with you. But I sometimes think we are not seeing God move enough…which means we’re not asking, pleading, expecting enough. Pray for him to move! Yes, continue to pray for your illness to heal and pray that God will use your circumstances to lead you to people who need to know the love of God through Jesus his son. Pray that the Jehovah’s witnesses come in great numbers, that you meet many Muslims. Mary Lou Dearnely, all 90+ years of her nd in th midst of shingles this Spring, led her Muslim nurse to Christ. She got excited…and I got excited, adn I hope you get excited! When we pray and God moves, we want to share his love and power more.
Lastly, but certainly not least, Repent. [GENTLY] Repentance is that difficult and wonderful act by which we turn from the lies and back to the love. It’s asking our heavenly Father for forgiveness and turning from the behavior that separates us from him. We are repenting of the fear of rejection. He is not mad at you, or disappointed, or saving up wrath. He is waiting for you to turn from the approval of man and seek his delight. When you realize how loved you are, of course you will not be able to withhold that love from your book club, your boss, your sister, your neighbor, the people of Charlottesville, and the world.
This is an effective lie because God’s love is conditional. But it is conditional on him, not on us. The gospel is that the conditions of being loved by God the Father - including making disciples - have been fulfilled. They were fulfilled for us by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. When we see all the conditions of love have been fulfilled, our heart is free to repent from pride & guilt and make disciples from the only true and sure foundation: love.
Let’s pray. Pray the gospel, pray for power, repent of fear of rejection.
I’m not getting sappy here. This is deeply concrete. We are making disciples for Jesus Christ, and teaching them to obey all he commanded. And Jesus said the greatest commandment was this: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. You cannot teach what you do not know, and you certainly won’t risk status & comfort for it. Do you love him? We will never risk our status and comfort and go into potential danger until we see that he gave up his status and comfort to go into sure danger and death to make us a new home with our Father.
We are going to do something a little different with the song of invitation. I’m going to be right here, ready to receive anyone who wants to come and pray at the altar. Pastor Dale is going to lead us in a song, and this song will close the worship service. That way, you can stay in prayer
: All authority is mine, & I will be with you always. All & always.
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