Do you wish to be great? Then you must begin with the small things. – St. Augustine.
“Jesus came and told his disciples...’Therefore, Go and make disciples of all nations.’ (Matthew 28:18)” Can you imagine what those followers must have felt like after hearing this command, then seeing their Leader disappear into the heavens? No time to process or prepare or even hug Jesus good-bye (which in itself is a message—they never said good-bye because Jesus was still with them, and He was sending the Comforter to them soon). They must have felt so bewildered! For the past 3 years, all the disciples had to do was follow Jesus. There was no question about what they should do or where they should go—they just walked wherever Jesus did and learned from his words, and if Jesus did send them away on a special mission, they did it. It was pretty simple—not easy, but simple. And now it didn’t seem quite so simple anymore. That old way of life seemed over. I think one thing was on each person’s mind at that moment: “What now?” Honestly, I feel the same way when I finish reading the gospels and hearing the Great Commission. “What now? Where do I begin?” I feel I can’t be the only person who has ever felt this way. But the answer to these questions is simple: 1.Do the Next Thing. When God called Abraham in the Old Testament, God did not give him an itinerary. He said, “GO into the land that I will show you...and through you, all the nations of the Earth will be blessed.” Talk about another “What now?!?” moment! God calling Abraham is not unlike the Great Commission, and neither commandment is unlike what God has called you and me to do. When we hear God say “Go!” we begin by taking the next step. For the disciples, this was going to the upper room and praying until God sent the Comforter. For Abraham, this was packing up and hitting the road. For us, taking the next usually means waking up the next morning and going to work. Seems deceivingly simple, doesn’t it? But hear what the apostle Paul said, “Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you— but if you get a chance to be free, take it. And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.” 1 Corinthians 7:20-24 In other words, if you are a teacher, teach. If you are a car salesman, sell cars. Remain in the same calling in which you were called until the Lord tells you otherwise—the difference is not your occupation. The difference is now you are called by God—"live worthy of that calling.” (Ephesians 4:1) Listen again to what Jesus said in the Great Commission: “I am with you, even unto the end of the world.” If God is with us to the end of the world, he is with us where we are now, and he can use us to make disciples there. 2. Make the Most Out of Every Opportunity Do you know what the first miracle was after the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit? Peter and John healed a lame man while on the way on the temple during their daily call to prayer. In other words, their first opportunity to make a disciple came during a daily activity. In my personal experience, the greatest God-moments and miracles have occurred not at church, not on the mission field, but in everyday activities. ” Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” Colossian 4:5-6 NLT Our day is filled with opportunities. I think sometimes we don’t see the opportunities, but other times we feel too ashamed and afraid to take those opportunities because we know we have not been living wisely or worthy of our calling. When we live wisely, obeying God’s Word, then we will be able to make the most of every opportunity. We will not be caught off guard. 3. Walk in the Spirit There are many reasons the first thing that God wanted the disciples to do is be filled with Spirit. One is to give them power, and another is to enable them to live in God’s presence and walk in his ways if they so choose. Do you remember what the disciples’ first job was—when Jesus was on Earth? Follow Jesus. Walk with Jesus. You and I are disciples as well, and our job description is the same. The job didn’t change after the Great Commission, either. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) Sometimes, the “desires of the flesh” include ignoring the people around us and all the opportunities to love and serve the lost. God gladly gives us opportunities. When we walk in the Spirit, we see those opportunities more often and we have the power we need to step into each situation and make disciples. Remember this—the Lord directs your steps, and he can lead you to the next disciples: “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23
So, what now? Take the next step. Whatever is next on your agenda (as long as it is not sin, of course), invite the Lord to go with You and lead you. The Lord wants to direct your steps, so let him know that this is what you desire as well. Walk in the Spirit. Listen to his voice. He is your Shepherd—you will know his voice. Make the most of every opportunity, and you will make disciples.
written by Rachel (children's pastor)