The Great Commission
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
-Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
As athletes, coaches, and sports fans, how often do we strike up conversations about our favorite teams or sports? If you’re like me, I could talk for hours about my passion for endurance sports or even my love for the Atlanta Braves. But how often does the Lord creep into those same conversations with friends, coworkers, teammates and family members? The truth is that many of us like to stay in our little boxes and only speak about the Lord on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. I have to remind myself that the “Great Commission,” given by Jesus Himself, didn’t give any timetable or day of the week. He didn’t say, “Go and share the good news of baseball with all the nations.” He commanded us to share the good news of Salvation with all the nations, which includes our neighbors, friends, teammates and family.
I was blessed to have just returned from an evangelism mission trip to Cuba. The sole purpose of the trip was to spread the Gospel and to help local house churches grow. When I go into a communist-controlled country, I am always amazed by how careful we have to be about speaking the name of Jesus. In Cuba, proclaiming the name of Jesus as Lord and Savior could mean the end of your job, family or freedom. Getting a Bible, visiting a church or holding a revival is nearly impossible. Praise and worship is done in small, family homes late at night, and service times are distributed by word of mouth. Many people that we met on are trip were fearful of spreading the Gospel due to government repercussions, but, as one person told me, “We continue to do it because the Lord commanded us to.”
In a wonderful country like the United States, we still have the freedom to speak of our Lord, to hold worship and to share the Gospel. Let’s not forget that God has blessed us with the opportunity to share His Word. We can’t take that for granted. As we go about our daily schedules, let’s remind ourselves that the Great Commission applies to ALL of us.
1. How can you make a difference in your community by sharing the Gospel and discipling others?
2. Name some people you know who need to hear the Gospel or be discipled.
3. Are you willing to do what the Lord commanded us to do?
1 Peter 3:15-16