In Acts 9, a religious man named Saul was set out to arrest followers of Jesus. On his way to Damascus he encounters Jesus for himself. This encounter literally transforms his life—his mindset, beliefs, world-view and most importantly, his heart! The encounter Saul had would even cause a name change, becoming Paul, who went on to become an apostle and wrote 2/3 of the New Testament. Without Jesus, we are lost. Without Jesus, even if we think that we are on the right path, like Saul did, we are deceived. However, one encounter with Jesus can alter anyone, at any time! Scripture tells us that God can be sought, found and encountered. Sometimes it is as one looks for truth, other times it is when they think they know truth, but then Truth is met in an encounter!
Our Father has reconnected with us via a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, and poured His very Spirit out to live in and upon us. That is a foundation of what we believe. So, with everything we do, we desire to do so out our relationship with Jesus–one in whom we encounter! Our ministry structure, relational formats, outreaches and total focus is always going to keep Jesus at the center–and at His core is His desire to connect with us. We owe the world an encounter with Jesus!
As Jesus speaks to the disciples, after His resurrection, He gives His followers a directive…one that will change the world. He tells them to “…go and make disciples of all nations…” The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 4, gives insight into our role as Jesus’ disciples. He shares 5 gifts that Christ gave the church and then says that they were given so that we “equip the saints for the work of the ministry…” Father God is not just looking for people to encounter Jesus, but to know who they are in Him, as His children. He calls us heirs to the throne and has given us His Spirit to empower us. For this reason, those in Christ are called to equip others in Christ!
As we pointed out, Matthew 28 tells us to “go!” In this context, He is telling us, as His kids, that as we are going, living our lives as sons and daughters, on mission to make disciples, we are not to keep this gospel to ourselves. We are to extend His kingdom of love and power to those in our lives. We can extend His gospel message to our families, neighbors, co-workers and strangers. This is a mandate, yes, but so much more! We have the honor and privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth. He has chosen us to be His mouthpiece! What a call!