Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 4- A Change in Perspective

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you."
Matthew 28:19-20

Perspective is how you see things. Our perspectives can change in a moment. I was driving to church on Monday morning only to find myself blinded by the sun. As I squinted and looked at the road ahead I began to feel around the car for my sunglasses. I knocked over a drink cup, picked up some papers, opened the glove compartment and finally found them. I put them on and my perspective completely changed. It was a relief, I must say. Too much bright sunlight can give me a headache. My eyes get tired from the squinting.

Look around you today as you're driving to school, work or the grocery store. Look at all the people whose perspectives are being influenced by sunglasses. Wearing sunglasses makes it much easier to stand in the sun.

God's perspective never changes. When mine doesn't line up with His, I've got to change. For the past 7 months God has been changing my perspective. It's been painful at times- but the results have brought much relief. My perspective change has to do with the Great Commission that Jesus gave to His church in Matthew 28:19-20. For most of my life my perspective on the Great Commission fell short of God's perspective.

I read the commission in this way: go and reach the lost with the gospel. That is certainly a part of the commission and it is essential. However, just as essential to the commission is the part I've been missing- make disciples. My purpose as a pastor is to make disciples. Our purpose as a church is to make disciples.

The commission has 2 sides: reach and teach. "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I've commanded you" is just as essential to "go and reach them with the gospel." The gospel is essential for salvation; the teaching is essential for sanctification. In other words, the gospel saves us and the word of God shapes us to be more like Christ. For far too long I've been reaching the lost with the gospel and neglecting the "teaching" part. Not anymore.

I want to be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ who loves God, loves others, grows in faith and serves the world who, by God's grace, makes disciples who love God, love others, grow in faith and serve the world. Fulfilling all of the commission is the way that will happen.

Day 4 prayer emphasis: Ask God to change your perspective on the Great Commission. Our call is to make disciples, not just converts. Ask God to help you fulfill that commission with your life.

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