Today was the Great Commission
Matthew 28:19-20 (New Living Translation)
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Most people know these verses well. Today I chose to look up a few common words in the dictionary and it opened my eyes to a few things.
-disciples- a follower, a student
-observe- to examine, to celebrate
The first thing that popped into my head is I do NOT want my children to simply be followers of Jesus but students. I think our faith can be challenged quickly if we don't know God's Word. As a disciple we not only follow (and sometimes in life that can mean a completely blind following) but we want to be good students. Examining and studying and KNOWING God's truths always. Then, when we are in a season of not understanding God's way and just following Truth with trust we know that is wise because He tells us, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5&6
The other thing that surprised me was that in the definition of observe was the word celebrate. How fun is that? Not just examine God's Word but celebrate it! To be able to read it and say to our kids, "WOW!! Can you believe that?? Woo hooo!! That is sooo cool!!!" It really is a story of victory so why would we not be jumping up and down and celebrating?
My last thing (sorry, a little long winded today as always) is to say that "Go!" does not mean you need to go to another country or to your local "downtown" and find homeless wanderers. Not that you can't do that if you feel led, but we often see big pictures of the "Great Commission" and miss the people in our own home. I was so sad when I learned Paul's family's history. His grandparents came from Puerto Rico as missionaries to the United States. Yes, you read that right! They went to New York to share Christ with the Hispanic community. They had 6 children and only two of their children follow/followed Christ themselves. Many of them had severe drug and alcohol problems and were very lost as their parents helped lead others to salvation. Again Paul's mom and dad taught in and preached in a Spanish speaking church while Paul and his brothers were young. Ironically they chose not to teach the boys Spanish because in this area it was frowned upon at that time. Out of three children for a time none of them knew the Lord as Savior. Paul was the first and only one for many years. His brother has gone through many changes in the last few years and has found his way to the Lord after many long and lonely struggles in life. His younger brother still won't even come to our children's dedications. No interest in being at church at all...ever. I know it breaks his mom's heart. She also has fantastic stories of leading others to the Lord. Every time I hear the stories I want to weep. To miss my children in eternity while reaching out to others I do not want. My top concern for "teaching them to observe all I've commanded" is my children. If they know the Lord we can reach others as a family. When they leave my home there will be 5 more students of the Word to teach others. If we all teach our own children, think of the impact on the world! Please know I am not saying we do not need missionaries and outreach and serving others around us. We are SO about that as well, but not while missing the little ones (and big ones) in our care.
How are you doing today? Are you a student AND a follower? Have you celebrated Jesus with your family lately??