Friday, August 23, 2013

The Great Relief of The Great Commission

While in China, I used to ride my bike to this place to find some quiet time. 
Before daybreak... Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, "Everyone is looking for you." But Jesus replied, "We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came." So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. ~ Mark 1:35-38

No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once. ~ Oswald J. Smith

Few people come to Christ the first time they hear the gospel. Elsewhere the apostle Paul said, "One plants the seed, another waters the seed, but it is God who brings the harvest." Surely, most of us have experienced being part of that very process. This being said, it may seem that Smith's words are somewhat out of place, but based on what Mark recorded we know that Smith was in harmony with the mind of Christ. Look at what Jesus said, We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. There were still hordes of spiritually and physically needy people right where he was, yet Christ said in effect, it's time to move on.

Is there something here for us to learn? I think there is. Jesus put a high value on getting the message of the gospel out to as many people as possible. For Jesus, wherever his feet could take him, he considered that to be his field. He sowed the message far and wide. For us, we need to be equally aware of that dynamic. As Believer, our journey gives us almost countless opportunities to ever expand our sphere of influence. Due to our individual uniquenesses--be they our venue, or personality, each of us are given opportunities to touch the lives of people in ways no one else can.

One final word...

In the Great Commission, Jesus reinforced what we have just been discussing. Jesus said, "Go into all the world, and as you are going preach the gospel." Isn't that encouraging? Isn't that why we are here, too? Isn't that a great relief?

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