If you are familiar with Joshua Nations, you have very likely heard or read numerous references to the Great Commission – and for good reason too!
The Great Commission, as recorded in the 28th chapter of Matthew, are the final words of our Savior to His Disciples; the capstone teaching of his time on earth with those whom He chose to reveal His Glory.
So, what did our King say?
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” NKJV
To the Church as a body and the heart of every true believer – this is the answer to an entire array of philosophical and societal questions. Questions which when left unanswered, plague many believers. We as the followers of Christ have this glorious truth and love from He that is light and just and was before all else that is!
Take heart Christian, ALL authority is in His Good, capable and battle worn hands! He’s not obsessed by the news. He’s not taken aback. He’s not afraid.
You have been called out of the chaos and given an inheritance of access and richness to walk joyfully, eternally in that abundantly good news! Go tell it on the mountain! Proclaim with your life “The Lord, the Lord God, (is) merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34: 6-7 NKJV
Wait, what was that last part about visiting iniquity?
Yes, that is good news too. Our God is merciful, but what is mercy if there is no wrath? There is no justice without condemnation of the guilty. Our God is a consuming fire, remember? That is a good thing, fiercely good.
Our Savior now, in the commissioning of his lieutenants includes these words: “teaching them to observe all things that I have COMMANDED you.” He has commandments too, to go along with all that unmerited favor. This isn’t a free-for-all. There is no “Good News” without this part, can’t you see! There is no joy that exists outside of obedience, no peace without repentance, no safety without the Kingdom.
So where do we go from here? What is his Great Commandment?
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
Restart here today, will you? Love God and Love your Neighbor. Do it well.
What if the church was to stand apart by taking this portion of his commandment to heart? Jesus said it was like, a pretty big deal. “I dare you to love your next-door neighbor.” Yea, that one.
Does it even occur to you or are you too busy with work, church service, Instagram reels, youth group, Snapchat, bible studies, choir practice, small groups, soccer, piano, pulling daisies, watching paint dry or literally anything to keep you from having an awkward conversation with the people who live on your street?
Obey your King and love your neighbor. Let’s take it literally.
The one next door whose kids are the reason we pay HOA dues. Yes, that one. The one with the scary accent, the one with an immaculate lawn and the one with dirt. The family up the street who could become your best friends if only one of you would look the other in the eye. The one constantly cooking curry. They are your people to love.
Ask them their name, about their day, their work, their family. Go to them, where they are and bring a little light along. Invite them into your life. Our Christian community has grown far too complacent in this area. We’re letting the culture drive the tenor of our neighborhoods and it’s, surprisingly I know, not at all working. Do something about it.
He cares more about your love for your neighbor than everything on that list of things keeping you busy – the reasons you may not be loving them already.