Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "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 the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
~ I've always known this as the "Great Commission" but how much have I thought of this? This lesson was a great one to get me thinking and do some searching and more learning. Now, I understand that most people who might one day read this may already have realized these thoughts I am about to express, but I felt it important to share anyway.
Apostolic - most of the time, we have assoiciated this with more charizmatic groups. But in the lesson, we were shown the Greek meaning of the word: Apostello - to commission or send. God is a sending God! He sent Jesus who sends the Spirit who then empowers the church for mission! We were given an example of the apostolic nature of mission - Ministry in Samaria.
In John 4:3-5, it was pointed out that Jesus "had" to pass through Samaria. John 4:6-8, he sat by a well. John 4:9-26, he crossed barriers (social, racial/ethnic, religious, and moral). John 4:27-38, this was his food and drink. Jesus went to where people were! He got involved with the people and made connections. He connected the water that she was drawing out of the well to the living water that he could give to her. He got to her level. He showed is care and he shared.
God calls us to consider ourselves, how can we be apostolic in all we do? In 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, Paul lists several spiritual gifts and he never mentioned evangelism. The question was asked - WHY? It is part of who we are! It is not an option, it is part of our identity! We have been sent by God, that is our responsibility.
~ Now personally, I have not been comfortable with just talking to anyone about my faith. I've been frozen in what to say before and caught off guard without knowing what to say. People had blown me off. It has really broken me down. Most of the time, my words just don't come out the right way. When I take the time to organize things and get it onto paper, it works out great! But when I'm put on the spot, I freeze. So, after these experiences, I started telling myself that this was just not one of my gifts. It was okay for me to not really talk to people about my faith and why I believe what I do. Now, I have changed those thoughts. It is not okay, God has sent me, I have a purpose to bring people into his kingdom! I've got a lot to work on, and God has some molding to do, but I've got to allow it. I am so thankful that we had this lesson yesterday. It woke me up and gave me an aha moment. Now, to let God's word work and change me more, and give me the knowledge to teach our children to do the same things! What is in store for us now? (Change is always coming! That is the only thing that always stays the same - as pointed out by Scott) It is time to get out and transform the world!