It’s vital for us to understand and embrace this first component. Reaching people with the gospel was not our idea. It’s not something we came up with and are now asking God to help us accomplish. No, it’s the opposite. It was the heavenly Father who “so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
It was that Son, Jesus, who willingly “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10), and then told us to go into our world to do the same (Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus also promised us the Holy Spirit, from whom we would “receive power,” so that we could become his “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
So, God’s mission of rescuing wayward sons and daughters has now become our mission—and fortunately he promises to be with us always, even “to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Pastor and author Henry Blackaby reminds his listeners that we need to “watch to see where God is working and join Him in His work.” Well, God’s work is clearly to reach and redeem people who are far from him. We can have supreme confidence that we are joining him in doing just that, knowing that his gospel is still “the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
The God of the universe is already on a mission to seek and save the lost—and we have the privilege of joining him in his mission.
It’s tempting to think that God’s challenge to reach a lost world is a task that’s reserved for elite Christians—those with special gifts or training. But that isn’t the case. We are all members of the church to which Jesus gave the Great Commission. Specifically, when he locked eyes with his disciples in Matthew 28:19-20, he was looking through them at us—all of his followers throughout time.
“Go and make disciples of all nations,” he told us, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” And, as we saw earlier, in Acts 1:8 he added, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Yes, these words are for you and me—and for everyone who is a genuine follower of Jesus. They are God’s exciting invitation into a divine partnership to change our world. We can’t do this without God, but for reasons he doesn’t explain, he chooses to do this with and through us.
You’ll often feel like you’re out of your league. We all do. There are times when you’ll be nervous and tempted to keep your mouth shut. I get it. Your heart will be beating fast and your palms will sweat. Join the club. But God knows how to help us, to use us, and to change people’s eternities through the divinely directed efforts we’ll make.
Mark Mittelberg helps you know how to better share your faith this Monday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from Contagious Faith by Mark Mittelberg. Copyright ©2021 by Mark Mittelberg. Published by Zondervan. Used by permission.