Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for the West Side Church. Please feel free to follow along.
I want to jump back to the last chapter and last verses in the book of Matthew. Here Jesus is about to ascend into heaven and leave his disciples on earth for the last time. He gives them his final command as well as their commission as Apostles and disciples … “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, 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 surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Many Christians and churches use this verse to support their missions work as well as their outreach programs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact not only was it the Apostles commission, it was the whole churches commission.
However, I think too many times we forget the end of that verse. At the end of that verse Jesus gives a promise. He tells his disciples that if they carry out that commission … to make disciples of all nations, by baptizing them and teaching them (disciple them) … then he will be with them always. In essence, if we carry the message of the gospel, if we bring people into a life saving connection with Christ he is going to be with us as we do it.
In today’s reading (Acts 11) we see that promise being fulfilled. “The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.” As they tested new waters, whether it be a distant land or a new group of people … Greeks … the Lord’s hand was with them. He hadn’t forgotten them. He was there protecting them, guiding them, and even providing a fruitful crop for their labors.
I think sometimes we are afraid to share the gospel with our co-workers or relatives because we do not know what to say. Sometimes we are hesitant because we may be afraid of how they will respond. But remember if you are carrying out this commission in your life you have the promise that God will be with you as you do so. What an amazing promise. So get out there and share the message of Christ.