April 23 Devotional

Happy Thursday! Today we’ll be looking at Matthew 28:18-20:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This is the ending of the entire Gospel, and Jesus’ last commands recorded by Matthew. This is the mission statement of every church that has ever existed! Jesus begins with a reminder of who He is. As Paul reminds us in Colossians 1, Jesus is God. And because Jesus is God, He has authority. But not just some authority, or a piece of authority, He has ALL authority in both heaven and earth. That includes every sphere of existence! Jesus begins here because everything else is dependent upon Him being in authority. We can carry out His command because He is in charge!
In Jesus’ command to us there are 4 verbs. In Greek, the verbs are generally the main thrust of the passage. When you’re learning Greek, the verbs are what you spend the most time on, not only because they’re so confusing, but also because they’re very important! The 4 verbs listed here, in order, are: Go, make disciples, baptizing, and teaching. And the reason you spend so much time on the verbs is it helps you know where to place the emphasis, and the emphasis in this verse is: make disciples. Every other verb is subservient to that command. The church is to go, we do not exist for ourselves. This doesn’t mean going from one room to another, this is going out into the world to help others become disciples (to fish for men and women!). Then when people are disciples, the next step of obedience is baptism. This is the easiest step for any Christian to take! Loving our neighbor as we love ourselves is going to take a lifetime to work on, baptism can be done today! But baptism is just the first step, because the next command is the lifetime pursuit: obeying everything Jesus commanded. We’ll never reach that state in our own power, but only though the work of the Holy Spirit in us. And over all this, ensuring that we will endure until we’re called home is the fact that Jesus is with us forever! We can’t flee from Him, we can’t run away from Him, He will continue leading and guiding us in all righteousness. 
Today’s song is by a group that no longer exists, All Sons and Daughters. They’ve taken the Prayer of St. Patrick and turned it into a song called ‘Christ Be All Around Me’ you can listen again on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
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