Be Still and Know
By Marcia Jarrett
I am wrapping up a study in the book of Matthew and we just finished the Great Commission. I was tempted to just glance over it as it is a passage we hear often, but God spoke to me in a whole different way.
"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.'"
The root of the word "authority" is auctor which translates to author. Jesus is the author of our stories, but He does not call us to do anything He did not first do. When He tells us to "Go", we can expect to be called out of our comfort zones. I take comfort in knowing that our service is not expected to be perfect because we are not perfect. Looking at the tense of the commands in the Great Commission, we can know this is all an ongoing process. "Teaching" shows that it is a process. We should not expect to tell someone about Jesus and then be done. It is an ongoing process. We can expect the same for our service for the Lord. God wants to grow us closer to Him, that is why He gave us Jesus- the ultimate sacrifice. 1 Corinthians 15:14 says, " And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." We can stand secure knowing that Jesus is the Cornerstone of our faith and He will be with us always, to the very end of the age!
So what does this Great Commission look like for our church? On Sunday, Stewart said, "We are now the church gathered. When we leave this building, we are the church scattered. But we are always the church." We are called to be counter cultural. The first step is easy, step out in faith and do what is uncomfortable--Pray with a friend or neighbor, take food to someone struggling, tell them how much our great God loves them. When you do not have the words or actions, pray. God will always guide you when you ask.
Like the Matthew passage says, we can be sure we are not alone. God is all around us and sends us constant reminders. I was out for a walk and came upon this sign at Kimball Hill Pond. "Be still and know....." Coming to the end of the ministry year, this is a good reminder. As our schedules begin to open up more, we can be tempted to fill our time with unhealthy things. I challenge you to fill those times by being quiet with the Lord. Or call up a friend and do a study together. Let's work this summer to begin looking for ways to practice being righteous for God's glory!