Sunday, June 03, 2012

Living Out the Great Commission

Sandra D. Bricker was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles for 15+ years. She is now a best-selling, award-winning author of laugh-out-loud fiction for the inspirational market. As an ovarian cancer survivor, she gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics and a cure. Her latest novel, Book #3 of 4 in the Another Emma Rae Creation series for Abingdon Press, is Always the Designer, Never the Bride. Sandie invites every reader to click the FOLLOW button on her newly-redesigned BLOG and contribute to the ongoing conversations.

I’m pleased to be back to share with you a special Bible study that I write for my church, CedarCreek, and their daily Bible study program called Living It Out (LIO). Each study is taken from the pastor's Sunday sermon, attempting to bring clarity and further explanation, or just to bless you in a deeper way as you strive to "live out" the teachings of the Bible. If you're interested in a deeper look at what you read here, please feel free to  SIGN UP  for daily emailed studies to be sent to your inbox, or check out the audio versions for a quick Bible pick-me-up each day.

There is an interesting book that I’ve come across, written by Jim Collins. In Good to Great and the Social Sector – Why Business Thinking is not the Answer, Collins delves into the difference between the mediocre and the truly excellent:

“The comparison companies in our research—those that failed to become great—placed greater emphasis on using incentives to ‘motivate’ otherwise unmotivated or undisciplined people. The great companies, in contrast, focused on getting and hanging on to the right people in the first place—those who are productively neurotic, those who are self-motivated and self-disciplined, those who wake up every day, compulsively driven to do the best they can because it is simply part of their DNA.”

Does that describe you? Are you “compulsively driven” to do your best for the cause of Jesus, both in your personal life and your service within the church?

The song that made Whitney Houston a household name was titled, “How Will I Know?”Remember it, from the mid-1980s? There’s a line in the song that says, “I’m asking you ‘cause you know about these things.” That’s how we feel about the Bible, isn’t it? When we’re unsure or confused about something, we seek the answer in scripture. When we wonder if we’re doing a good job as Christ followers, as leaders, as servants…we find the answer by turning to The One who“knows about these things.”

The Great Commission tells us to go out and make disciples of men; part of doing so means to teach them how to live as truly converted believers.

The dictionary defines CONVERT in the following way: To change (something) into a different form or properties; transmute; transform.

Transformation is a powerful word, isn’t it? It implies a certain rebirth, a compulsive and devoted commitment to a new way of life. This should be our goal in teaching others how to live as believers.

Jesus instructs us as his disciples to serve as examples and teachers to others by purporting three unique qualities: A life of LOVE for Jesus; a life of SERVICE to others; and a life of TELLING the world what we know. It’s known as The Great Commission, but it’s really quite simple. It all starts with our love and passion for Jesus.

In order to be effective in fulfilling the commission he gave us, our next step is connecting with people on a regular basis and sharing our passion with them. Whether that’s done through church attendance and service, life group participation, committed missional membership or via some outside venue or source, we know from delving into the life of Jesus that being where the people are is the first step in teaching them about the salvation that awaits.

How many times has some simple gesture from a random person blessed your heart and provided a reminder that you are not alone? Through our service to others, we are instrumental in lighting the way for them toward transformation. This is why our involvement in church ministry and our commitment to furthering the cause of the church is so vital to our obedience to the teachings of Jesus.

By following up that service and sharing what we know and believe, the commission comes full circle in our lives.


BlessedAndAssured said...

Thank you so much for the insightful post. I'm actually working on a similar short series for my blog right now on what it means to give God your everything. I'll be posting them next week.

BlessedAndAssured said...

We're not all created to be missionaries, though. I fully believe that God expects us to use what He gives us for His glory, but how that works out will be different for every person. It's important that we know how to defend and share our faith when called for, and that we live out our faith in action, but I've always had a hard time with what a lot of Christians infer from the Great Commission: that we're all meant to be missionaries and evangelists in the common sense of the words. But God hasn't given me those particular gifts - at least not when it comes to the spoken word - maybe in written word, but not spoken.

lesleyannmcdaniel said...

"How many times has some simple gesture from a random person blessed your heart and provided a reminder that you are not alone?" Your post reminds me, among other things, how important it is to heed those small nudges that tell us when God wants to use us. How many times have you been that "random person"?

Diana Patton said...

Love this great reminder that relationships and community matter to fulfill the Great Commission. Thank you for this post!