Week Nine - Day Five
How will I succeed in obeying this mission?
1 Corinthians 2:3-5 - And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trem- bling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
2 Corinthians 5:20 - Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his ap- peal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
When we think of the apostle Paul, we may imagine a very gifted public speaker, preacher, evangelist, a well-educated theologian, learned in the Scriptures and very e ective at winning souls for Christ. But when Paul wrote his first letter to the Corin- thian church, he described his weak and fearful condition. Before writing to Corinth, he had been beaten and imprisoned in Philippi, run out of Thessalonica and Berea and sco ed at in Athens. He had not been an e ective missionary.
It is a common misperception to assume that success in the Great Commission hinges on whether or not you have brought someone to Christ. Paul was not always a successful missionary and evangelist. But, he lived committed to the call to “Go.” Success in the Great Commission is living the Christian life daily, inviting others to know Jesus and trusting God for the results.
Paul continued to persevere in spite of the hardships and opposition he faced. How was this possible? Because he trusted in the principles found in the Great Commis- sion. God does the work; because we are his agents we cannot fail. It is all God’s work. The only way we can fail is if we don’t “Go”. Knowing this removed the pres- sure of success from Paul and should for us as well.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he says, “we are ambassadors for Christ” to others, appealing to them to “be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). We won’t be able to convince or manipulate someone with smooth words to follow Jesus. Paul’s desire for people to know Jesus flows out of him; he “implores” or begs people to consider Jesus. He poured himself out at great cost! Read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 to see what Paul endured to “implore” others on behalf of Christ.
Here we see a beautiful combination of a deep love for others and a strong trust in God’s work. Paul loved people and trusted God, and we must do the same. Com- pelled by earnest love and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the “Go” of the Great Commission is a natural desire of a disciple. Now, live out the desire embedded in you; Go Make Disciples.
In your own words, what would success in the Great Commission look like as you obey this mission? Practically, what can you do to begin spending time with someone in your life who doesn't know Jesus?