Today we conclude our journey through the gospel according to Saint Matt. We have spent over two years in this study, and we have hopefully encountered Jesus for who He is. Sometimes He was surprising. Sometimes He was comforting. But, according to Matthew, He is always the Son of God and the lover of our souls. Matthew finishes with his account of some of the final words of Jesus -- the Great Commission. (Of course, the FINAL final words of His earthly ministry are recorded in Acts Chapter 1)..
All Self-Seeking is Self-Loss
Easy living for an extraordinary life
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Safety for significance
“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church”
Losing Truth, Losing Touch
Confidence in any absolute today is seen as arrogance. Vague openness about everything is seen as humility.
In this time of relativism, it is very costly to be confident in what Christ has “whispered in our ears”, and much easier to scratch the world’s ears only where they itch.
Jesus fuels our courage in the face of criticism and persecution with these truths in today’s passage:
1. When we’re persecuted, we’re bound together with Him (Matthew 10:25)
Temporary Instructions, Timeless Principles
These instructions were unique, and do not necessarily apply today.
(See Matthew 28.19-20)
However, certain principles found in these instructions still apply.
Temporary instructions: Where to Go
“These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
You are hand—crafted… one-of-a-kind!
There has never been — and there will never be — another YOU.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Your best shot at making your biggest impact comes when you
1) Discover what you were made to do and 2) do that very well.
The Benefits of Serving 92% said serving in ministry positively influenced their spiritual growth. 63% said involvement in ministry is equally important to their spiritual growth as Bible study and prayer. (24% said serving was a more significant factor in their spiritual growth than Bible study and prayer) Over half (58%) of those not actively ministering to others felt “not satisfied “ or only “somewhat satisfied” with their spiritual growth.
(Eric Swanson, Leadership Network)
At the Water’s Edge
And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side.
Following Jesus was now going to cost something.
From Confession to Commitment
It’s one thing to say it, it’s another thing to do it. Admiring Jesus is easy. Following Him is the hard part.