The last command of Jesus was a command to make disciples of all nations. This command is operative until the end of the age. It’s not the end of the age yet, so it’s still an assignment for believers. Every Christian can experience the thrill of the Great Commission by recognizing the “all” guarantees of Jesus.
1. The Authority of the Assignment
Jesus guaranteed: “All authority has been given to me in heaven and one earth.”
Jesus assured His followers that their missional assignment wasn’t a matter of them figuring out how to carry out their assignment. He sent them — and us! The measure to which you grasp His power will determine your confidence in carrying out the rest of this command.
● How much authority does Jesus have?
2. The Audacity of the Assignment
Jesus commanded: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing then in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.”
This isn’t some call to go and tell people about Jesus and encourage them to become interested in Jesus. It may begin with that, but we’re inviting them to experience total life change. When we seek to obey everything Jesus commanded us we must trust completely in Him instead of ourselves.
● In what ways is the Great Commission an audacious assignment?
3. The Audience of the Assignment
Jesus defined the scope of our assignment: Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations.
We must guard against taking this command for granted because all people without Christ are lost. We must therefore take the good news about Jesus to every nation — to all peoples.
● Read Acts 4:12. Why does this make it imperative that we over the Great Commission?
4. The Accomplishment of the Assignment
Jesus assured His followers: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus is with us — personally and corporately. He is with us to guide and empower as we carry out the Great Commission.
● How can the presence of Jesus embolden you to carry out the Great Commission?
Jesus called us out of the darkness and into the light — and He calls us to bring light to the darkest places. Until He returns, we must be faithful to fulfill the assignment He has given us.
● It’s an assignment given by His authority.
● It’s an assignment that is audacious in its nature.
● It’s an assignment that commands an audience with everybody everywhere.
● It’s an assignment that includes the thrill of Christ’s accompanying us every step of the way.
How could we say no to that assignment?
We are now half way through 2020 — a year which, to many, feels like the worst year in recent memory. Yet, as we celebrate our country’s independence this weekend, it is helpful to remember there have always been challenging seasons in our history.
The year 1776 was so difficult it prompted Thomas Paine to pen the famous statement “these are the times that try men’s souls…” What are we to do in times of such difficulty?
Consider the gift of Brotherhood/Sisterhood. Brotherhood/Sisterhood can be defined in this way:
A deep, mutual bond between Christians that is joyfully expressed in service and sacrifice for each other’s good and for God’s glory.
This is important, especially in these times in which we are trying to “keep our distance.” It can be very tempting to withdraw into isolation. However, alone is dangerous. That is why sharing a brotherhood/sisterhood type of bond with our brothers and sisters in Christ can help us survive and even thrive in challenging times.
There are two key aspects of our brotherhood/sisterhood that are particularly important
1. Shared Risk
We were never meant to withstand the pressures and risks of life by ourselves. Challenges, fears, anxieties, and other concerns can be overcome when we lock arms with our brothers and sisters. There is a unique and powerful bond we experience when we engage in life with others at our side. There is something truly powerful in knowing you are with others who are committed to your well-being.
John 15:13: No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.
Prov 17:17: A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
2. Shared Reward
Brotherhood/Sisterhood is more than way to cope with the challenges of life. It’s more than accomplishing a goal or winning a battle together. The relationship we experience with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ is the ultimate reward. If we look back, we may look fondly on events or accomplishments, but more than anything we should consider the value of the relationships we have developed.
The Marines have a wonderful motto that summarizes this beautifully:
Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infintas — which translated means: Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever!
In this life we will be often tested, but as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we experience an incredible reward of being brother and sisters, faithful and forever.
Think About It | Talk About It
Are you as smart as a Marine? What is the English translation to these Latin terms?
• Saepius Exertus
• Semper Fidelis
• Frater Infintas
• Are you experiencing the gift of brotherhood/sisterhood? If not, what may be keeping you from reaching out to others?
• If you are experiencing the gift of brotherhood/sisterhood, talk about some experiences you have had and express your gratitude to God.
• If you are feeling isolated, what are some ways you might begin to initiate connection with others? Pray that God might put on your heart a person or group who you might connect with. Examples could be:
Fun Fact: King David provided 100,000 talents (3,750 tons) of gold and 1,000,000 talents (37,500 tons) of silver for the “house of the Lord.” (1 Chronicles 22:14) How much is that?
Gold: 296 million quarter pounders or the weight of 1071 elephants.
Silver: 30 million quarter pounders or the weight of 10,714 elephants.
Value in US Dollars: $58 billion
If $1 bills where stacked, it would reach 3,938 miles high!
Read: 2 Chronicles 2:12-16
How did God answer Solomon’s prayer? What did He say?
Read: 2 Chronicles 7:14
Discuss as a family the concept of revivals. If you are unfamiliar, ask a grandparent.
Define revival from the concepts of this passage. Think in terms of the word “restoration.”
What does restoration mean?
Three Steps along the Pathway to Restoration
1. It’s Not Them, It’s Us — “If My people”
Who are “My people”?
Read 1 Peter 4:17
Who is God looking to start the restoration process?
What does God desire to see in His people?
Discuss the meaning of repentance
2. It’s Not power, but Dependence — “humble yourselves”
What does it mean to humble yourself?
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4: pray for our nations and our leaders
What does it mean to seek His face?
While traveling, have you ever taken the wrong “way”? Ever asked Waze for help?
What does turning from the wrong way mean to you?
3. It’s Not Reform, but Healing
What does our text say that God will do when we humble ourselves, seek Him, pray and repent?
What is the difference between reform and heal?
Many of us are familiar with the story of Mary and Martha — praising Mary for sitting at Jesus’ feet while chastising Martha for staying busy. However, Jesus is really speaking about priorities and how life changes once we live with intentionality because of those priorities. It is possible to preserve the most lasting things of life by recognizing three key lessons that Jesus taught Martha.
1. You can’t have it all.
God has a calling for each and every person’s life. This calling is not to be in every sport, play every instrument, take every work opportunity, and make yourself as busy as possible trying to be successful. God has a plan for your life, and He will call you to those things that are best for you.
2. Your Yes’s Define You.
The way that you act shows your real priorities regardless of what you say. Martha loved Jesus, but she had too many things she was trying to prioritize at once while Mary prioritized learning from Jesus and being under His authority.
Mary realized that their time together was short and knew she needed to put Jesus at the forefront. This does not mean that moving forward in action is wrong, but it means that there is an order to things and that sitting at Jesus’ feet must be at the top.
3. Only One Thing Matters.
In Christ, we can rest and know that we do not have to be busy to be loved or known by Jesus. We can see that He is always enough for us and He will guide us. We do not need to strive. We can rest and allow Him to be in control.
Talk About It
• Do you feel like busyness has become a goal or even a status symbol in your life?
• Why is it difficult to step back from our hurried schedules and minimize so that we might live intentionally?
• Jesus is not saying that we should be inert but that we should prioritize Him. How can you begin your day sitting at His feet, allowing that to permeate the rest of your day?
• During this season we have had to say “no” to so many things. What are the things that you could continue to say “no” to so that you can say “yes” to Jesus?
• Why do you feel the need to control your life? Why is it so painful to surrender and allow Jesus to be our authority?
Dallas Willard – “Hurry is the greatest enemy of spiritual life in our day.”
We live in a time where being busy is viewed as a good thing. The sermon today focused on three reasons that living a hurried life is dangerous.
1. Hurry Redirects Our Worship
Jesus invites us in Matthew 11:28 to “come to me”. Jesus invites all who are wearied and burdened to come to Him for rest. That implies that we need to step out of being wearied and burdened. Whatever takes up our time is what we worship. While working hard is a good thing, it can replace Jesus if we aren’t careful.
2. Hurry Reinforces our Worry
When we live in a state of continual hurry, we may be trying to feel needed. We may be trying to feel good enough. Living in a hurried state may reveal that we don’t trust God to take care of us and we need to work harder to take care of ourselves.
3. Hurry Results in Wreckage
Jesus calls us to love God and others. Love can’t be done in a hurry. Love takes time. Alan Fadlings states, “For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we settle for a mediocre version of our life.” God promises us a life of abundance if we will rest in Him.
- Evaluate your schedule. Is there room for God to move in your life and space for you to hear his voice?
- Is your life too hurried? What can you cut to make room to rest?
On Easter Sunday, very early in the morning, Mary Magdalene and Mary went to visit Jesus’ tomb. As they were on their way they realized they would have a great problem when they arrived: the stone was in the way. (Mark 16:3)
The stone was a barrier that kept them from the truth about Jesus. In that sense, many of us deal with stones that keep us from life as God intended. Barriers that keep us from trusting God because we lack the truth that would give us the confidence we need. Barriers that we’re powerless to overcome on our own.
Matthew 28:1-7 records that an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached the tomb, rolled back the stone, and sat on it. The angel invited the women to set aside the barriers that were keeping them from Jesus. He invited them enter and to see the tomb.
All of the things the women feared indicated that they really believed they were alone. Once they realized they were not alone they had no basis for that fear. When God removes the stone that’s keeping us from seeing the truth, and we understand what has taken place, we can be free from fear.
The stone was rolled away so we can have all the evidence we need to believe that Jesus is risen. Some fear that God is disappointed with them or that something in their past may rob them of their future. God’s message for us is that because of the resurrection of Christ, all the barriers that would keep them from a life in Jesus Christ have been taken away.
• What is your stone or fears?
• Can you see how that stone is keeping you from Jesus?
• Would you like to experience the transformation Jesus can provide?
Reminder: Don’t forget to post kids’ sermon drawings and a photo of your family worshiping from home to social media with #10000Homes.
1. Jesus is a Humble King (Clue: A Donkey)
Humility is a powerful and important quality that Jesus had, and one that the Lord says is important in the hearts of Christ followers. Scripture tells us to humble ourselves.
• Why didn’t Jesus ride in on the finest stallion? He is the Son of God! He could have chosen anything.
• What are some ways that you can show humility this week? Pray, and ask the Lord to show you ways that you think of yourself more than others. Confess that to Him, and He will always forgive you! Ask Him for help to be more like Jesus.
2. Jesus is a Saving King (Clue: A Crowd)
The Creator of the universe sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to save you. He loved you so much that He wanted to pay the price of your sin, so that you could live and have eternal life with Him. He even died to save the people who hated Him. What a friend we have in our Savior, Jesus, right?
• What does the word Hosanna mean? If you don’t remember, look it up as a family.
• What are some sinful things you struggled with this past week that make you glad you have a Savior? Confess that to your family and the Lord, and don’t go back to it. Don’t hold on to any shame from it, because there is no condemnation (disapproval) in Christ Jesus!
3. Jesus is a Conquering King (Clue: A Mountain)
Jesus is coming again! He’s coming to make all things new. He’s coming to wipe out evil, suffering, poverty, and disease. He’s coming to take His children home to be with Him. He’s coming to make happen a glorious reunion with Saints who’ve gone before. He’s coming to mend the broken hearts. Praise the Lord!
• What are some words that you can use to describe the Lord and remind you of who He is when you are feeling nervous or scared? Scripture is a great place to look for words that describe God’s goodness and remind you that He has got this!
• Romans 8 tells us that God works all things for the good of those who love Him, according to His plan. James 1 tells us that if we persevere in trials, we will be blessed. When you have gone through something tough in the past, what were some good things that came out of it? Remember, when our hope is in our Conqueror, Jesus, the battle has already been won.
Take a moment and pray as a family, acknowledging Jesus as your Humble King, your Saving King, and your Conquering King. Ask Him to remind you of who He is, so that you don’t feel nervous or scared when you are going through a difficult time or feel unsure. Most of all, remember that Jesus is King, and God is in control!
The Bible tells the story of a woman who was dealing with both the grief of loss and the fear of the future because of her financial situation. We all are familiar with the same anxieties she experienced. Here are four questions to ask ourselves in a money crisis.
1. What do I need?
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray for our daily needs. We should take stock of the things we actually need and also who we need. Look at what we need, what God has already provided, and remember how He has provided for us in the past.
2. What do I have?
God often begins to provide for us using what we already have. We can look at what we have and ask for insight about how to recover in ways we hadn’t thought of yet.
3. What can I do?
We can both trust God and also take action. During down times we can take action by changing our consumption and acting on opportunities that are given to us. We can also demonstrate faith by giving.
4. Who do I trust?
The essence of trusting God is a heart issue. We need to be honest about our heart.
• What are some things you thought you needed that you’ve had to do without over the past few weeks?
• In what ways has God already provided for you?
• What are some ways you’ve had to put your faith in God in financial situations in the past? How have you seen Him provide?
• What are new ways you are having to trust God in this challenging season?
PRAY ABOUT IT
• Thank God for His provision, even when it feels different than it has before.
• Praise God for being trustworthy.
• Ask God to provide for you in new ways and to help you have faith in Him.
What makes us a church? Not our activity but rather our connection to Jesus. Here are three marks of an unstoppable church.
1. Awareness of the Power of God
God is sovereign over all. The disciples prayed over any and everything. They prayed to say, “You brought us through every other time. You’ll bring us through this time! You can do anything, Lord.”
• When and what do you pray about? Bring everything to God!
• Do you think of Satan as unstoppable and evil as inevitable? Remember that God has no equal! He is not in panic mode right now!
2. Anticipation of the Work of God
God rarely works the same way twice, but He works!
• What kinds of prayers do you ask of God: specific, submissive, audacious?
• Are you open to the different ways God will answer your prayers? Why or why not?
• Who can you share your prayer requests with?
3. Authenticity Among the People of God
Our current physical separation does not mean we have to be spiritually separated. We need to pray together and connect in biblical community now more than ever!
Please pause for a few minutes and allow the Lord to speak to you.
• Acknowledge, first, the power of God.
• Ask the Lord to move among us – anticipating the work of God.
• Pray for one another – ask the Lord to open up a renewed sense of deep fellowship among the people of God.
Remember: A praying church is an unstoppable church!