Have you ever noticed last words are often lasting words?
Some famous people throughout history have had their last words captured. Here are a few of them:
Jesse James: “It’s awfully hot today.”
James Dean: “My fun days are over.”
D.L. Moody: “I see earth receding; heaven is opening. God is calling me.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt: “I have a terrific headache.”
Another famous person that had some of their last words on earth captured was Jesus Christ. We know his words as the Great Commission.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in 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.” Matthew 28:18-20
This commission, these last words of Jesus that have lasted for 2,000 years, implore us to be gospel focused and relationally invested in the lives of others. Jesus here gives us our all-encompassing and all-consuming marching orders, to make disciples.
Jesus tells us where. Everywhere we go, in every area of our lives, we’re to think about and live out making disciples. That’s the all-encompassing part. The great commission is to encompass all of our lives, all our friends, all our relatives.
In another place, Jesus also spoke on loving God and loving others as ourselves.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
This is the all-consuming part of our responsibility. Here Jesus is getting at the “How?” He is answering the question, “How do I live as your follower?” When we think of these two passages together, Jesus basically commands us to be loving people and leading them to Jesus.
Now, I don’t know about you, but to be honest, most days I’m not living the all-encompassing, all-consuming commands of Jesus.
I have a long way to go in this.
Sitting here, writing, and thinking about this, I could be discouraged.
Again, I don’t know where you’re at, but you could be discouraged, too.
But God helped us respond to his all-encompassing, all-consuming love for us and now he wants us to take this same love to all the world.
I also know a little secret. It applies to you and it applies to me. No matter how far away we might be from where God wants us to be, with his help we can always take a step closer to where he wants us to be.
It may be just starting to pray that God would get a hold of your heart more. It may be that God impresses on your heart to pray for 1-2 people on a daily basis.
It may be that the next step he wants you to take by faith is to bring up Jesus and ask your friend what they believe about him or how someone gets to heaven. But let’s all take one step of faith. And then after that, let’s take another step. And keep on walking to the Holy Spirit’s cadence.
And that’s the encouragement I’d like to leave you with. I don’t where you are at, but I encourage you to take a step closer to Jesus, closer to being used by him in a friend’s life, closer to his all-consuming, all-encompassing plan for us.