19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:18-20
I used to think this was nothing more than a tag line. A phrase that came out of the mouth of Jesus that was meant for the few Believers that existed at that particular time in history. It certainly seems this way. As I painfully look at my own life, and observe the lives of many others, the actions speak much louder than the words we preach/hear during that 30-40 minute speech we get from the local church leadership every Sunday morning. What we truly believe; who or what we truly worship; it all can be known by anyone within observation distance of our daily lives. And let me tell you, with this beautiful curse of social media, that observation distance is nationwide, even worldwide for some. What you say, and with what tone you say it will often make it easy to see the motive behind the statement. Actions you take, and the manner in which you take them will show the world who it is you worship.
The challenge with this is when we claim the name of Christ over us; when I say to you, “Sure…I’m a Christian”, from that point to the end of our acquaintance I am telling you the story of who God is and what he’s done. This is what it means to be made in the image of God. We are image bearers of the God of the universe! What a beautiful gift from our Creator that he would choose humanity to reflect himself and show the rest of creation who he is. As someone who is meant to tell the story of Jesus (who he is, what he’s done, etc.) when we say to God and others that we are believers, we’re saying “look at me. I’ll show you God.”
Jesus says to his disciples in John, chapter 14, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Then, near the end of his physical time on Earth he gave the command above. Go and make disciples. This is extremely clear. He’s not speaking code or using figures of speech here. The only possible conclusion is that if you truly love Jesus as you claim…then making disciples will be a defining priority woven into every aspect of your daily life.
Everything you do tells the world around you something about God.
We pay our bills because God always keeps his promises. We discipleship is the fundamental foundation of how we parent. We love our local church just as God loves it and we serve and sacrifice for it in the way Jesus did. A disciple will not simply be an honest, voting, tax paying, citizen, but will strive to live the same type of life that Jesus did. And when we fail in that, we are quick to repent, as publicly as necessary, and we run back toward him and work as he did. A believer will care about the things Jesus cares for and as deeply as he cares for them.
Every single thing you do every day tells the story of God to those around you. Are you telling a lie about God? Are you telling people, “watch me”, then living just like the rest of the world as if God has done nothing in your life any differently than theirs?
You claim Jesus but do you love Dickinson the same way he does? You claim he saved you from your rebellion against God, but does it break your heart that our city is filled with people who don’t know him? You say you believe that God came down to give his very life for the sake of humanity, but could you say you give your life; your actions; your money; your energy; your time to those in our town that have chosen Hell and damnation out of ignorance?
What do your actions tell people about your God?
I want to challenge you, as I’ve challenged myself, to observe your life as one who has rejected God. Do this and ask yourself what your life tells the world about God. How do you need to change, by the Spirit, to more accurately image this Jesus you claim?