by Brad Jolly

I like to think about those people in my life who are close to me, and I like to remember special moments and words they have spoken to me. Do you do this too? Think back and remember the special words spoken to you by someone close. Maybe this was a really happy time like when your spouse or fiancee told you that they were in love with you. Another time might be when a close friend was moving away and told you how much they cherished your friendship and how they were going to miss you. Perhaps it was a sad moment when a loved one was dying and wanted to share some special word with you. Regardless of what kind of moment it was, what they were saying to you was not just casual in nature but something very special. Because of your relationship with that special person and the importance of what was being said, those words are forever etched into your mind and you can recall them even today. Last words have a significant impact on our lives and sometimes they even change the course of our lives forever.

Jesus shared special words for us to remember not long before he ascended into heaven. These words have been captured in Scripture for all eternity, and they not only have significance to us but to those who have never heard them before.

‘Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”’ Matthew 28:18-20

In this passage (often referred to as the Great Commission), Jesus instructs us to do two things:
1) Go
2) Make disciples

First, Jesus tells us to go. That means we need to go out to wherever people are – our neighborhood, our school, our place of work, our community, and our city. Wherever God has placed you, He wants to use you to share His saving power with those around you who are hurting and lost. You may ask, “Why me? I don’t have any special abilities.” God’s not asking you to do anything special other than to love and to share what Jesus has done in your very own life. Remember when you came to Christ and put your trust in Him? He saved you and brought you into His family. What kind of change did that make in your life? That’s your story. Those around you who are lost are wanting to see if the saving power of Jesus is real. Most folks have seen or tried “religion”, but Jesus doesn’t ask for religion. Instead, He offers a relationship with Himself in which He brings life-giving salvation to those who receive Him. Trust me, most people would love to hear what Jesus did in your life when you came to Him.

Second, Jesus tells us that once we go, we are to make disciples. “Whoa, me? Make disciples? I wouldn’t even know where to begin!” So let’s break this down into simple steps. Making disciples is not preaching, but rather sharing what Jesus has done in your life (before), is doing (right now), and what that means to you (the effect). Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that He came to give us life. Before Jesus, there was no life, no true peace or satisfaction, and no power in your life to overcome sin, habits, addictions, etc. You may say, “Well, I’m still dealing with some of these things.” Look, Jesus didn’t make you perfect all at once when you came to Him. He is working in you to make you complete in Him. You are a work in progress. But that also makes you real to others if you are willing to be vulnerable with them. Just be a witness sharing the changes He has made and is continuing to make. Some folks may oppose you and say that Jesus isn’t real, but you have experienced the change He brings when He saves. Nobody can deny what you have personally experienced. That’s the power of a personal witness. You don’t have to be a salesperson or an attorney for Jesus; just tell others what He has done for you.

Lastly, as part of making disciples, you are not only sharing about your life with Jesus, you are showing the love of Jesus to those same people. How does that look? Invite someone over for dinner or a cup of coffee/tea. Maybe grab lunch or dinner out with that person. Just start a relationship in which you can share freely with someone. Ask them questions about where they are in their pursuit of a relationship with Jesus. They may say that they are not on a pursuit. They may say they aren’t really sure that Jesus is real or He is only a good teacher. They may say that they tried “church” or “God” once, but it just didn’t feel real to them. They may say that they have never really considered anything about a relationship with Jesus, but they would like to know more. Take whatever they tell you, and just be open to talking about it. Remember, Jesus tells us in the verses above,

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

You are not alone; He is with you giving you the power to share what you know and have experienced personally. God promises to use His word that you share, and He will make sure it does not return void.

Finally, remember that it is not your job to save others. You are simply showing love and sharing what your life with Jesus is like. God will take it from here and work as only He can.  Be encouraged; Jesus will work through you as you go and make disciples.  He will be with you.