With Authority & Power

By Reverend J. Loren Russell

Matthew 28:18-20‬ ‭(NKJV) ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.’”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
As much as you would like to think it does, “life does not revolve around you!” My parents used to tell me that when I was a child. I didn’t understand what they meant, after all, what else could life be for if it weren’t about me? I saw them do everything in their power to supply all my needs even if it meant they went without. That convinced me that life was all about and revolved around me.

I guess every child, or at least most of them, thinks that life really does revolve around them. As babies, our every cry is answered by a loving parent who has adjusted their lives so that their world revolves around us. Those actions leave the impression that our desires and aspirations are most important. You might be thinking the same thing, “What else could the world revolve around if not me?”

In the text, Jesus had risen from the grave and is preparing to ascend into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father as the great intercessor for failed humanity. But before he does, He needs to set the record straight and commission His disciples for the task at hand. His task was advocacy, and theirs was to make disciples.

They were charged to “go.” It wasn’t to stay and bask in the glory of their privileged positions as apostles. They were to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. When they were endowed with power from the Holy Ghost in Acts 1:8, they were charged to “witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

The charge they received to go is a clear indication that it was not about them, but those they were sent to. They had to be like loving parents to needy children, ready and willing to sacrifice their own comfort for the benefit of others. Like babies and children, we cannot help ourselves and need someone to care for us. But some of us are still caught up in the thought that the world revolves around us. We are the ones God is most concerned about because we cannot help ourselves.

The motivation for parents to forsake their own well-being for the benefit of their children and the motivation of others to overlook their personal needs to benefit others is exactly the same…, love! Parents are given authority and power to take care of their children through love. The Apostles were commissioned by the resurrected Christ, certified by His authority, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. They were charged to go where other men dared not step, to rebellious people, murderers, adulterers, embezzlers, thieves, whores, blasphemers, and liars through love.

How would they fare with people who still thought the world revolved around them? Over 2,000 years later, we know that they were able to spread the Gospel and make disciples in accordance to the Great Commission. But it is impossible to do the Great Commission unless you obey the Great Commandment. The Great Commandment says we are to “love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).

Combining the Great Commission with the Great Commandment endowed the Apostles with authority and power, and will endow us likewise to go “and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of both LaGree Baptist Church and the Evangelical Church of God, all in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096), and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on YouTube and email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at www.smashwords.com/books/view/993177.

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