Time Alone With God daily devotional

Time Alone With God daily devotional

Written by Pastor Phil Stout of JAXNAZ Church

Thursday, October 20

Read: Matthew 28:16-20

New International Version (NIV)

The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Start

Consider: It is interesting that in his final directions to his disciples, Jesus included baptism in the strategy for changing the world. Why would it be important to dip people in water in order to bring about the redemption of God’s creation? Why is that part of our marching orders?

Let’s go back to yesterday’s discussion. When we submit ourselves to baptism, we’re attaching ourselves to the Body of Christ. To be baptized “into Christ” means that “you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

This body of believers is amazing. It is comprised of Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and a wide variety of Protestants. We worship in huge cathedrals, small country churches, storefronts, coffee houses, in “underground” homes and among the trees in remote jungles. We come from every nation and every ethnicity. Our customs, liturgies, rituals and worship styles are as diverse as we are.

But we don’t only span geography and culture. We span time. We worship a God “who was, and is and is to come” (Revelation 4:8). And because we are made in his image, redeemed and resurrected by him, the same is true of us. The church is past, present and future.

The church is called to be the manifestation of Christ on earth. We are called to be the hands of Christ and we join hands with Christians across the ages. We are not only defined by what Christ has done in us as individuals. We are also defined by what Christ has done in his church and through his church.

Jesus told the Eleven to “go and make disciples” (28:19). We are those disciples that were “made” by the obedience of Jesus’ first disciples. So just as I am one with you and you are one with me, so we are one with Peter, James and John—and two millennia of faithful followers. We call that the “Communion of the Saints.”

Pray: Take some time to prayerfully meditate on the precious gift that has been given to you—the gift of being part of Christ’s church. Consider all that God has given you through the church and thank him for all of those blessings. Meditate on what it means to commune with the saints throughout the ages.

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