Time Alone With God Daily Devotional

Friday, November 11

Time Alone With God daily devotional

Written by Pastor Phil Stout, JAXNAZ

Read: Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8

Matthew 28:19-20
New International Version (NIV)

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.”

Acts 1:8
New International Version (NIV)

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Start

“Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19)

“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

We always carry with us the deep, profound conviction that Jesus came for everyone—“all nations.” We cannot stop working as long as there are people who are hungry, both physically and spiritually. Those who are oppressed by the world and oppressed by sin, need to hear the good news that we have received. So we go beyond our home—our “Jerusalem”—out into the “Judea” that surrounds us. We enter into “Samaria”—that place that seems so disgusting and hopeless to our world. And we look even further. We try to envision those we have never met, people who are radically different from us, and we hurt for them, pray for them and try to reach out to them. We don’t see them as “others.” We see them as our sisters and brothers. We reach out to them even if it seems like we’re going “to the ends of the earth.”

Sometimes I hear people say, “Why do we send money and teams overseas when there are so many needs in our own country.” I can think of several reasons. First of all, Jesus never calls us to an “either/or” mentality. We are called to “both/and”—to love those who are near and to love those who are far. We set up a false dichotomy when we imply that we must choose one over the other.

Secondly, all the world is inhabited by God’s children and he loves us all. If those early disciples had not reached toward “the ends of the earth,” you and I would have never heard the good news.

And, again, we must not forget that geography means nothing. Those who are far away are not “other,” they are “us.” If we really believe in the household of faith (Ephesians 2:19), we know that our family is in our homes, in our churches, across town, throughout the nation and around the world.

As we remembered yesterday, this is not an assignment for any one of us. It is an assignment for all of us together. The church—filled with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit—is sent to the world.

Pray: “Lord, I pray for the church. Help our gaze, our passion and our love to extend beyond what we can naturally see. Help us to love as you love. Expand our thinking, deepen our love and empower us together to be a light to ‘all nations.’”

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