Jesus is center, Jesus is Lord, Jesus is King. It is all about Jesus. Or is it? As Christians we say these things inside and outside of the church knowing that in Christianity we serve Jesus. But how often in our day to day lives do we actually filter what we say or do through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
As we grow as Christians it is very easy to lose focus of the mission given to us by our king “….go and make disciples…” (Matt 28:19) Instead, we replace our focus and time with the petty things of life and “church.” In our busyness and pursuit of our own agenda we begin to focus on the process, instead of the person “Jesus.” “Go and make disciples” is just something the bible says and the preachers preach it’s not something we actually have to do right? Wrong! Jesus precedes our mission statement with:
“…All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.” Matthew 28:18-19
Jesus makes a point to tell us that ALL authority has been given to him. The magnitude of this statement is something we overlook. His authority over all people, all places, all things, authority over our lives, authority over our children, authority over our circumstances, authority over every star in the sky and authority over every speck of dust on the earth!
The summation of ALL authority is much bigger than any of us can even comprehend. So much higher than the heavens and so much lower than the depths of the sea. Yet we tend to dumb it down to “well he was only talking to the pastors and leaders in the church so that’s their job to make disciples” “that’s their responsibility to carry out Jesus’ commands.” The reality of this statement is that this is a job for all of us to do, and all of us are doing it, but the question is “how is it going?”
As husbands and fathers our families are our first mission field, our wives and children are our first disciples. I have to ask myself often “how well am I doing?” and sometimes the answer isn’t always what I know it should be. The petty things in life distract us from our first mission. How we desire our lives to appear in the sight of others and our own selfishness can take the place of Jesus’ command to make disciples. We strive in American Christianity to appear as if we have it all together. Our picture perfect family, our straight A student, our gold medal winner, our new vehicle, new home, etc. etc.
The result is that this perception of American Christianity and its behaviors will eventually bleed over into all other area’s of our lives, including how we view and love people. The longer we live this way the harder it will become for us to recognize and repent of the things that have become common place in our lives. The disciples we make at home, our children, the ones who see everything we do will inevitably be affected by this. If they see us putting the world and all of its wants and desires first they will eventually follow suit and feel it’s okay to do so.
We are called to be more than just good people who represent a perfect Christian life and a good church. Instead we are to show we are a fallen imperfect people who rely daily on Jesus. When others see us they should not see our vain attempt at perfection but rather Jesus living in us. Then when the name of Jesus leaves our lips, it is not viewed as a weakness in our witness but rather, the power by which our witness flows.
Jesus the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the God man who is so much more than a poor Galilean peasant in need of our acceptance. As if Jesus has ever NEEDED anyone to accept him. This is Jesus! The one who has authority over ALL of creation and whom we profess to serve.
If we truly serve him and not ourselves it will be evident by the way we speak of him inside and outside of the Church. We will filter our decisions through his word. We will make him a part of our friendships, meetings and conversations. We will not be ashamed to use his name as part of our daily conversation, and will always keep him at the center of our daily mission and purpose.
So I leave you with this question “how’s it going?” I ask this not to guilt or shame you, but to encourage you to ask yourself what I ask myself daily. “How are you doing?” What are some things we can do to put Jesus back at the center of our lives rather than ourselves?