Our words are not merely a way to express ourselves; they are also a weapon of choice, used with precision and exactness as to wound the mind into thinking that even heresy is truth.
Our brains are being scrambled. The media is doing an awesome job telling us what to think, how to think and when to think. Have you noticed the important stories are the ones they want to tell you? This month alone, we have all heard stories about an illegal immigrant who allegedly murdered a young woman. But we do not hear about the father who killed his wife and family. As we listen, we hear about how gun violence is out of control in Chicago, but we do not hear how a woman protected herself and her family with the use of a firearm. We hear how income inequality is rampant among our nation and we hear the war cries of injustice. We hear how horrible the wealthy are because of how much they steal from others, only to find out that the same people who cry this way are making millions themselves. Today is the epitome of hypocrisy and deception.
So what is the solution to all of this? How can we overcome the hypocrisy and deception we face in today’s media driven world? It’s not like we can just turn it all off and hide in our little bubbles. Even though that might sound appetizing, it is not reality. Our world is filled with various media outlets and many are subject to the brainwashing. So if we can’t turn off the media, what can we do? We can answer the prayer of one man, Jesus Christ.
In John 17, Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. In one of his prayers, he says the following:
”My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” – John 17:20-23 (NIV)
Today, this prayer has yet to be answered, but I believe that it can be answered and will be answered someday. However, the only way we can come to complete unity is if we have a better understanding of what we stand for. Now, I do not mean racial inequality or income inequality or Democrat vs Republican, no, what I mean is, as Christians, do we truly understand why we are here? Do we really understand what our responsibilities are while we are living?
Please don’t misunderstand me…the matters of these social issues is important. It is important when someone is arrested for something they didn’t do all because of the color of their skin. It is important when a woman can’t make as much as a man simply because they were created as a woman. It is important when our soldiers, who come home, are homeless, yet those who claim to fight for them, don’t even donate to causes which help our homeless veterans. It is important to stand up for what you believe in, but is it more important to stand up for social issues and not stand up for your mission?
Our unity can only come when we fully understand the mission we have. So what does Jesus want us to do? Does He simply ask us to live a quiet life among those who are lost? Does He want us to preach from the mountain top and cry out on how to come to Him? What exactly, does Jesus want us to do?
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gives us our mission. It is a clear and focused mission and I truly believe that once we all work towards that mission, not only will be become unified, but the social ills of today will become calmer. These issues may not fully go away, but they can be tamed if we just follow the clear and focused mission Jesus gave us:
”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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Our mission is a threefold mission. But before we get into what the mission is, we need to understand why this mission is so important. The answer…Jesus has given us His authority to do so. Jesus told them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” This means that no matter what we experience, no matter the war cries of the media, Jesus is in control and in charge. There is no earthly ruler that can claim that all authority has been given to them. They may try to claim this but it would be an ill-gotten attempt to try and convince us otherwise. Here is what I mean…
A ruler proclaims, “I have the authority over all people! No one can stop what I have started.” Yet in times of war, another, stronger ruler comes against this heretical ruler and overcomes him. The new ruler takes over the former’s people and immediately proves the authority he proclaimed is limited.
However, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” How can this be proven? When Jesus was hanging on the cross, someone said, “Hey Jesus…if you are truly the Son of God, come down from there.” He didn’t. Not because He couldn’t but because Jesus understood that by Him staying there and dying, He was fulfilling the command of his Father. Therefore, He stayed on the cross willingly.
“Being found in appearance as a man, He (Jesus) humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” – Philippians 2:8 (NASB)
Then after His death, Jesus rose from the dead, showing His authority over death. Therefore, because Jesus was fully obedient, He was given all authority over everything…in heaven and here on earth. There is truly nothing that is out of the scope of His authority.
It is with this authority, that we can do the three things we need to do. Our mission is not a complex one, but it isn’t easy either.
First, with the authority of Jesus Christ, we need to make disciples. This isn’t like baking a cake. The word for make here is to lead. To lead means we there is involvement. Typically, people do not follow others who are demanding or obstinate. Instead, we desire to follow someone who has experienced the same or similar situations we have. We like leaders who are willing to get their hands dirty with the people they are leading. We do not like those who say they are leaders but are not willing to do the things others are willing to do. Our calling is to be in the trenches with others. To share the message of Jesus Christ with them. We do not lead them to a way of acceptance, but rather to the one who has accepted them already. The first part of our mission is to lead them to the cross of Jesus Christ.
We, alone, cannot change anyone. We can only show them a better way to live. It’s like the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” The same holds true with sharing the Gospel. We can lead someone by telling them about the Gospel, but just as the cowboy leads the horse to water, so too, must we lead others by walking with them.
Our words are a weapon which can be used in a precise way to allow others to see that what Jesus Christ did for them is real. Others must also see that what we say are not just merely words, but we are willing to place action behind them. We must walk with them. We must not pull them forcibly. We must not push them when they do not want to move. But we must hold their hand, walk at their pace, show them the love of Jesus by helping them when they are struggling or hurting. We must sit with them when they are tired. We must sleep when they sleep, move when they move. If we simply tell someone the Gospel, but do not show them the Gospel, we blindly swing our sword in the hopes to hit the broad side of a barn. Instead when we only tell them, we swing our sword injuring both them and us in the process.
If you want to unite the world, we must first be united as Christians, with a united goal. We can be better together if we focus in on the first part of our mission, lead others to the cross. Next, we will look at the second (and possibly third) part of our mission.
Let’s unite under the cross of Jesus Christ and not worry about the brainwashing of society. Our authority to lead comes from the Maker of Heaven and Earth, so stop following blindly and open your eyes to the truth…Jesus is in control and has called us to lead as one.
Let’s answer the prayer of Jesus to become united as one body. We are truly better together when we are united in our mission to lead. God bless and encourage someone today.