February 19, 2006


Matthew 28:16-20

"Go and make disciples of all nations ..." Matthew 28:19


Among the missionaries my church supports are missionaries to many different cultures. Why have these missionaries left behind family and friends and gone to work and witness where customs are so different and people often live in dire poverty? Because Jesus said, almost 2,000 years ago, "Go and make disciples of all nations ..." Many of us believe the power of mission should be centripetal, drawing things powerfully toward a center, like a whirlpool. We often set up our evangelism efforts that way. The doors of our churches are always open, we say, and God will draw in the people he chooses. But while the church needs to be open and welcoming to all, we often fail to get out of our comfort zones and away from our pews to seek people who are lost. Jesus' command calls us to a mission that mainly operates with centrifugal force, spreading out to bring the good news of Jesus and establish new churches all over the world. That's the power of Christ's mission. Whether it means walking through our backyard to talk to a friend on the next street or traveling to a land on the other side of God's world, the power of the gospel pushes us out to meet with people everywhere who need to hear and live by the good news. That's the mission Jesus calls us to.

Lord, forgive our spiritual cowardice. Help us move out on your behalf to let the world know you call disciples from every nation under heaven. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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