LOOKING FORWARD

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

 

This passage, often referred to as “The Great Commission,” is echoed in both Luke and Matthew—although the latter version (Matt. 28:18-20) is more extensive and more frequently quoted. All three gospels contain Christ’s command to communicate the good news of God’s forgiveness and redemption to a world that would be otherwise lost without it.

 

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

 

This promise that these signs and wonders will accompany those who believe is not specifically found elsewhere in the gospels. However, these miracles certainly characterized the expansion of the first century church and are chronicled by Luke in the book of Acts. Even today, in the Third World, missionaries attest to innumerable miraculous signs and wonders that draw peoples’ attention to the Gospel message.

 

In more modern cultures, there are certainly other kinds of signs that point people to Christ. Individuals delivered from physical, spiritual, and emotional affliction. Restored families. Recovering addicts. Sacrificial giving. Selfless service to the poor, sick and disenfranchised. In one sense, these kinds of signs are even more compelling than raising the dead—because they involve the transformation of the human heart.

 

What’s at stake is nothing less than the destiny of people—both near and far off.

 

If our lives point others to Christ, then they will have the opportunity to know God’s life-changing mercy and grace. If our witness is impotent and unconvincing, then we’ve missed an opportunity for them to experience the Kingdom of God—for now and perhaps for eternity.

 

Jesus has the audacity to make us his spokespersons. He promises to give us the words and the power to speak them, but we must be willing ambassadors of his Father’s Kingdom.

 

Prayer: Lord, you told us that signs would accompany those who believe. Make my life a sign that points clearly to you and your love, mercy and grace. Give me a joyful burden to pray for and to witness to specific people in my world. Amen.

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