Christ’s Empowering Presence: A Letter To My Congregation

Dear Church Family,

Today we are finishing our examination of Jesus’ vision for the church found in the Great Commission. Jesus concludes his commission by assuring us of his ongoing presence.

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go thereforeand make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV emphasis mine)

Jesus does not expect us to build his church on our own. It would be impossible for you or for me to convert a sinner, to bring someone to repentance, to generate faith in the heart of an unbeliever. We are not called to save the world, but we are called to call others to follow Jesus, to teach them all of his commandments, and to faithfully exercise the sacraments. We are only effective because it is Christ who goes with us, teaches through us, and gives new life to the lost. We do not need to evaluate our ministry based on whether others accept our message, most will not. Rather, we must evaluate our ministry based on what Christ has taught us. We leave the rest up to him. 

Most of the people I have shared my faith with did not submit to Jesus there on the spot. A few did, but most did not. Most people in our country believe that they are going to get to heaven because of their good works. They do not want to be reminded of their sins or need for a savior. But when we share about the love of Christ and how he died to take away our sins, some believe. This is the work of Jesus Christ, not our own giftedness. 

So share your faith with your friends and neighbors with confidence. Christ often uses the least of us most! D. L. Moody was a great evangelist! But he only had a 4th-grade education! The disciples were blue-collar, yet God used them to build the church! How? Though the empowering presence of Jesus Christ! Let us rely on Christ as we seek to obey his great commission!

Pastor Joshua


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