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As for Me and My Household . . .

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As I write this article, my son, Isaac Henry, is just 12 days old, sprawled half asleep on a play mat. When others look at him, they see an adorable little baby stretching his arms in ridiculous directions. But when I look at him, although he’s cute by any standards, I also see an exhausting creature requiring constant attention. It seems that no sooner have my wife and I decided that we can take a nap than he wakes us up again with a scream. A scream for food. A scream for attention. A scream to make sure his lungs are still working.

My wife and I are looking pretty ragged. But as I calm his cries in the middle of the night or change his diaper and his clothes and his sheets—trying to keep up with what seems like more coming out of him than going in—I am reminded of a passage near and dear to The Alliance: Matthew 28:16–20, the Great Commission. I’m surprised because this passage it is not about parenting or finding rest for my weary body.

These verses command us to go, to make, to baptize and to teach. They command us to invite all whom we encounter to meet the Savior of the world. And while we may all naturally want people to know the risen Savior, the Great Commission is actually calling us to do much more than simply make an introduction. It is calling us to help others become Christ’s followers. Go, make, baptize, teach. Yet here I am, now trying to type one-handed with a fussy child on my chest. How can I make disciples of all nations if I can’t even go outside to wash my car? How can I teach the world to follow Christ when I am just trying to teach my child the difference between night and day?

Does the Great Commission still apply to me? I believe it does—now more than ever. As we think about the essence of the Great Commission—making disciples—we can look to the example of Jesus. He did much more than introduce himself to Peter, James and John; He invited them to follow Him—to follow Him everywhere, leaving everything behind. Jesus opened up His whole life to them. The disciples saw Him eating and celebrating, speaking to large crowds and praying alone in the garden. They saw Him debate Pharisees, sleep on waved-tossed boats and feed thousands miraculously. They saw His whole life. And in seeing His life, they became disciples. They became followers.

As I think about helping people become followers of Christ, I see that the journey begins from a foundation of sharing one’s life in Christ with someone else. And now I have been given an opportunity to share my life with someone like no one I’ve shared it with before. My son will see how I eat, how I sleep, how I work and how I play. And he is naturally wired to imitate, trying out these behaviors and ideas for himself. In the end, he’ll see every hidden shadow of my life and decide for himself whether Jesus Christ is truly worth following. What a responsibility.

The “going” of the Great Commission is hard. Going somewhere to bring people into discipleship with Christ is demanding work. I am thankful for those people who have made the commitment to go, and I am thankful to be part of a denomination that loves to send them.

But for those of us who aren’t “going,” I hope we will remember that the Great Commission is for us, too. We, like all Christ followers, are called to invite others into the Kingdom. We are called to make disciples of all nations, of everyone we can possibly reach. We do this through prayer and through finances for those who go abroad, of course. But we also do this by sharing our lives with those around us. When we help people to see Jesus in our lives, we help them move one step closer to having Jesus in theirs.

Who do you need to share your life with, as a part of the Great Commission? Who needs to see your walk with God before they can begin their own? And is your walk with God worth seeing?

The Great Commission begins on your doorstep.

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