And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and 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]
Go. Jesus’ last words to His disciples were surely important. He said all nations. Not even just nations as defined by us now, since these geographic lines have changed even in the past century; all nations means make disciples out of everyone in the world. Every single person in every single people group in every corner of the world. His command to “go” demands action – finding these people of all nations and preaching the gospel to them. We’re not all meant to be long-term missionaries, but I do think it’s worth going on one short-term mission just to see if maybe this is your calling.
I just came back from a two week mission trip to Asia, and I cannot believe how much God is moving even in what we think are “Godless” countries. My team and I were working at an elementary school, putting on a Bible camp during the mornings for the students. One of the crafts the students would do was stuffing a teddy bear, to teach them that God made each of them uniquely. We only brought two bags of filling, each the size of about two pillows, to fill about 150 bears. During the first week we were at the elementary school, we taught around eighty students, so I had to use one of the bags of filling for all of those students. As I began dividing up the filling, I started freaking out that we wouldn’t have enough filling for the first group of students, and would need to use the second bag. However, I also didn’t want the second group of students to miss out on this craft.
As I continued dividing the filling, it began to grow. Pulling it apart, creating some more volume, this polyester filling I once believed would not be enough expanded exponentially. After eighty handfuls of filling divided into bags with teddy bears and googly eyes, there was still enough left over for at least ten more bears. I remember thanking God in that moment for His provision, as well as needing to repent for the bitterness I felt toward my teammate for thinking we didn’t need to buy that much filling.
I like to remember this as my own story of the five loaves of bread and two fish. God’s work done God’s way will never lack God’s supply. I firmly believe this now. He can do great things with what little we have, and we should never artificially limit what He can do with what we lovingly give. Multiplication into abundance defines the kingdom of God, whereas the world only decays.
God is with us. God is on our side. He will make a way. Far above all we know, far above all we hope. He has done great things. [‘God is Able’ – Hillsong]