Go and make disciples of all nations.
I was eager to return to St. James Infirmary in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and reconnect with Rendell, who two years earlier had learned about Jesus’s love for him. Evie, a teenager in the high school choir I travel with each spring, had read Scripture with Rendell and explained the gospel, and he personally received Jesus as his Savior.
When I entered the men’s section of the home and looked toward Rendell’s bed, however, I found it was empty. I went to the nurse’s station, and was told what I didn’t want to hear. He had passed away—just five days before we arrived.
Through tears, I texted Evie the sad news. Her response was simple: “Rendell is celebrating with Jesus.” Later she said, “It’s a good thing we told him about Jesus when we did.”
Her words reminded me of the importance of being ready to lovingly share with others the hope we have in Christ. No, it’s not always easy to proclaim the gospel message about the One who will be with us always (Matthew 28:20), but when we think about the difference it made for us and for people like Rendell, perhaps we’ll be encouraged to be even more ready to “make disciples” wherever we go (v. 19).
I’ll never forget the sadness of seeing that empty bed—and also the joy of knowing what a difference one faithful teen made in Rendell’s forever life.
What are some things you can do to introduce people to Jesus today? As you share your faith, how does it encourage you to know Jesus is “with you always” (Matthew 28:20)?
God, we know that people need You. Help us to overcome our fear of telling others about You.
God loves us even if we haven’t loved him.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” (1 John 4:10)
God wants us to know him.
The Bible says God is at work in everyone’s life. “So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27)
We have all made choices showing we are inclined to be:
Passively indifferent to God
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
Or actively opposed to God
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (John 3:19-20)
The result of our choices to resist or ignore God results in spiritual death (separation from God).
“We are dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1)
And thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
Jesus Christ came to do what we could not do for ourselves.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
He came into the world to bring us to his Father.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ” (John 14:6)
He died in our place to pay the penalty for our sin.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18)
He rose from the dead to show that his claims were true.
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6)
Our own efforts to earn God’s acceptance are inadequate.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)
We must admit our need for forgiveness.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
“And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ ” (Luke 18:13)
We must receive Christ and his offer of salvation as a gift.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
You can begin your personal relationship with God by putting your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. You may find it helpful to express your new faith in words similar to these:
Dear God, I know that my sin has separated me from You. Thank You for sending Your Son to die in my place. I now trust Jesus to forgive my sins. I invite Him into my life as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for receiving me into Your eternal family. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God’s commitment to you:
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)
God promises to never leave you. ” I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
God has forgiven all of your sins, past, present, and future. “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14)
God has given you His Spirit to enable you to live in a way that pleases Him. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)