Daily Devotion

Monday 1st March 2021
The Great Commission
Pastor Soong Kok Kee

Matthew 28: 18-20​ Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

On 8th February we looked at the Greatest Commandment (Mark 12: 29-31) – Upward towards God and on 15th February we looked at the New Command (John 13: 34-35) – Inward towards one another in Christ and today we will look at the last being Outward towards the world – the Great Commission. As God’s children, we need to live out those three priorities simultaneously – our whole-hearted love towards God, our unconditional love towards one another and our Great Commission towards the world. If we truly love God wholeheartedly – with our heart, our soul, our mind and our strength, then we will naturally obey the New Command to love one another and to carry out the Great Commission to make disciple of all nations. Today two thousand years after that Great Commission was given, roughly one third of the world’s population are Christians – we still have lots of work to do to reach the other two third.

I still remember almost 40 years ago in an Evangelism Class in Dallas Theological Seminary, Texas, USA, the Professor who taught that class commended us, especially international students for coming from all over the world to learn how to evangelize the world. While we were brimming with pride – the next thing he said cut most of us to our hearts – don’t you realize that while you are studying here how to evangelize the world, if your non-Christian parents or any other family members die before you go back, you will never see them again?

That night, with tears in my eyes I typed (yes, early 80s either write or use type-writer!) a letter to my step father to urge him to become a Christian. I told him he has been such a good and kind step father to me and my two sisters that we want very much for him to be with us too in heaven. I then asked one brother around his age from my church to visit and share the gospel to him in person. Not long after, while I was still in Dallas, I was over joyed to learn that he had accepted the Lord as his personal Savior. He gave us one half-sister and two half- brothers, and all are Christians including my mum. PTL.

Yes, the Great Commission is to bring the Gospel to all nations of the world, but what about those closest to us? Our parents, our spouse, our children, our siblings, our relatives and dear friends? Wouldn’t you want all of them to be in heaven with you? If they are already Christians PTL! If not, start by praying for them, for God Almighty to open their hearts to our Lord. Like what I did, ask someone from our Church around their age, with their same interests or hobbies to befriend them and slowly share the gospel with them. Friendship evangelism has been proven to be the best tool. Claim the promise of Acts 16: 31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” For our merciful God does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Pet 3: 9).

If the rich man in hell can beg Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five brothers “so that they will not also come to this place of torment” (Luke 16: 28), how much more we who are on our way to heaven would also want our loved ones to be eternally with us in heaven?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for reminding us about the Great Commission. Someone had said evangelism is one beggar telling another where the bread is. You are the Bread of life and we thank you Lord for forgiving our sins and saving us for eternal life. We want not only us but all our family members, relatives and dear friends to be with us too in heaven. Help us Lord to have the boldness to share your salvation with them, and please open their hearts Lord to accept you as Lord and Saviour. Work a miracle in their lives, reveal Yourself to them in a special way so they will know you are the One and Only True God. In Jesus precious name we pray AMEN.

每日灵粮星期一,2021年3月1日标题:大使命讲员:宋国基牧师翻译:郑振隆弟兄

马太福音28:18-20耶稣进前来,对他们说:“天上地下所有的权柄都赐给我了。所以,你们要去,使万民作我的门徒,奉父、子、圣灵的名给他们施洗,凡我所吩咐你们的,都教导他们遵守。看哪,我天天与你们同在,直到世代的终结。”

2月1日,我们看了最大的诫命(马可福音12:29-31) – 向上 – 向上帝;2月15日,我们看了新的命令(约翰福音13:34-35) – 向内 – 在基督里彼此相向。今天我们将看最后的一项 – 向外 – 向整个世界 – 大使命。作为上帝的儿女,我们需要同时活出这三个优先事项 – 我们对上帝全心全意的爱、我们对彼此无条件的爱,以及我们对世界的大使命。如果我们尽心、尽性、尽力、尽意爱主,那么我们自然而然地会服从这新命令,彼此相爱,并实践大使命,使万民作门徒。在颁布大使命两千年后的今天,全世界约三分之一的人口是基督徒 – 要达到另外三分之二的人口,我们仍有许多工作要做。

我还记得大约40年前,在美国德州达拉斯神学院的一堂 ‘传福音’ 课上,授课的教授赞扬了我们,尤其是来自世界各地要学习如何向世界传福音的国际学生。当我们洋溢着自豪之情时 – 他说的下一句话让我们大多数人极为伤心 – 你难道没有意识到,当你在这里学习如何向世界传福音的时候,如果你的非基督徒父母或任何其他家庭成员在你回去之前离世,你将再也见不到他们了吗?

那天晚上,我含着泪水打字(是的,80年代初要么写,要么用打字机!),给我继父一封信,劝他成为基督徒。我告诉他,他一直是我和我的两个姐妹的好继父,我们非常希望他也能与我们一起在天堂。然后,我托我教会的一位年龄与他相仿的弟兄去探望他,并与他分享福音。不久之后,我仍在达拉斯时,得知他已经接受主为他的个人救主,我欣喜若狂。他给了我们一个半同胞妹妹和两个半同胞弟弟,全都是基督徒,包括我的母亲。赞美主。

是的,大使命是要将福音传给世界各国,但是那些与我们最亲近的人呢?我们的父母、配偶、孩子、兄弟姐妹、我们的亲戚和好友呢?难道您不希望他们都与您同在天堂吗?如果他们已经是基督徒,赞美主!如果不是,请开始为他们祈祷,祈求全能的上帝让他们向我们的主敞开心扉。像我所做的那样,请我们教会中与他们年龄相仿、志趣相投的人与他们交朋友,并慢慢地与他们分享福音。友谊布道已被证实是最好的工具。支取使徒行传16:31的应许:“当信主耶稣,你和你一家都必得救。” 因为我们仁慈的上帝不愿有一人灭亡,乃愿人人都悔改。(彼得后书3:9)。

如果地狱中的那位财主可以乞求亚伯拉罕派拉撒路去警告他的五个兄弟,“免得他们也来到这痛苦的地方” (路加福音16:28),更何况我们这些在通往天堂路上的人,不也希望我们所爱的亲友永远与我们同在天堂吗?

祷告 :亲爱的主,谢谢祢提醒我们有关大使命的事。有人曾说传福音就是一个乞丐告诉另一个乞丐面包在哪里。祢是生命的粮,主,我们感谢祢赦免我们的罪,拯救我们得永生。我们不仅希望我们自己,而且还希望我们所有的家人、亲戚和亲爱的朋友也与我们同在天堂。求主帮助我们有胆量与他们分享祢的救恩,也求主敞开他们的心,接受祢为主和救主。求在他们的生活中创造奇迹,以一种特殊的方式向他们展示祢自己,好让他们知道祢是独一的真神。我们奉耶稣的宝贵名字祷告,阿们。