#390 - AUTHORITY (9/7/21)
This is the final devotional in this Sent series. Matthew - and God through Matthew - ends this Sermon on the Mount with an encouragement to remember Jesus’ authority.
'When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.' (Matthew 7:28-29)
In The Great Commission, the key text for this series, again, we see that Jesus’ authority is a key factor.
‘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, baptising 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.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
In response to this whole Sermon on the Mount, they are amazed at His teaching with authority. What does this mean? On the mountain, Moses received laws that were written by God. However, on this mountain, Jesus speaks with the authority of God. He is God teaching His people how we wants them to live. He keeps repeating, “But I tell you”. He says, “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Our response will be in direct proportion to our view of His authority over us.
In Luke’s account of the wise and foolish builders. He opens by asking the question,
‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46).
What a convicting question! It’s nonsensical to say “no Lord”. However, passivity and prioritising other things is also saying “no Lord”. Will we be disciples and make disciples as Jesus commands? Will we become serious students of God’s word as part of the local church? Will we seek to help less mature Christians to grow in their faith? Will we seek to serve, invest and invite in our communities in order to help them to come to faith? Jesus has authority and so is able to infuse our submitted weakness with His strength.
If Jesus is Lord, and we know that He is good, and we know that He has authority then we need to say a big “Yes” to Him as we finish this series. Yes, I’ll hear your words. Yes, I’ll do your words. Yes, I’ll be a disciple. Yes, I’ll make disciples… Like Isaiah, we will say,
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - SIV-WEEK - GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Please share with the group
This is our second SIV-Week study. SIV stands for Serve, Invest and Invite. This is a simple way of thinking about reaching our community for Jesus. On Sunday, we finished our Sent series. During this series we’ve been considering The Great Commission where we are told,
‘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, baptising 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.”’ (Matthew 28:18-20)
During this series, we’ve been using The Sermon on the Mount to reflect on the important things that we need to know as disciples and be able to teach so as to be able to make disciples.
In this SIV study, I thought that it would be important to reflect on our Commission again. Here are a few brief thoughts from our Commission.
i) ALL AUTHORITY
Knowing that Jesus has authority over all creation and over our lives is meant to motivate us to let Him lead us in His mission. We all have a unique part to play. He has the power to make us fruitful.
ii) GO AND MAKE
Too often, we can practice this verse by helping mature Christians to get more mature. Too many mature Christians (if you been a Christian for around 3 years you should be pretty mature) are not engaged in growing new Christians and helping unbelievers to come to faith. I believe that Jesus wants all reasonably mature Christians involved in making disciples. It’s hard work, but I believe it’s a key feature that’s missing from many of our lives.
iii) ALL NATIONS
Beyond Putney, London, Britain…God wants disciples from all nations. This is something that we all need to pray about. We must all be open to playing our part in world evangelisation.
Wouldn’t you love to see baptisms happening every week in our church community? Wouldn’t you love to be in a Community Group which is truly making disciples? This is a vision that we all need to work toward together.
v) I AM WITH YOU
Jesus began with the command and reassurance that comes with His authority. He ends with the challenge and reassurance that He is with those who will seek to obey His commission.
THE THREE ELEMENTS OF SIV
Let’s now briefly discuss how we are doing on the three elements of SIV.
i) Serving real needs
Discuss: How are you or do you plan to serve others in your community? Is there anything that we could do together as a Community Group?
ii) Investing in friendships
Discuss: Who are the friends that you see regularly and how do you or could you invest in those friendships? How are you or could you be faithful to invest through prayer?
Discuss: What are the church events that we can invite people to? How can we be creative as a Community Group to create invitational settings? Do you have anyone that you could invite to an Alpha Course?
What do you plan to do personally as a result of this study? What are you planning to do as a group?
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