Three words resonate through this 5th chapter of Radical…three words that could change the face of the earth as we know it…three words that Jesus Christ himself taught…three words that we say over and over at our churches. We know these three words…but are we doing it? Are we living out Christ's plan…His mega strategy…His will?
These three words are simple enough. It doesn't take a biblical scholar to understand them…yet it takes a person willing to live Jesus in front of the world. Go…baptize…teach. Three words.
GO… Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples. We hear about a young man in the beginning of the chapter named Bullen who lived in Sudan and was living out the Gospel. He said he was going to "impact the world". He was a young man living in a poverty stricken land and just knew he was going to impact the world and make disciples of all nations. When Platt questioned him about this ambition, his answer was an easy "why not". I loved his answer and his heart. Platt says that "regardless of what country we live in, what skills we possess, what kind of education we have, or what kind of salary we make, Jesus has commanded each of us to make disciples, and this is the means by which we will impact the world." Jesus had the task of taking the gospel to the world; he went around Israel looking for a few men…not the masses…a few men. I think this next quote is my favorite from the chapter "All he wanted was a few men who would think as he did, love as he did, see as he did, teach as he did, and serve as he did. All he needed was to revolutionize the hearts of a few, and they would impact the world."
He trusted these men, at least 11 of them, He spoke of them…loved them….spent more time with them than anyone else…He instructs them in what He wants them to do …go, baptize, and teach. You see the scripture is clear that not only do we go, but we make disciples of them. That is what He did with them. He walked with them and taught them along the way. He knew the process would take time, but that it would impact the world. I pray that I would be obedient and just go. That I would share His love with people around me and that I would make disciples. That I would walk beside them…teach them how to study His word…how to pray…and that I would build a relationship with them.
BAPTIZE…I love to watch baptism's. I have had the honor of watching my husband baptize more folk than I can count and somehow I have never gotten over what a beautiful display it is. We see this person who has been changed by a Holy God, outwardly displaying the new life that has taken place in them. My favorite part of the service is when Ric brings them up out of the water, and his words are "raised to walk in the newness of life"…and you can literally see that on their faces. They are new…clean…healed and their faces are screaming it. I love how baptism identifies us with one another in the body of Christ…people from all walks of life bound together through the blood of Christ. This part of Jesus' call on our lives was important enough for Him to mention…I pray that we would never get tired and weary of going, and that we would begin to look at the faces that pass through the baptismal pool that have been made new…and that we would never get over it.
TEACHING… This one could be so easy for me to say…"Oh yeah, I got that one in the bag…I teach Sunday school…CHECK!", but wow did God kick me in the gut over this one. I teach every Sunday morning…I do small groups on Sunday nights…I have taught purity classes…and yet am I taking the time one on one with people to truly teach them? I pray that my focus would go from just teaching my classes to teaching individuals. Taking time to teach a new believer how to study…pray…walk with Christ. The part where Platt mentioned how teaching in this manor will keep us accountable…how when we take responsibility in helping others grow, than we will inadvertently grow in our own relationship with Jesus. We are doing accountability groups with our teens and I have to answer the same questions they do…and trust me, it keeps me accountable and I am growing! I pray I would start to focus on not mass production…but quality production.
As I taught my Sunday school class this past week we talked about doing hard things. We talked about being known more for what you do than what you don't do. Platt shares this at the end of the chapter and hearing it twice in one week assures me that I needed this. I feel I have always been known for what I don't do…"Oh Genie, she doesn't do this…and she won't do that…and she won't go there or partake in this." Do people know me for the things I do? I want to leave that mindset of disinfection and being good and move into what we do now…"propelling Christians into the world to risk their lives for the sake of others". I want to impact people's lives and for people to see Christ in my life...not what I don't do.
Why not? I can make a difference…you can make a difference…we can…because of what He did for us and because He showed us how to. Three words to live by…three words to die by…Go, baptize, and teach. May I never forget it…