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.”
— MATTHEW 28:18–20
In response to the Lord’s command to make disciples of all nations, I find myself living in Niger, West Africa, working among a people group who know little or nothing about Jesus.
I recently spent a night in a village on my way to a remote location where I had been invited to share the Gospel with a group of women who were inquiring about the “Jesus road.” I stared up at the star-spotted sky as I prayed about the next day, marvelling at the God who created all that twinkling brilliance. I felt so small and insignificant as I remembered the psalmist’s declaration that God “stoops down to look on the heavens” (Psalm 113:6). He stoops to look at what is so incredibly vast to me!
Then I was struck again with the wonder of the name Emmanuel—God with us! This God, whose enormity I cannot begin to grasp, is with me! He has promised to stay with me as I carry out his command to make disciples among a Muslim people group on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
This is what distinguishes Christianity from every other world religion. All the others require human effort that may or may not grant a person entrance into a better place for eternity; but our God, knowing our efforts at righteousness amount to a pile of dirty rags, came to us (Isaiah 64:6). To those who believe, he gave the right to become his sons and daughters (John 1:12), and Jesus promises to be with those believers until the end of the age.
His presence enables me to obey his command to make other disciples who will, in turn, revel in his presence.
1. What difference does the promise of Jesus’ presence make in my day-to-day life?
2. How am I obeying Jesus’ commandment to make disciples of all nations? Is there something that he is asking me to do that I am resisting?
Lisa Rohrick is an International Worker with the C&MA in Niger, West Africa, one of the world’s poorest countries.
Resources for Discipleship: www.cmacan.org/everyday-discipler