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Make Disciples: Matthew 28.16-20


We have celebrates Easter, so what do we do now?  What does Easter mean for you and I today?  Matthew 18:16-20 answers this question.  It answers the question of why we are here.

The disciples didn’t know their purpose and went fishing.  God sent His son.  There’s hope in Jesus Christ.  What do we do with this?

In Europe on a college campus a student told me he was an atheist.  He said he believes in science.  I asked him, “What do you believe is the purpose of life?”  He said he didn’t know and that he’d never pondered that question. 

As we gather together this morning, this is the great question.  We have the answer in Matt. 28.  You are not here by accident.  You’re not just a random collection of cells that collided.  You were created for a purpose and meaning.  I pray God will speak into your life and give you purpose.

After Jesus had appeared to the women he met with the disciples.

                        16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 

This was a place of revelation.   Jesus taught them there before.  The Bible is given to us not just for people who have been to seminary to read.  The Bible is not a mystery that cannot be understood.  Imagine this scene, the disciples are hungry.  Jesus gives them purpose.  Jesus gives the three core values.  These values are also for us as a church.

Value #1: Worship

God calls us to worship Him.  Jesus has overcome.  He rose victoriously over death.  We stand in that victory today.

                        17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 

The response of the disciples when they saw Him was that they worshipped Him.  Worship is to ascribe worth to something.  When we give our time and value to something we are worshipping.  Jesus is worth our time and energy.  They saw Jesus nailed to a cross and put into a tomb.

In Revelation 5 all falls silent.  Is there anyone worthy to open the seal?  Can anyone take us where God has designed us to be?  One appears, a lamb who was slain, all fall down and worship.  We today gather before the One who is worthy of all we are.  That’s our heart’s response.  Jesus is worth our time and energy.

Some doubted.  That word doubt doesn’t indicate lack of faith, but a hesitation.  When they saw Him last he was dead.  Is this really possible?  Is this the Son of God?  Is it possible?  Can Jesus really overcome what’s broken inside of us?  Can Jesus transform me?  Can Jesus transform my family?  Can Jesus transform Asheboro?

Another possibility for their hesitation could be that they promised to be with Jesus through everything.  They ALL failed Him.  What will Jesus do?  Will He destroy them?  We too pledge to follow Jesus no matter what.  What’s happened in our own lives is we have failed Jesus.  May we learn He is faithful.  He doesn’t care to destroy us but He wants to raise us up.  God has all authority.  He has the power to raise the dead and to overcome our failures.  May we learn who our Savior is.  All has been defeated so we may worship before Him.  He is no longer the Suffering Servant.  He is the King of Kings!  All power will be subjected to Him.  He is the One who speaks purpose into our lives.

God cares about you.  God wants you to grow.

Value #2: Grow

We spend time and resources to help you grow.  This is a core command, a verb in verse 19 to make disciples.

            19make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
 the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

This is a central call of this passage, to make disciples, to duplicate ourselves, to teach others what it means to follow.  In the first century you followed a teacher.  To grow in Christ you need to sign up to follow Jesus.  Learn all you can about Jesus.  Learn what Jesus said and do those things in your life.  We take on Jesus as our teacher.  All Jesus taught we do.  This is how we grow.  We are called to make disciples and teach other people how to follow Jesus.  We duplicate our abilities. 

For example, it’s like teaching someone to tie their shoes.   After we tied it for them for the 734th time, we teach them how to do it.  When we teach someone else we have to think about the process and teach it to them.  It fills our heart with joy when we see our child teaching someone else how to tie their shoes.  This gives us great joy!  We are to invest in other people.

If Jesus is the Son of God, the Hope of all Nations, the King of Kings, what else are we to do except make disciples?  Will you commit to grow in Christ? We are looking for some grand purpose at the core of our being.  This is what gives us meaning: to worship Him and to grow more to be like Jesus.  Go into all the world.  We see this as something other people do and we miss it.

Value #3: Go

                        19Go therefore…20…I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus looks at the disciples and says this is what will make you come alive. Jesus calls them to go.  If something is missing in your life know that you and I were made to serve God and to GO.  We are separated by all else in the world.  If this isn’t felt inside of you, something is missing.  There’s emptiness, a lacking in your heart.  Why don’t I feel this passion?  The reason is disobedience.  This command isn’t just for a few.  Going is a command of our Savior.  This is what will set you free. 

The first step of going is right here in Asheboro.  You can serve here at church.  Ask, God, what can I do here?  Go to those He has placed around us.  Things begin to make sense.  You may not understand why you’re in the job you have.  You may not understand why things have happened in your life.  We are called to take the love of Christ.  This isn’t a marketing strategy for us.  This is your true identity.  God made you this way.  May the Holy Spirit of God awaken you, speak into your life and give you a compelling passion to have a way to express your gifts and abilities that God has given you.

A promise was given to Mary and Joseph that they would have a son and they were to name him Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. As you go, you’re never more like Jesus than when you serve God.  God is with you.  You will never be more alive than when you serve.  May you feel the presence of God.  God will be with you forever.  God has put you here to worship and be more like Jesus.  Service is how God has designed us.  The Kingdom of God is fulfilled here on earth when we do these three things:  Worship, Grow and Go. 

Let’s pray,  “God, change me.  Help me to live as you have designed me to live.”  Will you worship?  Will you grow in a small group?  Will you go serve wherever God calls you?  Will you commit to these things today?

Sermon notes are taken, transcribed and posted by Jeni Martin Johnson.  This sermon is crafted by Dr. Scotty Carpenter.

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