Living a Life of Significance

A New Mission

Matthew 28:16-20

“To therefore and make disciples of all nations.”

 

            What is your life purpose and goal?  What would it say if you were to write down three or four sentences that you would like to be known for at the end of your life? The greatest tragedy is that often people stand at the end of their lives and discover that they have spent their lives pursuing the insignificant.  The measure of a successful life is what we have accomplished that has eternal rather than temporal consequences.  

            In his final words to the disciples before his ascension, Christ realigns their priorities and gives them a purpose and calling with eternal value.  Commonly referred to as the “great commission,” this mandate is not only for all followers of Jesus but also serves to realign our whole purpose for life.  But this mandate is not just for missionaries and pastors; it is for all the followers of Jesus.  The task is simple in its mandate but profound in its implication.  The command in these verses is singular, “make disciples of all nations.”  In other words, the priority of life for Christians is to strive to influence people to become genuine followers of Christ who walk in obedience.  This begins with the sphere of influence closest to us:  our home.  As a parent, our primary purpose is to influence our children so that they also become disciples of Christ.  This involves being a model of a genuine disciple, teaching them what it means to be a disciple, and then involving them within the church so that they see the example of other disciples of Christ. 

            Second, we are to make disciples in our work.  While we may have different careers, for the disciple of Christ, our career path is not the end goal; instead, it is the place and means by which we influence others for Christ.  We take our message and our example into the workforce so that we can testify of Christ to those we work with.  

            Last, we labor in the church, utilizing our spiritual gifts to positively influence others so that they might grow as disciples of Christ. The church is not just a gathering place to visit with friends; it is a place where we strive to influence, encourage, and support one another as we grow as disciples of Christ.

            This brings us then to another critical question:  What is a disciple?  If we are to be a disciple of Christ and influence others to be disciples of Christ, then it is essential to understand what this means.  Christ answers this question in verse 20.  A disciple lives in obedience to the commands of God. Jesus affirms this in John 14, where he repeatedly states, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”  A genuine disciple strives to know God’s word and live in obedience to his word.  To make disciples is to call people to surrender their lives to Christ in complete obedience.

            The greatest tragedy in life is not a life that is a failure but a life of success in the wrong things.  Many people pursue achievement and success yet fail to accomplish anything of eternal consequence.  .  Christ points to the tragedy of this when he states, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospels will save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”  Take a few moments are examine your life’s goals and purpose.  Do you have an eternal impact on others?  If not, reorient your life and start to make disciples.  It is not how many we reach that makes it practical; it is who we reach.  A successful life influences others for Christ, even if it is just one individual. 

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