Matthew 28: 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Christians often struggle with their calling in life. What is it that God has called me to do? Where does God want me to be? What level of schooling does he want me to obtain? What job should I get? Does God want me in full-time vocational ministry? Christian athletes often struggle as well. God has given me a passion for athletics; does he want me to pursue this further? Does he want me to become a professional or perhaps compete provincially, for the state, or perhaps even at the highest level in the Olympics or World Championships? How much time do I devote to athletics? How will these decisions affect my family?
While there is no universal answer to the above questions since God has a unique calling for his followers, there is, however, a generic calling he left for his disciples as we read in this scripture today. It is called the Great Commission. As a disciple of Christ, we are called to make disciples of all the nations. Notice it is not to make converts, it is to make disciples. We (believers) are called to bring others to Christ and to walk with them on the road to Christian maturity to become believers who “deny themselves and pick up their cross and follow [Jesus]” (Matthew 16:24).
So how are you doing in fulfilling this universal call that God has for his disciples? As you walk through your everyday questions of life, are you asking God how you can best fulfill this calling? Before you can make disciples of the nations, you yourself have to be a disciple. Have you denied yourself, denied your own selfish ambitions and desires and instead laid them down and picked up the cross God has given you? Are you following your savior wherever that may take you? Does your love for your savior and your desire to serve him trump all other desires you have?
As disciples we are called to leave behind our fleshly life and instead pursue a holy calling. In Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi he encourages them with these words: 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14).
Therefore, whether God calls you to pursue athletics at the highest level, or whether he calls you to swing a hammer for a living or preach from a pulpit, your universal call is the same – make disciples of all the nations. Your specific involvement in that process may also differ from your Christian brothers or sisters. God has given some the spiritual gift of evangelism and sharing the gospel for them is incredibly easy and leading others to the Christ is natural, but they often lack the Pastoral/Shepherding gifting necessary to partner with them as they grow in their faith. We are so fortunate, however, that God places us in a body of believers (the church) which is one body with many members (1 Corinthians 12: 12-27), and together God uses our unique gifts to further his kingdom. Ask God how you can get involved in his Great Commission today and may the Lord be your strength as you pursue this holy calling.