Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
The Great Commission; 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.” v 18-20
This is probably a part of the bible that we are all very familiar with! It is a vital part of our faith and one that must not be ignored. It is not just a command though. Within it there are specific assurances that are there to help us.
The first phrase Jesus says: “All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Well, you can’t get any more authority than that! It is the ultimate authority so if we follow and act on what Jesus says we will never come up against a greater authority who will overrule us. Personally, this helps me feel secure in the things I try to do for him, but do I always do everything he tells me to do? No. That’s just because of human weakness.
But if we look at the last phrase of this passage, “And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age”, this is another massive encouragement to all of us! He, Jesus, who has all the authority and is the Son of God, creator of Heaven and Earth, is with us always. You can’t get a better, more powerful and loving friend to have with you!
Add these encouragements to “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29 v11) and we should not hesitate to do exactly what the Great Commission says. But we all do from time to time. I definitely do, whether it is going to a particular place or to talk to a specific person I don’t know about God’s love for them, in the moment it is still not easy to do.
That’s why I have set myself the challenge of every morning, as part of my morning prayer time, to pray about this. To focus on the fact of His authority and presence and then ask Him to reveal more of His plans for me, specifically where can I try to implement the Great Commission during that day and the coming year?
Will you do the same?
But be prepared to receive an answer. God will have it ready and it may take you to places and into conversations that you would never predict! He has already sent me to Romania, so I couldn’t begin to guess what might be next in His plan. It might be local to your home, it might be in your school, University or work. It could even be to another country, after all – the phrase is “Go and make disciples of all nations”.
You might have already asked this of God, and maybe he is calling you to go to another nation. There are of course many nations and people who need to hear of God’s love for them but I believe that there are some of you who He has called, and some that He will call to Romania.
There are so many needs here and opportunities to share the Gospel with the people that we work with at the Smiles Foundation. Across our projects we aim to meet day to day physical needs but also spiritual needs. I believe that God can and will call the right people to come and help fulfill those opportunities!
Over the remaining months of 2018, we have many people from all over the UK who are committed to coming and doing just that. They will continue the fantastic work that has been done throughout this summer, please have a look at my colleagues updates this month for lots of information and stories about this. But in 2019 there are a new set of opportunities.
The weeks that are available for Mission trips next year are available on this website, for individuals and groups so please have a look and get in touch with me or with Dawn at our Leeds office, or Kevin Hoy our CEO. We can’t wait to hear from you and welcome you here!
Moreover, around Easter next year we are running a special Student Week for anyone who is in full-time education. This is a specially designed trip that we hope will help young people overcome certain barriers, like costs, so that they can also follow God’s plan. For this trip, it doesn’t matter whether if you have been before or it is your first time – if you are interested in coming to Romania, then please talk to me via my email address or on Facebook. The full details of the trip, like specific dates and costs, can be found via this link.
At this point, you may be thinking that this sounds like it could be part of Gods plan for you, but you would like more information and to ask questions so that you know more detail. I would be delighted to help in this regard. At Smiles we aim to provide a safe, comfortable place to stay so that whilst you step out of your comfort zone for God you can still be sure of a good night’s sleep and good food so that you can work hard for God whilst still getting a lot out of the experience too.
Throughout the months of November ‘18, then January, February and March 2019, I am going to be in the UK and will be available to anyone who would like to know more about Mission trips, the Student Week or the Smiles Foundation in general. Traveling around the UK is not a problem, from Scotland to Cornwall and everywhere in between, as long as I have time to organise it! I would count it a privilege to be able to come to your Church, School, Youth Group or a gathering of friends who just want to know more!
So, please don’t hesitate to contact me! I would love to help and I would say that the sooner you contact me the earlier we can arrange a meeting place, time etc. that best suits your calendar and mine.
Finally, I want to pray that wherever God calls you and whatever He has planned for you that you will know His peace. He is always with us and wants to help us to experience life in all its fullness. I would like to just leave you with a quotation from James Hudson Taylor: “God’s work done, in God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.”
This refers to His work that is done through you and me!
Thank you and may God bless you all,
UK Development Ambassador
The Smiles Foundation