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Encourage: Advancing amidst uncertainty

When Matthew tells the resurrection story, he moves quickly to our task. He writes 15 verses to tell the resurrection story, five verses to give the Great Commission, and then abruptly ends—as if to say, “Now get busy!”

The primary implication of the resurrection of Jesus is His Lordship. Since He is alive, He is Lord. He is Lord of the living and the dead, the Lord of men and nations, the Lord of lords. All authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth!

His Lordship, His authority, supports both the commandment and the promise that compels us to our task.

“Jesus came near and said to them, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age’” (Matt. 28:18-20).

As we go and make disciples of all nations, as we go to advance the Gospel together, we do so under His authority. We work in obedience to Jesus our Lord. We do what He has told us to do. We are committed to advancing the Gospel together because we are committed to Jesus. We live to serve Him and to keep His charge. He is Lord, and He has all authority over us.

“All authority has been given to Me” casts light also on the promise, “I am with you always.” He works with us; He fights with us. “I am with you” is more than a promise of His presence; it is a promise of His power. We do not march out in this mission alone, not in our own power or resources. The One with all authority is working with us to advance the Gospel. Better said, we are working with Him.

This promise should be read through the lens of Psalm 110. The Lord Jesus is extending His scepter over every nation, and we are His army of volunteers. He rides into battle with us. Hallelujah! His people offer themselves freely, joyfully, willingly, and His enemies will be made a footstool to His feet. Jesus is the victorious Lord, and we join Him in triumphal procession!

He is Lord, He is Lord! He is risen from the dead
and He is Lord!
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The COVID-19 virus makes this spring a season of uncertainty, yet one thing is crystal clear—our Lord Jesus has commanded us to advance the Good News by making disciples of our neighbors and the nations. He has not called us to this task in our own strength. He is working with us! The Great Commission has not been put on hold, brothers and sisters. Our missionaries are still in the fi elds working in every country, and we must keep working to advance the Gospel in every county and community.

Oh, Lord Jesus, give us grace to see all the Gospel opportunities in the midst of this challenging time. May we be able to look back on 2020 and say with the Apostle Paul, “What has happened has actually advanced the Gospel!” (Phil. 1:12).

Hance Dilbeck

Author: Hance Dilbeck

Hance Dilbeck is executive director-treasurer with Oklahoma Baptists

View more articles by Hance Dilbeck.

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Like so many other organizations around the state and country, Oklahoma Baptists are closely monitoring news and information about the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).Learn More Here.
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