Thursday, October 18
In all our goings
Scripture: Job 3-4, Acts 8-9
Acts 8:4 So those who were scattered went on their way preaching the word.
The Great Commission is, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching them…”. The primary verb, imperative in mood, is “make disciples”—that’s the command. The other three verbs, “go”, “baptize” and “teach” are participles—usually translated with an -ing ending in English. Literally, “Going (or in all your going, wherever you go)…make disciples…baptizing and teaching them.”
Acts 8 is a beautiful example of this.
Saul unleashes a severe persecution on the Jerusalem church, and the believers are scattered. They run for their lives—but they preached the word “on their way.” In all their goings, they made disciples, even when the “going” was running for their lives.
Philip went to Samaria, crossing racial and religious boundaries; his going took him to “the other side.” And even there, he proclaimed the message of Jesus. In all his goings, he made disciples, even when the “going” took him into “enemy territory”.
Peter and John were sent to Samaria to investigate the new church that had been planted serendipitously (these first missionaries weren’t sent but scattered)! They laid hands on the new believers and they received the Spirit, a clear sign from God that He was behind this new, ground-breaking movement! V. 25 “So, after they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they traveled back to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.” Peter and John were running an errand—a quick trip to Samaria and back for church business—and in all their goings, they made disciples, even in what was once “enemy territory” (this is where John once wanted to call down fire from heaven!).
Then the Spirit calls Philip out into the desert—an odd direction since he was being used so greatly in Samaria. There, in the middle of nowhere, he encounters an influential Ethiopian official and told him the good news about Jesus. And so the gospel heads to Africa! In all his goings, he made disciples, even when it seemed he was going nowhere!
Then this: 8:40 “Philip appeared in Azotus, and he was traveling and preaching the gospel in all the towns until he came to Caesarea.” In all his goings, wherever he went, Philip was making disciples. He settled in Caesarea, a Roman administrative center on the Mediterranean coast, and was used by God to make disciples there—in a Roman stronghold.
Philip wasn’t one of the apostles. He was one of the Seven (Acts 6) who was selected to oversee the daily distribution of food to widows—an administrative task—so that the apostles could devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word. But in Acts 8, it is this administrator who is on the run that God uses to spread the gospel and make disciples “in all his goings.”
First, I will live on mission today and every day, and make disciples in all my going. I’m always on!
Second, I will teach our church to live on mission and make disciples in all their goings. We’re always on!
Prayer: Lord, empower me to be Your witness in all my goings; make me an effective disciple maker in all my goings. And turn our church into an army of disciple makers who are always on…in all our goings.