Monday, September 18, 2017

COMMISSIONED: PRIME DIRECTIVE.....AND MORE


As people accept Christ as their Savior and God they also get Commissioned. Christians have a Prime Directive within The Great Commission that every new and old believer should desire to shout from anywhere, mountaintops included. However, there are additional directives that The Holy Spirit prompts us to make on our life's journey. My combined main directives in life form a Worshiper-Teacher-Testifier me.

When I received Christ as my Lord and Savior and was baptized in 1979 (9 years old), even though I automatically received Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; and Acts 1:8 as my marching orders - I wanted to tell others about my Savior, Christ Jesus. My Commission states...

"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.'” - Matthew 28:18-20

The Lord gives the believer His Signet Ring here. Pritchard Paraphrased - through His sacrifice and victory Christ gained all authority SO THAT all nations may be made disciples by sealing them in names of The Trinity AND instructing those disciples to obey His words. The wonderful aspect of The Great Commission is that He does not leave us unequipped nor alone in the effort. He equips us for our journey and promises - "surely I am with you always...".

Supporting the idea of God equipping us and being with us in The Prime Directive - Luke recorded what Jesus said about the testifying effort of God's believers; Christians going into all the world and preaching the Gospel. He documented Christ telling us about where we would testify and the kind of help we would have along the way. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” - Acts 1:8 Believers would testify Locally, Regionally, Nationally and Globally with the power of the Holy Spirit as our witnessing aid.

Mark does not waste any words. His shortened version of both of these Commissions states - "He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'" - Mark 16:15  The words "all the world" takes care of every location, the words "to all creation" covers every person and "preach the gospel" instructs what to preach - The Good News!
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The AND MORE part of the believer's Commission is found in Ephesians 4:11. Commonly referred to as The Five Fold Ministry, this verse reads -  "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;" Here is where I want to further encourage my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. 

I believe that Christians operate mainly in one of the Five Fold Ministries, but also with a measure of all the ministries as The Holy Spirit leads. For example, the main call on Patrick Jensen's life is Pastor or Shepherd of Cary Church of God. However, God has also pricked his spirit to Evangelize by doing missions in Africa. God has dropped words into his spirit about things unknown - the Prophetic ministry. Pastor Patrick has led the Men's Breakfast on Saturdays, which is a demonstration of Teaching The Word. And I am sure Pastor Patrick has been sent on a specific mission by the church, thus executing the office of Apostle or sent one.

Just like the Body Analogy of 1 Corinthians 12, we are all connected. Christians are all part of the same body. Each believer represents a body part and operates according to the function of that part. However, just like parts that unite to execute a mission, for example hands and fingers interlock under a box to carry the box somewhere, so it is with Christians. Christian ministries will rub elbows with each other and hopefully work in harmony to carry out God's will.

Christ is always The Brains of The Body. However, sometimes the church does not always consult Him and the eyes part of the church goes blind. At this point, yes we must pray for restoration of sight, but Christians must rely on who and what God has already set in place for us to lean upon. In blindness, other senses are intensified (i.e. hearing, touch, smell, taste). When the churches sight is limited or gone, we must call out to The Lord while depending on our other brothers and sisters and their specialties.

Paul tells the believers in Ephesus in the next two verses why these additional directives are needed. Ephesians 4:12-13 says the Five Fold Ministries were created -  
  1. "to equip his people for works of service, 
  2. so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God 
  3. and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."
Let us tackle #1. What do you think equipping entails? Certainly mentoring or teaching in how to witness, but also the development of the other Five Fold Ministries in our lives is crucial. Who do we serve in the "works of service" phrase? The widow, orphan, lost and down trodden for sure. However, do not forget about your own. The phrase says "to equip His people". His people refers to the family of believers and Paul reminds us - "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (Galatians 6:10)

Let us take on challenge #2. What does being "built up" entail? Kind word, teachings (like this one), testimonies, etc. How do you see "unity in the faith" manifested in the church? Messages aligning, direction is clear, lives are changed, etc. The church fighting the enemy with a unified fist instead of a finger that is alone and can get jammed is a better strategy. How do you see unity in the "knowledge of the Son of God"? Read the Word of God, seek His Shelter and Shadow (Psalm 91:1), and remain under good teaching.

Let us consider #3. What does "becoming mature" or "attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" mean to you? When I was younger, under my mom and dad's roof, Mom used to tell me, "If you are going to do a good job, do it right the first time." That is how I see the Christian and The Church as we mature from challenge to challenge and from glory to glory. If we go after the "whole measure", go after God's heart - wholeheartedly - then we are on a good road to maturity in Christ. In music we do not sing a half measure and call it quits. A singer or choir sings a full measure to receive all the benefits thereof.

Therefore, my encouragement is to spread yourself out, not thin, for the Lord. Allow yourself to be a Swiss Army Knife for the Lord. A spiritual Jack-of-all-trades, but having one big blade, a specialized skill or talent that the Lord has gifted you for keeps/life. Remember, we are to be found busy about His business when He returns. Let Christ find you loving Him by serving others - a Servant Leader - when He returns! And do that by looking for and praying for opportunities from God to -
  1. Share your testimony, which covers The Great Commission (They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; - Rev. 12:11)
  2. Operate in your empowered Ministry, while flowing in the other ministries
If we, as the Church of Christ Jesus, execute on The Prime Directive and additional Ministries - our faith will be strengthened, unity will be more solidified, and our maturity level will increase in Christ. Yes, we are Commissioned, we do have a Prime Directive....And More.