Go: Live Eternally Today! (Week 2)

“Real Life Discipleship!”

Luke 10:1-24

I love to backpack! Whether it is a short hike around Westwood Lake or a longer backcountry trip, it is my favorite outdoors activity. In 1 month, I will be spending a week on the Appalachian Trail through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. I can’t wait! But your first hike shouldn’t be a week-long backcountry trip. For numerous reasons: breaking in your hiking boots so you don’t get blisters and hot spots, fitting your backpack so it doesn’t rub your hips raw, learning the right amount of food and water to pack, knowing what to pack and how to pack your backpack for a long hike. Those are logistics, then there is fitness and preparation. When I hiked rim to rim of the Grand Canyon, I trained and planned. When I summitted Half Dome in Yosemite, my wife and I trained and made sure we had the correct gear. When Daniel, Brandon, and I do sections of the AT each year, we trip plan looking at mileage and elevation, water resupply, and other essential aspects of backcountry hiking. You can read about this, you can study it, but honestly there is only one way to learn how to thrive in the backcountry and that is doing it—training. You have to go and hit the trail and make mistakes along the way.

 

This six-week series is focused on equipping you to “Go” into your everyday life to live out the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:16-20. Last week we focused on who Jesus is sending out and why. Starting today, we will take the rest of the series to talk about the what’s and the how’s of living and giving generously. Like getting ready for a big backcountry trip, you have to know some things and prepare, but mostly you have to go out and train.

 

Before Jesus ever gave His disciples the Great Commission, He would send them out on real-life training missions. Just like Regan is doing an internship with Kevin this summer before she returns to IWU, so Jesus would send out His disciples as part of their training and growth. There was no graduation or ordination to wait for, there was just today—today is the day of salvation! Let’s look at an example of this from the life of Jesus as He trains up His followers.

 

Turn with me to Luke 10 and we are going to read through this historical account of Jesus and His disciples found in verses 1-24. Read Luke 10:1-24 from NASB.

 

This is not the first time Jesus sends out His disciples on mission (cf. Luke 9). In fact, following Jesus comes with a lifestyle of living and giving generously! Jesus does not save us for eternity tomorrow, but to live eternally today! You are not to spend your whole life studying Heaven in preparation to go their one day, you are to bring heaven to earth in little ways every day. Just like the best way to prepare for a big hike is by walking around your own neighborhood first.

 

Responding to Jesus in faith comes with the call to living on mission—the Mission of Jesus Christ as He describes in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

 

And again in Matthew 20:28, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” We join in His work to transform stories through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Glory of the Father!

 

This is the pattern of Jesus and we have been teaching this through the 7 Big Words: Jesus GATHERS [Big Word #1] His followers out of the world and to Himself to learn to live like He lived, teaching them to FOLLOW [Big Word #2] Him and to focus their lives on Him and to learn how to be like Him so that they can find REST [Big Word #3] in their life. Jesus models the mission to His followers as they go along the way and teaches them to BELONG [Big Word #4] to His new family, the Church. Jesus called us (His Church) out of the world to send us back into the world to LOVE [Big Word #5] people as He first loved us and to SERVE [Big Word #6] people as He set the example for us to be servants. Finally, Jesus tells His disciples to GO [Big Word #7] in His authority to do what He does under the power and direction of the Holy Spirit. As we see this in Matthew 10:1 at the calling of the Twelve, “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” “Living and Giving Generously” is the way of Jesus to live eternally today! Living eternally today is not only a lifestyle choice, but it is a means of grace where God works through you to declare His love for the world. We are able to live a generous life because our hope lies in Christ, and we are not preoccupied with the things of the world. Living and giving generously is the proclamation of our rescue from slavery to the world!

 

Living and giving generously is a revolution against Satan who Jesus saw falling from Heaven (Luke 10:18) when this first group of disciples (still incomplete in their fellowship and imperfect in their faith) walked in the authority of Jesus throughout their communities. And Jesus told them very clearly to not rejoice at what they did, but rejoice in their relationship with the Father through the Son. We rejoice in whose family we belong to—we are children of God!

 

We are image bearers of God, we are to live a certain way because of the status we have from our Father. We have authority because we are under His authority!

 

Our doing flows out of our being—out of our redeemed status as sons and daughters of God! The fruit on our branches comes from abiding in the vine! We reap what we sow and we are called to sow a faith relationship with Jesus and reap the works that flow from faith!

 

Relationship is the essential aspect of the sending of the 70 that we often miss and to our detriment as the people of God. Jesus sends those who are in relationship with Him (the 70) to walk in the authority of His Name—the banner over the 70 is His love! Apart from His love, the 70 can do nothing! The same is true for us…

 

We live out our relationship with Jesus in real life every day!

 

Missional living—Great Commission obedience—is grounded in the authority that can only come from being in union with Christ. Only one who is immersed in the trinitarian fellowship of God can baptize anyone in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Only one who has learned to obey the commandments of Jesus by finding rest for their soul in the easy yoke of Jesus Christ can replicate an obedient disciple of Jesus Christ.

 

You can teach people what you know, but you can only replicate what you are. Ultimately, we are to rejoice in this—in people; people are the only works we leave behind. Not our name, but His name! The greatest legacy you can leave your family is not a large bank account or a building that will fall down, but a faith passed on. I love taking my kids on hikes. My son and I trail run and hike together. My daughters enjoy hiking and we love to do this as a family. We do small hikes, day hikes, overnight camping trips, and one day we will backcountry together. I am passing on my love of hiking by doing it with them.

 

We are called to bring thriving to our communities to the glory of God today and every day that is called today is a day to bring witness to the transformation of your own soul to the glory of God. We are called to go and replicate what we are in Christ. To pass Him on.

 

Making disciples starts with you having a relationship with Jesus that transforms your story first!

 

The Holy Spirit uses real people with real faith to make a difference in real history!

 

Jesus calls us to “real-life” discipleship. In the same way that He sent those first seventy followers on a real-life training mission, so Jesus is sending you out of service every Sunday on real-life training missions! While some people use a passport to get to their mission field, a passport is in no way a prerequisite to live on mission for Jesus!

 

Jesus is calling us to go be His disciples in real tangible ways with real people in a very real culture that needs messengers of hope.

 

Where is Jesus sending you? To whom is Jesus sending you? What are you replicating?

 

Jesus promised we would have help as we do on these real-life training missions. From Acts 1:7-8, “[Jesus] said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

 

We will unpack this more next week, but for now I simply want you to hear this: as you go today into the real-life discipleship of being on mission as you go where ever you go, that you do not go alone. Jesus has given you His Holy Spirit to go with you.

 

Your community is your Jerusalem! This is where real-life discipleship happens in real-life mission opportunities every day. Revival is coming! Where will it begin?

 

The mission of God begins around your kitchen table, but it must leave the front door of your home and go to work with you, go to the store with you, go to school with you… As you go, make disciples immersing them in the presence and power of the Trinitarian fellowship and teach them in word and deed all that Jesus has given us to find abundant life and rest for our souls.

 

In other words, go in the name of Jesus Christ to transform stories…GO! Live Eternally Today!
 
 
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