The verse today spoken by Jesus to His disciples before He ascended back to heaven was a promise to them that they would begin to fulfil the Great Commission He entrusted to them at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, carrying the good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth in the power of the Holy Spirit. We live in days when that message is now being broadcast to all the earth by satellite, and where missionaries and translators still risk their lives to take its good news to remote and previously unreached people groups. Each of us too are bearers of that message in the places where we live or work.
It’s often struck me that, just as the gospel message needs to go out to all the ends of the earth, it also needs to reach the deepest hidden places of our hearts. Our hearts also need to be evangelised. Sometimes it seems as if there are parts of our lives and past still in darkness and shadows. These parts have not yet truly received and been touched by the good news of the gospel we seek to share with others. We are born again, but, like the unconquered areas of the Promised Land after the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, there are still strongholds of shame and guilt which have not come under the power of the forgiveness purchased for us by Jesus on the cross. Chains of bondage and fear are yet to be broken by the power of His shed blood.
It’s easy to look at how much still needs to change in our lives before we meet Jesus, but, just as we have confidence in His promise that His gospel will reach the farthest ends of the earth, the Apostle Paul and the writer of Hebrews encourage us that the same Good News will reach the ends of our hearts too.
‘Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it’ (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
‘… I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ’ (Philippians 1:6).
‘Consequently, He (Jesus) is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them’ (Hebrews 7:25).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for all that You did on the cross to save me. Lord, I long for the power and truth of Your gospel to continue to reach and transform every part of my heart and, as You work in me, please use me to share that good news with others so they can know You too. In Your name I pray, Amen.
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