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FIRST-PERSON: Let’s charge ahead with confidence

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As a former athlete and coach, I have competed in games that demanded a strategic plan to win. At times, this required multiple options – a Plan A and a Plan B – while at other times we needed to be committed to a singular strategy to bring us victory.

When it comes to fulfilling Jesus’ mission of redemption, we have been given one clear game plan: become disciples who make disciples. This is his Plan A. There is no Plan B! Jesus has commissioned us to go and proclaim the Gospel, inviting people into relationship with him. We see this in the Great Commission in Matthew 28.

Jesus’ final words to his disciples before ascending was a call to go and tell the world His story. Jesus is the hope of the world and has sent his followers to be His Plan A to take Him to the world! In this announcement, there is one clear and emphatic imperative: “make disciples.” Our primary calling is connecting people to Jesus and His ever-restoring life, teaching them to obey, and sending them out! So, all our going, baptizing, and teaching is about making disciples who make disciples. This is overwhelming when you recognize the responsibility with which the church has been entrusted. However, there are two truths that give us confidence to pursue His mission. 

First, we have been sent by His power. In verse 18, He says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Jesus declares that ALL authority has been given to Him. Jesus is Lord of the universe! In His earthly ministry, Jesus shows power over disease and sickness, wind and waves, and demonic powers. But most importantly, through His death and resurrection, Jesus has power over sin, death and hell! There is nothing in all the universe He doesn’t have authority and power over, and this includes every nation. And with His power and authority, we are sent. This is our confidence as we engage the world. We do not have to be afraid, worried, or intimidated. Our confidence does not rest in our abilities, accomplishments, or aptitudes but in His authority! We have been sent by the one who is in complete control of the universe!

Second, we are sent with His presence. In verse 20, He says “… And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” How is Jesus with us? Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, God’s presence is with us. He is Immanuel, God with us! This is where our confidence is found. Just as the Lord comforted Moses and Joshua with His presence when He sent them to conquer the land, Jesus is sending us to conquer the land and usher people out of bondage. All authority has been given to Him and He is with us!

This is why prayer is so essential to the Great Commission. It is vital for us both individually and corporately. We are called to a task beyond our capability; therefore, we need the power of God that is only found in the presence of God. We must be a people who seek His presence through prayer and ask His Spirit to fill us. We don’t have to be afraid; He is with us!

Todd Kaunizt is lead pastor of New Beginnings Church in Longview, Texas. This article appeared in the Southern Baptist TEXAN.

    About the Author

  • Todd Kaunitz

    Todd Kaunitz is the pastor of New Beginnings Baptist Church in Longview, Texas and the president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

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