Saturday, November 15, 2008

Because They are Hard

"We choose to reach the nations. We choose to reach the nations in this decade and do the other things, not only because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

To all who love the great history of our nation you will recognize this quote as being a modification of a famous speech by JFK. I replaced the phrase “go to the moon” with my phrase “reach the nations”.

JFK was a great visionary in pursuing the conquest of space – as if such a thing can be conquered. Going to the moon was an impossible task in those days, but it was made possible by vision, determination and resources. This speech carries so much wisdom and instruction for our desire to fulfill the Great Commission that I want to underline a few of the main points:

  • It is hard. There is nothing easy or convenient about making disciples and planting new churches in other nations. It will cost us more than is convenient to pay, and it will take us longer than we anticipate.
  • It is the best possible use of our material and people resources in the kingdom of God. Any use of God’s resources for other than God’s goals is a waste of life itself. I would go so far as to call it spiritual embezzlement. This does not mean that we cannot enjoy life and creation along the way, but along the way to where?
  • It is a challenge that we are willing to accept. This challenge does not mean that everyone will get on a plane, but it does mean that all of our lives should be oriented around the purposes of God.
  • It is a challenge that cannot be postponed. We are unwilling to postpone it. Postpone it for what? The enemy has not postponed his plan for the nations so neither should we delay.
  • We intend to win this battle. We intend to obey our God. He gave us all power and resources, a personal directive and He will be with us along the way.

There is only one thing harder than attempting this great endeavor. It is to manage a future in a world where it is not being done. Now that will be hard!

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matt 28:18-20


Betsy Thraves said...

Mike, you speak as a wizened old apostle, but you are still young! This is good stuff. Like most truth, it's simple, but very easily overlooked in the crush of everyday life.

Mike Watkins said...

Hi Betsy, thanks for calling me young because I am feeling old today. said...

Excellent post! Thank YOU for that reminder. ... Will you be at the EN Winter Conference in December? If so, I would love to get coffee with you some time. Would that be possible?