That All the Nations Might Know the Lord

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Exodus 7:14-8:32

I’ve always had a heart for the nations. As a little girl, I wanted a “rainbow family” of a dozen children adopted from all different nations. As a middle schooler, my closest friends were from the Middle East and the Far East. When I graduated high school, I spent a month in France putting those four years of French classes to use.

But all those years I was an atheist. I wasn’t trying to share the good news with anyone. I just liked traveling and trying new and interesting things.

Fast forward to my present stage in life, and God has fanned into flame my heart for the nations – because it’s His heart, too. Our Father God loves people from every different tribe and nation and tongue, every hair color and skin color and eye color. All are equally sinners in the sight of a perfectly holy God, and all are equally precious in the sight of a perfectly loving God.

“The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.”

Exodus 7:5 ESV

God has dual purposes in bringing the plagues upon the people of Egypt. He is going to rescue His own people out of slavery, but He is also going to show Himself to the Egyptian people – that they will know that He is Jehovah, the Great I Am, the Lord God Almighty.

God has purpose for everything He does. Sometimes we can be so self-focused that we think that the things happening in our lives are all about us, forgetting that God is also showing Himself to the people around us through the trials and joys that we are in.

For me, losing a baby wasn’t just about me. It was also about my husband, and my older daughter, my in-laws and my neighbors, my friends at church and the people I’d meet twenty years later at the grocery store, and especially about a little boy who was going to be born halfway around the world and need a family.

Friends, if you know Jesus, then your life is no longer your own. You’ve been bought with a price so you can glorify God in your body. You have been made holy and acceptable to God through the sacrifice of His son, now let your life be a living sacrifice – an offering that keeps on offering itself day after day – back to Him, that all the nations might know that He alone is God. (See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 12:1-2, 1 Kings 8:60, Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19-20)

Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father, what a blessing and honor to be called Your child and to be used by You to accomplish Your purposes here on earth. Help us to remember that we are no longer our own, that we have been bought with a price – not with worthless things like gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God. We love You and we thank You for your mercy and grace. We pour our praise back to You with hearts full of gratitude. In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

O Lord, Why Did You Ever Send Me?

Read Through the Bible in 2 Years: Exodus 5:1-7:13

People have often asked me my thoughts about sharing the gospel in places where there is a very real risk of persecution. My response has always been something along these lines, “This world is not our home. We are all just sojourners, passing through a foreign land on our way to our final destination: heaven or hell. We have to stop being so earthly minded. We have to fix our eyes – and our minds – on eternity. We have to be faithful to share the gospel and make disciples of all nations like Jesus commanded in Matthew 28.”

I was thinking about that today when I read,

Then Moses turned to the LORD
and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”

Exodus 5:22-23 ESV

Do you believe that heaven – and hell – are real? Are they eternal? How is a person’s final destination determined?

The answers to those questions will determine the answers to these questions —

  • What if I study the Bible with someone and they end up losing their job because of their faith?
  • What if I tell someone about Jesus and their husband ends up leaving them?
  • What if I share the good news with someone and they end up in jail?

I’m not saying we should be reckless, cavalier, or foolish. But I am saying that if God is calling you to share the good news – which He is – you should be more concerned about the results of your disobedience to Him than the results of your obedience to Him.

Indeed the Israelites faced greater temporary trials as a result of Moses’s confrontation with the Pharaoh, but the much greater long-term joys of freedom were coming!

Will you pray with me?

Heavenly Father, You have told us to go and make disciples of all nations. You have promised that You will be with us. Please strengthen those who are living in dangerous lands, and please strengthen us who are living lives of such comfort and ease. Help us to know You more and make us willing to suffer for the gospel and for our brothers and sisters who are in harm’s way. Please protect us all from the enemy’s schemes and to keep our eyes fixed on You. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Making Disciples of All Nations

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Matthew 28

The ending of Matthew’s very thorough account of Jesus’s life and ministry feels so sudden. After reading twenty-seven lengthy chapters, Matthew 28 contains only twenty verses, summarizing the resurrection of Christ, Jesus’s appearance to the Marys, the Jewish leaders’ bribing of the Romans guards, and concluding with some of Jesus’s final words to His disciples,

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

So, as we wrap up four weeks spent studying the words of Matthew, let these be my words to you.

Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. He can do it. Nothing is impossible for Him. You can trust Him. Therefore, you can go with confidence, under His authority, by the power of His Holy Spirit, and make disciples of all nations. He wants to use you. You don’t need to be a ordained minister to share the good news. You don’t need a seminary degree to tell people how to trust in Christ. His Spirit and His Word are all you need. He wants you to share the good news with those who have never heard. But don’t stop there – teach them to observe all that He has commanded in His word. Being a disciple is so much more than just being a fan.

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. If you’d love to join me in international ministry, leave a comment or send me a message. I’d love to help you get plugged in! Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, What a blessing it is to be a laborer in the harvest! I am so thankful for Your Holy Spirit who lives in me and gives me wisdom. I pray that Your Spirit would guide me to those who are hungering to hear the good news and those who need to be discipled in obedience to Your commands. In the powerful Name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord we pray, Amen.