40 Days of Prayer – Day Sixteen
Commitment … Because We’re Forgiven
“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
Mark 16:15 (NIV)
At first they didn’t believe the reports of the women. Jesus was alive, they said. The disciples were troubled, filled with doubt. Then, one by one, they recognized Him, fell at His feet, and worshiped Him. He was alive! Hope was reborn!
But what about the past? Would He remember how they had deserted Him … how they had cut and run at the moment of danger? How could they have been so faithless and unbelieving?
Never one to upbraid or accuse, Jesus quietly reaffirmed His love for them. He spent time among them on several occasions. He allowed them to touch His hands and His side, to settle their doubts and be convinced of His reality. He helped them in their daily needs: Directing them to the location of fish when they had caught nothing and fixing them breakfast on the shore. He opened their eyes to the Scriptures. He gave them the promise of His Spirit, to be with them forever. And then, He gave them a mission.
When the disciples were renewed in faith and secure again in His love, He gave them a charge. Those who had so glaringly failed Him in His moment of trial were entrusted with the greatest work the world would ever know: The spreading of the Gospel. The past didn’t sabotage the present or the future. Their failures would always be a reminder of the weakness of the flesh and the power of sin, but they would not be a barrier to further usefulness. These men, renewed by love and mercy, went on to turn the world upside down.
As we look back at all God has done for us in the life of our church, our hearts are filled with gratitude for the Lord’s goodness. He has always been faithful and forgiving! And, like our counterparts in the first century, we have a mission to carry His truth to our community and to regions beyond. In eliminating our debt, we are preparing ourselves for what God is calling us to next. We are making ourselves open and available to be able to respond to His leading.
What is the most significant lesson God has ever taught you about the importance of staying committed and not giving up?