“Paul felt compelled by the Spirit to go over to Macedonia and Achaia before going to Jerusalem. ‘And after that.” he said, ‘I must go on to Rome.’” – Acts 19:21
When you talk about the dreams you have for the future, what do they involve? Do they include a comfortable retirement, a good 401k, perhaps some traveling? Those are a few of the things I think about. But then, as I’m preaching through the book of Acts at my church, I come across this verse where Paul says he must go on to Rome. It seems Paul’s idea of a future involved going to Rome and dying for His Lord, while Jesus’ earthly future involved Calvary. Both these men finished their lives with the needs of others on their mind and the promotion of the Good News on their hearts. Now I have to ask myself this question: Does my vision of the future involve the Good News of Jesus brought into people’s lives? How about you? What is your Gospel hope? Where do you plan to take the Gospel next?
If the Gospel is truly moving in you; if the Word of God is so deep into your life that it is able to judge and separate the thoughts and attitudes of your heart (Heb. 4:12), then it will confront any vision of the future that does not include speaking about the goodness of God and the sacrifice of His one and only Son. I’ll take it a step further. I don’t know if it is possible to be a fully dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ and have a vision for the future that does not include making disciples, because the Great Commission of Jesus to the Church is to take the Gospel into all nations and make disciples. It wasn’t to make churches, construct nice buildings, develop an exciting Children’s church, put together a killer worship team and hire a dynamic preacher that makes you feel good about your relationship with God. Christ commissioned us to make disciples.
Can we truly be obedient to God and not be involved in making disciples of Jesus? If you will not put yourself out and involve yourself in the lives of others in a way that introduces the full story of Jesus and the power of Calvary, then you can say you love God until you run out of breathe, but the truth is you’re not obeying the Word of the Lord.