A Devotion by Joe G
John 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19-20
You may have heard or read me say this before, but one of my favorite television shows was “The West Wing.” The show ran for seven years and showed the inner workings of the White House and the relationship between the President of the United States and his staff.
Although the show was based on a Democratic president being in office, I always felt it could have worked with a Republican as well.
The fictional President’s name in the series was Josiah Bartlett. He was a direct descendant of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. In the series, you would sometimes hear President Bartlett interrupt or end a conversation by saying, “Okay, what’s next?”
During his first run for President, some of his staff members were repeating and harping on specific agenda items. So, Bartlett would say, “What’s next?” And, when one of his staffers would say, “But sir, we need to discuss this further,” or “I want to make sure you understand the consequences of your decision.”
Finally, future president Bartlett explained. “When I say, ‘What’s next,’ I’m ready to move onto other things.”
It’s almost the beginning of the New Year. So, what’s your “What’s Next”? Are you moving forward or staying the same?
As Christians, our “What’s Next” is not just what’s coming up next on the Church Calendar. Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Advent, Christmas. It’s not a routine of our church year.
Our “What’s Next?” is, “How do you and I continue to learn about God and His plan for salvation? Good question. We continue to read God’s Word, engage in Bible studies, attend church services, and build fellowship with those around us. By doing so, we keep God’s plan for humanity alive and fresh in our minds, hearts, and on our lips.
“What’s Next?” is, what can you and I do to continue the spread of God’s saving Grace? Some things we’ll do the same, like, attending church, bible studies, reading devotions, and engaging in fellowship and outreach events.
And other things we will need to do differently. So, you may be asking, “Why do I or we need to change and do outreach and discipleship differently?”
Every person on this planet is different. Sadly, we are mistaken if we as a church try to put everyone into one category, “Christian,” and think that’s the end of it. Everyone is different! Everyone learns and understands differently. There is no single perfect way to spread the Gospel of Jesus of Christ to the billions of people on this planet.
So, how do we do this? First, we become more like Jesus. He met people where they were. Jesus went out to the people and filled their needs where they were. Before Jesus fed the 5000, He didn’t exclaim, “Okay, if you believe I’m the Son of God, I’ll feed you, but if you don’t, you’re just out of luck.”
No, Jesus took care of the people’s needs. He fed them because they were hungry, not because they were followers. Jesus provided for people when they needed feeding and healed them when they were sick or hurting. And on the night before He died, He washed His disciples’ feet, telling them to do as He did. Jesus was and is a servant to all. He asks us to do the same.
Serve others, love others, help others and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17
God sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from our sins. Guess what? Mission Accomplished. Now it’s our job to be like Jesus and spread the Good News of God’s Salvation.
What’s Next? Listen to Jesus’ word and follow His command.
“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 28:19-20
Have a Blessed New Year