bits from bob....
Jesus Christ did not say go and save souls, perhaps because the saving part is God's doing. He said go and teach, i.e. disciple, the nations. Two things are key. One, you cannot make disciples unless you are yourself a disciple. Second, disciples are genuine followers, in life as well as in word. We are charged with making disciples, and after making disciples we mark those disciples with baptism and mature those disciples with additional teaching.
Our rejoicing is not in our success, but in our right relationship to God. Missions must remain true to God's call, making disciples for Jesus. There is a kind of missions that does not spring from God's call, but from the desire to call attention to self or to make converts to our point of view and doctrine.
The greatest challenge to the missionary may not be the people difficult to convince of salvation concerns, the numerous backsliders, or the religiously indifferent. The greatest challenge may be maintaining personal relationship with God. We are not banking on self, but on God. Jesus has all power, so we go--in his power, not ours. Having his power in our lives demands that we maintain contact with the power source!
Certainly the spirit of Jesus within us will act with compassion and feeling, but the commission is to make disciples. May we not forget. God's mission is eternal, not only temporal. God's mission feeds the soul, not only the body.
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