Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:21-22
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ Matthew 28:19-20
The river mouths flowing to the sea in Alaska freeze up during the cold winter months. This is a striking image of the way some Christian disciples become when they need to testify and they freeze up. With the sad result that they no longer have a testimony to impart in the ocean of the world. (S Ozrovech. Tydkringe van die Lewe)
Are you perhaps guilty of this phenomenon of being tongue-tied? Yes? Then I want to prayerfully encourage you to read the following Verse-a-day devotion with a receptive heart.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21-22)
With this act, Jesus gave the disciples their Spirit-powered and Spirit-guided mission – to preach the Good News about Jesus so that people’s sins could be forgiven. (Life Application Bible p 1927) Note the involvement of each member of the Godhead in the salvation plan and the mission to spread the Gospel all over the world. God the Father sent his Son, and Jesus sends his disciples (which includes us). But not before He equipped them (and us) with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus means business in this matter. He sends his disciples into the world. His commission is clear: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) And Jesus’ commitment to them? He will not let them do the work all by themselves. He will be with them always, to the very end of the age. A command and commitment still valid to me, you, and every future believer!
Do you function as one sent by Jesus? The words from your mouth, do they tell of the goodness of God, the love of his Son, and the presence of the Holy Spirit? Or are you tongue-tied, your testimony adrift in the ocean of life, completely frozen? Then start looking around you. Maybe you know someone who is not only tongue-tied but is stuck in freezing water of the ocean of the world. Your one word of encouragement, or care, or consolation, may crack the ice. Talk then!
Can one undertake such a mammoth task all by oneself? No! Impossible! As one called and sent, you need someone with you, walking in truth next to you, who can render help and empower you with what is needed. Only the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father, can clothe you with power from on high. (Luke 24:49) Ask our Father for this gift. He gladly gives to those who ask. (Luke 11:13)
Prayer: Loving Father, let the power of your Spirit melt my tied-up, frozen tongue in those moments it remains stuck in silence. Amen.