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An Inlet View

September 13, 2011

Saying you “love the beach” is like saying you enjoy breathing.  Seriously, it’s not like saying you love hunting, or football…you’d be hard pressed to find someone, short of a person who is allergic to sand, who isn’t going to enjoy a nice trip down to the coast.  This past summer, our family had the chance to rent a house on the inlet for a few days, just across the street from the ocean.  The kids caught fish…well, a fish…off the dock, we kayaked around a little bit, and more than anything, just enjoyed the view out over the water.

 Take a moment and read through Matthew 28:16-20.  It’s short enough that I could just give it to you, but come on…pick up that Bible and give it a shot.

 Depending on how much time you’ve spent in and around the Church, or the Scriptures, you have most likely heard this at some point.  I mean…it’s the great commission.  Your Bible probably has a little subtitle just before verse 16 that says exactly that, “The Great Commission.”  We hear about it all the time.  And no matter how many times I’ve heard, or read this passage…or even had the opportunity to teach through this passage…I always find that the Spirit challenges me with it.  It’s almost like the author of Hebrews knew what they were talking about when they said, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” 

 I have always appreciated how the disciples are going up onto the hill and when they saw him, “They worshipped him, but some doubted.”  They are literally have their eyes fixed on the resurrected Jesus…who at this point, may or may not be ascending into heaven…and they have doubts.  They’ve seen Him, walked with Him, eaten with Him, and here He is…and they have doubts.  How many of us can relate to that?  As often as Jesus has shown up in our lives…we often doubt that He’ll do it “this time.” 

 And then I love the next part…the part with the red letters.  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  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.”  There it is.  That’s the commission.  That’s the Christian mandate.  He doesn’t have to get too specific.  He says go…to all nations.  It’s quite simple really.  And listen, it isn’t going to look the same for any two believers.  But it does apply to all believers.

 One of the things I love about staying on the inlet is when the tide comes in.  It’s kind of smelly and nasty when the tide is low…just a bunch of crackling oyster shells and black mud.  But when that water comes back in, it fills all the holes.  It removes the stink.  It vanquishes the nasty.  It becomes a beautiful place…vibrant, living, and peaceful…all at the same time.  It reminds me of the great commission.  The water just goes…where it must go…until the whole inlet is covered.  There’s no directive beyond the simple…”fill this place.”  It’s the same for us.  At work…fill this place.  At school…fill this place.  In the Church…fill this place.  The last line is amazing.  Seriously…not trying to get dramatic…but just consider this.  Christ says to us…you and me, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Man…that’s a great verse.  Not just go…but “I’m coming with you.”  Fill this place.  Selah.     

Summer 2011


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