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We Call the Commission Great – But Is It?

I run in the morning before the summer sun begins to beat down. Generally it’s about three miles and it’s through our little blue collar neighborhood. Each of the three mornings I’ve run recently, I’ve been distressed to see two little kittens on the road. They’ve apparently been abandoned by th…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes


I run in the morning before the summer sun begins to beat down. Generally it’s about three miles and it’s through our little blue collar neighborhood.

Each of the three mornings I’ve run recently, I’ve been distressed to see two little kittens on the road. They’ve apparently been abandoned by their mother and have nowhere to go. They get skinnier and sadder each morning.

One was sitting right in the middle of the road. I looked closely and saw an ugly open sore on its back. It’s like it has a death wish.

And as my heart was breaking for these kittens, the Lord said, “Are my children not more precious than these kittens? Yet who will care for them? Who will care for those in India who have never heard my Son’s name?”

Who indeed? Brant Copen and his team are there. They are working to serve James Rebbavarapu and his vision. But they are less than one percent of Racer alumni in a part of India where maybe one percent are following Christ.

The Lord asked me, “Is my commission great? You call it the Great Commission, but is it really?”

“It’s a magnificent ideal, Lord – certainly a great aspiration or dream,” I responded.

“Is that what makes it great?”

“I don’t know. I guess not.” I’d never really considered it. I know that Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” It’s something He asked us to do – a commission. And to the extent, it was the last thing He asked and it is a very big thing. You could say that it’s Great.

Our conversation continued, “My commission becomes great when you prioritize it. But do you? Do those you disciple, the staff and the Racers prioritize it? When it’s one of many options, it is not great.”

It’s not a good idea to argue with the Almighty. Truth be told, I’ve been distracted for a while. Maybe for about seven years. And I’ve even been working on important things. I’ve been trying to help find the greatness in Millennials. I’ve been trying to raise up great staff. I’ve been trying to make the World Race great. 

But I’ve not made Jesus’ Commission Great. I guess you could say that we know that it was important to Jesus. Maybe that’s it – an Important Commission.

But Jesus doesn’t let us off the hook. He told us, “The gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.'” (Matt. 24:14)

I like the way Andrew Shearman puts it, “Jesus wants a harvest and harvest is the curtain of history.”
So let me ask you this question: Have we have failed to understand Christ’s heart for the lost? 

K.P. Yohannan says, 

“Christ meant his church to be primarily a missionary organization. The body of Christ is the living presence of a God whose heart is pounding with a passion for lost and dying souls. Jesus was always pressing on to preach the Gospel in the next village. 

His heart’s cry was for the dead and dying, for the lost, sick and undone. And the heart of every true disciple who follows in the steps of Jesus will be the same. We must be willing, as he was, to let everything go for the sake of lost souls.”

So here’s my answer to the Lord, “I repent, Lord. I may have been have been distracted, but I want my life to be aligned with Your priorities. I want to call out a generation to not just worship You, but to follow You wherever You call, even to the ends of the earth. I want to pour my own life out for You.”

When I die, I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You made my Commission Great.”

How about you? Is Jesus’ Commission great in your life? Have you talked to Him about it? What will it take for you to make it great?

As for me and and my house, we will serve the Lord. Let’s live our lives sold out to Him.

Comments (3)

  • Great message. I completely agree. I believe a big part of the problem is understanding the core of our faith. We battle so much legalism and rules in the church. Jesus gave us two commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Everything else is summed up in that. Until we get that, we do not have the love of the Lord that compels us to abandon everything for the great commission. We need to love the Lord so much to willing to abandon everything. And we need to love others to best understand what that abandonment looks like. You are spot on, Seth. So how do we help Racers and others to truly fall in Love with the God of this universe while on the race?

  • Sometimes when I get discouraged about how few people really do make Jesus’ commission a great one, I look at what you and your sweet family are doing, Scott, and the Lord picks me up and I keep going. Thanks for walking it out.

    As to your question – you already gave the answer. It’s love. It’s relationship. It’s the invitation to keep walking in relationship after the race. It takes at least 3 years to activate someone, and often about 10 years.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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