READ: Mark 16

THINK: I just finished a training weekend with a team of high school students who will be headed on a mission trip in less than three weeks. Over the course of the weekend I shared a number of Bible verses with them, but one, in particular, sums up what the trip is all about. In fact, I would argue that it sums up what the very life of every one of God’s children is all about. Mark 16:15 quotes Jesus as saying to his disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

What good news? The good news that there is a God who created everything. And he created us. And we rejected him and cut ourselves off from him. But he didn’t abandon us or leave us in our brokenness. Instead he set about drawing all people to himself. And he made a way for our sins to be washed clean. The only way for that to happen was for blood to be shed. Perfect blood. God himself came to earth and took on human flesh and gave up his life for us. And then he rose again from the dead. And he is making all things new – setting all of the brokenness around us right. And he wants to draw every person in the world to himself and wash them clean through his sacrifice and embrace them eternally in his love and set everything about their past, present, and future right. THAT good news!

In the Old Testament God chose the nation of Israel to be his people so that they could shine his light to all the nations of the world. In the New Testament God calls the church to do that. In Greek, the word for church is ekklesia which is a compound word ek – out + kaleo – called. The church is the group of people that have been called out of sin and death into redemption and relationship with God. And we have the awesome privilege and responsibility of serving as his hands, his feet, and his mouthpiece in this world to draw others around us to him. There is nothing that matters more. Let God light a fire in you that gives you the vision, the passion, and the courage to call those around you – wherever you are – out of brokenness and darkness into the hope that is found through faith in Jesus Christ.

PRAY: Listen to this song. Sing along once you catch on to the tune. Let it be your earnest prayer. Mean what you sing. Then ask God to open your eyes to what that means, specifically, for your life and your interactions this week.

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