My Devotionals


What kind of work is “not in vain”?

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

I’ve said this multiple times throughout this series, but allow me to say it once more: The Great Commission to “make disciples” is indeed great! But it’s far from the only thing Christ has called us to do. And there are serious problems with treating it as such. We’ve seen three of those problems thus far in this series:

  1. Jesus never did
  2. It neglects the other aspects of God’s kingdom
  3. Ironically, it makes us less effective at the Great Commission

Here’s the fourth problem with treating the Great Commission as the only commission: It blocks you and me from seeing how our work matters for eternity—how, in the words of the Apostle Paul, our “labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

If the Great Commission is the only...

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I’ve shared the gospel more in 2 years than in 10 prior. Here’s why.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. (Psalm 37:23)

The Great Commission is indeed great. But as we’ve been exploring in this series, there is great danger in treating the Great Commission as the only one Jesus left us. 

One of those dangers is that it ironically makes us less effective at the Great Commission. Why? Because it makes Christians feel guilty for working in the very places most likely to make disciples!

Dr. Michael Green, an expert on the explosion of Christianity in the first few centuries, says that the historical evidence “makes it abundantly clear that in contrast to the present day, when Christianity is . . . dispensed by a professional clergy . . . in the early days the faith was spontaneously spread by informal evangelists,” who shared the gospel “in homes and wine shops, on walks, and around market stalls.” 

That was true in the early church, and likely to be true for the...

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Why we neglect these “non-soul” aspects of God’s kingdom

As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.…And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward. (Matthew 10:7-8, 42)

When Jesus called his disciples to “proclaim” that his kingdom had come, he instructed them to “heal,” “cleanse,” and “give.” Not just evangelize and “save souls.”

Because of that, I’m confident that Scott Harrison and his team at charity: water are doing “kingdom work” by giving clean water to millions of the world’s poorest image-bearers. 

But some Christians disagree. For example, a wealthy Christian we’ll call Bill once told Scott: We're not going to give to charity: water because you're not...

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Problem #1 with treating the Great Commission as the only mission Jesus left us

After his suffering, [Jesus] presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)

Last week, we saw that for the very first time in Church history, many Christians today have interpreted the “Great Commission” to “make disciples” as the singular mission of the Christian life.

If that’s true, then most of your work is meaningless. The product you’re building, the beauty you’re creating, the car you’re repairing—none of it matters unless you can leverage those things to the instrumental end of “sharing the gospel.”

Believer, this is an egregious lie. And a crazy dangerous one for reasons we’ll explore over the next four weeks. Here’s the first problem with treating the Great Commission as the only commission Jesus left us: Jesus himself never did!

Today’s passage tells us that Jesus...

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The term “Great Commission” is only 200 years old. Here’s why that matters.

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing 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) 

One of the deepest and most dangerous lies in the Church today is that this passage—often labeled the “Great Commission”—is the singular mission of the Christian life.

This, of course, has tremendous implications for our work. Because if the Great Commission to “save souls” and “make disciples” is the only thing that matters for eternity, then most of us are wasting most of our time.

This is what many of us are being told explicitly by church leaders! In the words of one influential pastor, “The consequences of your mission [and here he’s talking exclusively about the Great Commission] will last forever; the consequences of your job will not.”


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