"'As You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.'" John 17:18 ESV
Some of the most powerful words and phrases in the Bible are the shortest in length. Think “but,” “if,” “when” and “so that.”
“...They put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree, but God raised Him on the third day...” Acts 10:40
“Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” John 14:23
“And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears we may have confidence and not shrink back from Him in shame at His coming.” 1 John 2:29
The same goes in Jesus’ prayer with the Father before His arrest and crucifixion (see John 17). Here Jesus uses some of the weightiest words imaginable: “as” and “so.”
Just as the Father sent Jesus into the world, so He is sending you and me. Not kind of or maybe, but just as. You, my friend, are the one God is using to extend His invitation to people desperate for the good news of Jesus. He doesn’t need you to further His Kingdom, He has chosen you, equipped you and is sending you to deliver His invitation to hungry and broken souls.
Keep in mind though, this is not an invitation to a place. Whenever Jesus invited someone to go deeper with the Father, it was never to get them to a place, but to a person. He invited them to a relationship with Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Just as Jesus seeks more than lip service and sacrifices, His mission is more than people in a pew every Sunday. Jesus came to seek and save the lost to bring them to the Father so that He will be glorified. Full church buildings are not what the heavenly choir sings about, but the Holy One who will be worshiped by all nations “for (His) righteous acts have been revealed” (see Revelation 15:3-4).
Don’t let the Enemy sit at your table and adopt one of his many excuses: “I don’t have time,” “I’m not qualified” or “No one will listen.” Also avoid his trap of heaping stipulations onto God’s perfect salvation and demand new saints listen to certain music, belong to a specific denomination or be baptized one way. If it believes, obeys and glorifies the one, true God, receive with open arms. Focus on the essentials, not personal preferences.
Will you go where God has sent you? Will you extend His invitation to those searching for Him?
The same invitation Jesus extended during His earthly ministry— that of a deeper relationship with the Father—is the one He wants to extend through you now. He handled the message, He knows the addressee, He signed it with His blood and He stamped it with His seal. Now He is asking you to deliver it.
Content and packaging: all purchased by Him. Now it’s up to you to heed His instructions on when and to whom to deliver it.
But how? By tuning into the Holy Spirit and His directions. Everyone who has been born again has the awesome privilege of God Almighty living within and guiding them through His Spirit. It doesn’t require a secret code or seminary degree, just a still, submissive and willing heart. Will you go where God has sent you? Will you extend His invitation to those searching for Him?
English Standard Version Bible. (2001). Crossway Bibles.