My Daily Guideposts 2017 reading today got me thinking. The author mentioned four instances of “go” commands that Jesus expects of us. And I started wondering – what does Jesus tell us to “go” and do in the Gospels? The meanings of the three most frequently used Greek words give us a clue: travel, depart, go away, go forth, go up, journey, walk, lead, withdraw, get hence, go off, go out, follow.
Wow – follow. Which means we have to know Who’s leading. “Go and search carefully for the [Christ] …” (Matthew 2:8). Seek Him – go into His word to find truth. Spend time with Him – go into His presence to know His love. Sing to Him – go near Him to worship Him.
And then He gives us instruction in the Gospels on what to do next.
Forgive and Reconcile
- Matthew 5:23-24 – “23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
- Go and settle your heart before asking God to bless you. Strife separates you from God, so go make peace to give God your best.
- Matthew 18:15 – “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.”
- Talk about your problems with the person involved – and only that person. Not with everyone else. Not in the guise of prayer requests. Not on social media. Avoid public shame and embarrassment.
- Luke 15:18-19 – “18 I [the prodigal son] will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.’”
- Go to God with a truly sorry heart and ask for forgiveness. Don’t listen to the lies that God doesn’t need or want to hear it. Say it. Mean it. Want to change.
Go Beyond the Expected Standard
- Matthew 5:41 – “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”
- People will not make it easy. But keep going with them and make an effort – until God says stop. Don’t run away or check out because it gets hard, inconvenient, or uncomfortable.
- Matthew 7:13-14 – “13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
- Don’t go the easy way, with the pleasures and rewards of now. There is no eternal value, no growth, and not future happiness down the easy road.
- Mark 2:3,10-12; Luke 5:18,24-26 – “3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. … 10 ‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic, 11 ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’”
- Your answer or miracle probably won’t look like you expect – but God always comes through for you! So believe for the impossible, be bold in your expectation, and don’t ever give up hope.
- Luke 8:14 – “Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity”
- Beware of being distracted by things not of God or pleasing to God – things that “choke” out His truth, block out His voice, and remove you from His grace.
- Luke 9:5, 10:10-11 – “And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them”
- Don’t linger when God tells you to leave, staying where you will be of no benefit. Don’t hold on when God tells you to let go, grabbing something that keeps you from receiving His best.
- Luke 10:7 – “And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.”
- Be consistent. Be reliable. Be dependable. Be stable. Be trustworthy.
- Luke 10:33-37 – “33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where [the injured man] was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was a neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”
- Be compassionate to all people. Whether you agree with them or not. Choose to do good for them and show them love, because God says it’s important.
- Luke 14:10-11 – “0 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
- Be humble. Take care of people. Show them love by serving them and giving them preference. Choose sacrifice over selfishness to honor people’s importance to God.
- Matthew 9:13 – “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
- We think Jesus wants our “good” works and judges us by our “good” behavior. He really wants our hearts fully and freely given to Him. His Word will teach us how to truly surrender like this to Him.
- Matthew 23:13 – “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in [to truth] yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
- The teachers were too proud of their religious titles/positions and knowledge to see they were driven by the wrong things (such as being recognized). They could not see or value life outside the Law. And they encouraged the Jews to follow their lead of living only by the Law.
- Luke 17:22-23; 21:8 – “22 Then He said to the disciples, ‘The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them.’”
- Beware of who you listen to, who you follow, and who influences you. For many will come in the guise of Jesus and claim to promote truth – but their only purpose will be to deceive you from His truth and distract you from His true love.
- John 6:68 – “But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’”
- Go back to the Source. Go back to the One who is the Word made flesh. What does He say in the gospels? What does He teach through His parables? What does He promise to all believers?
- John 10:9 – “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture”
- Jesus has everything we need for success – rest, peace, grace, truth, compassion, wisdom. He is the way to find and develop fruit in your life to be His light. We have to go to Him, lean into Him, and stay near to Him to be our best selves.
Walk in Power
- Matthew 10:7-8 – “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
- You don’t have to sit idly by. The power of Jesus is in YOU – to help change people’s lives. Go into people’s lives and impact them with grace.
- Matthew 14:29 – “So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.”
- Don’t be afraid to move. Don’t sit paralyzed by the unknown or impossible. Jesus walks on water, and so can you! It only takes one step of faith to step into the miraculous.
- Matthew 26:32; Mark 14:28 – “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
- Hold onto your hope, no matter what. Galilee is wherever He is calling you to be. He promises to go both BEFORE you and WITH you.
- John 14:12 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father”
- He promises power – for us, in us, and through us. The same power that produced miracles by Jesus’ hands is in YOU.
- Matthew 19:21,24; Mark 10:21,24; Luke 18:22,24 – “Jesus [looking at him, loved him,] said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, [One thing you lack:] go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ … And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man [those who trust in riches] to enter the kingdom of God.”
- Let go of what is keeping you from true devotion to God. You are being controlled by your stuff – possessions, past, position, passions. Stop letting it hold you down and block God’s blessings.
- John 8:10-11 – “When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the [adulterous] woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ 11 She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’”
- Go and do better for yourself. Let go of the bad decisions and wrong choices that keep pulling you away from Him and His best. Stop working against what you want and start choosing good things – now and later – for yourself.
- Matthew 21:28-29 – “28 … A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.”
- Don’t live with the regret of saying “no” or “not now” to God. You will steal a blessing and a revelation from yourself – as well as the person you were supposed to go to. If God asks you to go, then go. No matter how crazy it feels.
- Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-15 – “40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, ‘If You are willing, You can make me clean.’” 41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ 42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. 43 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’ 45 However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.”
- Jesus asked him for one thing: give thanks at the temple to honor God. But his excitement kept him from doing so. And the result was Jesus’ inability to minister (freely) to others in that town. His excitement blocked blessings for others and freedom of movement for Jesus.
- Luke 17:12-14 – “12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.”
- Their healing miracle was in their obedience. Staying where they were would have kept them stuck and unhealed. Moving in the direction He gave them changed their lives.
- John 4:47-51 – “47 When [the nobleman] heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.’ 49 The nobleman said to Him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies!’ 50 Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your son lives.’ So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, ‘Your son lives!’”
- Jesus asks us to have faith and go. To believe without all the answers of how or why. To believe anything is possible when He promises.
- John 9:6-7 – “6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”
- God will ask us to do something that seems totally crazy, but He is testing our willingness to obey. Are you willing to step outside your comfort zone?
Share your Faith
- Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
- Mark 16:15 – “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”
- Don’t sit at home and keep your faith to yourself. Reach out to people. Show them the value of redemption. Share your story. Shine your light.
- Mark 5:18-20 – “18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.’ 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.”
- Start at home, with the people in your everyday life. Glow with the goodness and grace of God, so you can open the door to share your story.
- John 4:3-4 – “3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 But He needed to go through Samaria”
- Jesus needed to keep a divine appointment with a broken woman to help her and heal her. He defied two traditions – a Jew in Samaria and a man (especially a rabbi) speaking to a woman in public – all to meet her right where she was in her struggle and pain and show her what was available to her.
- John 15:16 – “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”
- Reach out to people. Demonstrate the evidence of His grace on your life – “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”. Love people in practical ways. Choose compassion whenever possible.
- Luke 7:37-38,44-50 – “37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. … 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.’ 48 Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ 49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ 50 Then He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.’”
- Worship settles your anxious heart and calms your wild thoughts. It may be with tears, or it may be with smiles – give Him all you are to find peace.
- Luke 17:15-19 – “15 And one of the [lepers], when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.””
- Ten men, but only one truly thankful heart. Gratitude expressed caused more healing. Be purposeful to turn from your problems to the Problem Solver. Don’t forget to express your thankfulness to God.
Today is the day to get up and go.
With a new attitude.
With a bigger faith.
With a grateful heart.
He’s calling you.
Will you follow His call and go?
1/15, 1/17, 1/24, 1/31, 2/5, 2/7/17