Afraid of Being Sent

From Paul Tripp Ministries

Last week, we reviewed the words of The Great Commission and how it means that if God is a sending God, the only way to respond appropriately is to be a going person.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t always want to be sent, and I am not always comfortable going.

Perhaps we’re too timid, too shy, too afraid, too willing to give way to fear of man, too conscious about what people will think about us. Maybe we’ve allowed the media view of Christianity, with all of its sarcasm and cynicism, to drive us into hiding, or at least not be as bold.

Or perhaps we’re just too selfish, too consumed with our own schedules, pursuits, and pleasures to prioritize being a light in our neighborhood and sharing the gospel with our neighbors next door.

If you’re God’s child, here’s the first thing: you have a life-changing message that provides the only explanation that makes any sense whatsoever.

The Christian worldview answers all the major questions of life. The biblical framework provides the only grid people can look through to properly understand all that has been, is, and will be.

The gospel is the only story that provides hope. Tim Keller once said that the bottom line is that every human just wants to be loved. Jesus offers that hope of love—a love that you don’t have to earn and that cannot be taken away; a love that will not break, give up, or walk out.

Why would you want to keep that message of hope and love to yourself? Is it not worth feeling uncomfortable and worth the sacrifice? After all, the only reason you have hope in the eternal love of God is because Christ became uncomfortable and made the ultimate sacrifice to share that love with you.

Let’s return to The Great Commission. What I love most is that this calling to “Go therefore” is bracketed by two statements. Or, more precisely, a declaration and a promise:

  • “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
  • “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

As you go to share the gospel in your neighborhood, remember that you’ll never go into any situation, location, or relationship that isn’t being ruled by King Christ. Your sending God will never make you go anywhere beyond the scope of his sovereign rule.

Whatever is confusing to you, mysterious to you, or causes you to be afraid is ruled by God already.

And then Jesus promises, “I will never send you without going with you.”

It’s humbling to admit, but God understands that we have no capacity whatsoever to fulfill The Great Commission on our own.

God is way too intelligent and kind to leave us to our own limited, feeble set of resources. He promises to provide exactly what you need. You will never be in a moment of evangelism or ministry by yourself.

So go, therefore. Go, confident of his authority. Go, confident of his command. Go, confident of his promise of presence and provision.

Don’t be afraid. Don’t be ashamed. Go, and don’t stop going until going isn’t needed anymore.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

A Prayer for Today: God, in the difficult and scary moments, would you remind me that you are always with me? And Lord, would you give me the boldness that can only come from you to share the message of hope and love with others? You sacrificed everything for me, now in response to your sacrifice, I want to move into the uncomfortable and engage with others about that sacrifice you made. Help me to be your voice even when I’m scared to speak. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

Discussion Prompt for Children

Why do you think people do certain scary things even though they might be afraid? What’s bigger than our fears that God helps us with?

Reflection Questions

1. Examine your heart right now and ask yourself if you truly believe that you have a life-changing message that provides the only explanation to others that makes any sense whatsoever. Do you genuinely believe that the Christian worldview answers all the major questions of life? If so, what could be stopping you from sharing that with those closest to you in your family and neighborhood?

2. The eternal love of God was given to you because Christ became uncomfortable and sacrificed himself. How does reminding yourself of that fact spur you on to share the gospel with others despite the potential of your personal discomfort and sacrifice? Ultimately, the story of the gospel provides love and hope—how might that reminder change your perspective on sharing the gospel with others?

3. In what ways can you be intentional about reminding yourself that King Christ rules over every person, place, and conversation you engage in? Why is there always comfort in the fact that everything is under the rule and authority of Jesus? How might that perspective change how you feel about talking with others about the gospel?

4. Why is it good news that we have no capacity whatsoever to fulfill the Great Commission on our own? How can the important reminder of the fact that we’re never alone be a catalyst for your boldness in communicating your faith?

Afraid of Being Sent

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

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