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Sermon: Understanding the Call - A Journey Through the Book of Matthew.

Today, we stand at a pivotal juncture as we unpack the essence and the profound lessons in the Book of Matthew. Anchored in Matthew 28:18-20, known to us as The Great Commission, we are called to a mission that transcends beyond our selves - a mission ordained by Christ Himself.


The Great Commission: Our Mandate

"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'"


In these closing words of Matthew, Jesus doesn't merely suggest. He commands - He mandates us to go forth, spread the good news, baptize, and disciple. This is not just an assignment for the apostles, the pastors, or the church elders. This is our collective calling as followers of Christ.


Essential Understandings from the Book of Matthew:


1. Discipleship Is Everyone's Calling

The invitation to follow Jesus and make disciples is inclusive. Like Peter, Andrew, James, and John, we are called from our daily routines to follow a path that is both uncharted and sacred. We all have a role to play in God's kingdom, reaching beyond the confines of our comfort to the broader horizons of all nations.


2. Living the Kingdom Values

Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount, lays down the ethos of the kingdom of God. Blessed are the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. It's a radical call to live by values often counter the world's. It's about seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.


3. Jesus: The Fulfillment of Prophecy

Matthew intricately links Jesus to the long-awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. In understanding this, we acknowledge a historical figure and a living, breathing fulfillment of God's promised Salvation to His people.


4. The Power of Prayer

Jesus' life was steeped in prayer. Before choosing the twelve, He prayed. Before His betrayal, He prayed. Prayer was not just a ritual for Jesus; it was His lifeline to the Father. He sets a precedent for us - to seek guidance, strength, and solace through prayer.


5. Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Matthew 18 directs us toward forgiveness and reconciliation, stating the kingdom's heart towards mending and nurturing relationships. 'To be forgiven, we must forgive' isn't merely an instruction; it's the essence of Grace in action.


Practical Applications:


  1. Live Missionally: Every interaction, every day, is an opportunity to showcase Christ's love and guide others to Him.

  2. Be Kingdom-Oriented: Before reacting, deciding, or speaking, consider if your actions reflect the values of the kingdom of God.

  3. Study to Know Him: Delve into the scriptures. Understand Jesus' life, His prophecies, and His teachings. The more we know Him, the more we can be like Him.

  4. Seek Solitude in Prayer: Cultivate a lifestyle of prayer, where quiet moments with God are not just occasional but habitual.

  5. Practice Forgiveness: Don't hold on to grudges or wait for an apology. Remember, forgiveness frees not just the person who wronged us but sets our hearts free.

In closing, walking through Matthew's Gospel invites us on a transforming journey. Here, we encounter Jesus anew - the King, the Teacher, the Prophet, the Son of God. He calls us, equips us, and promises to be with us "always, to the end of the age."


May this understanding reside in our minds and be lived out as we faithfully answer the Great Commission.


Amen.

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