Dear House Family,
If you have been around lately, you may have caught some of the excitement. It’s like the air itself is crackling with electricity. This isn’t without reason. It’s a good season to be here! We are looking forward with much anticipation as we see the beginnings of a great harvest—the great harvest, if you will.
This is something that we all should be excited about, as it pertains to “The Great Commission”. Just as Jesus commanded His disciples, He has commanded us—go into all the world. We have already been doing that, but, now we have a clear strategy to reach our River Valley. This is really, really good.
However, that isn’t the only thing we have to be excited about. As we intentionally move forward with great anticipation to reach the world around us, we need to keep in mind that there are actually two commissions the Lord has entrusted to us. And it is important that we are faithful to both. You see, when Jesus gave what we refer to as “The Great Commission”, it was actually the “Second Great Commission”. There had been one before that. It is found in John 15.
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”
This commandment is an order, an injunction. It is a commission. The first commission, if you will. And it isn’t simply a commission to love. Jesus commissioned His disciples to love one another in proportion to how He loved them.
Commission = Co + Mission We have been given authority by Jesus to love each other.
We are officially assigned the task of loving one another with Jesus.
It is important for us to recognize this, because it isn’t enough for us to pursue the one commission. We need to pursue them both. Some of you are so stirred by the talk of the Harvest. You are coming alive at the mere thought of what could be. Others of you, not so much. But, you are stirred by thoughts of loving the family of God.
Do you know that is because we have two commissions we are commanded to fulfill? Who you are and your passions may lend themselves to one more easily than the other. That is okay. It doesn’t excuse you from participating in both, however.
Hebrews 10:24-25 “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
We are supposed to provoke one another to agape and beautiful works.
This happens in regularly meeting together. This is intentional body life. Can you do this on your own? No. It happens in regular community.
What’s more, the word here for encourage = parakaleō = “to call to one’s side/aid”
This is the same root (paraklētos) as Paraclete. Or, our Advocate, Helper, The Holy Spirit. We are supposed to be doing the same for one another as The Holy Spirit does! Isn’t that a beautiful thought? This doesn’t happen without us intentionally growing together.
In Ephesians 4 we learn that the body was given different gifts for the purpose of “equipping the saints for the works of service” and “to build up the body of Christ…..to a mature man”. In other words, we won’t become mature on our own. The body won’t be what it is supposed to be without us coming together and sharing our gifts. This requires us to come together frequently and use our gifts not just for the sake of the world, but for the growth of our body as well. In other words: The maturing of the body of Christ is the natural outcome of us coming together consistently and intentionally serving each other.
So, my challenge to you is this: Don’t neglect one commission in favor of the other. Let’s all participate in both. There are two easy ways to do this:
1. Go to www.engageyourcity.org and join us as we engage our communities with Supernatural love.
2. Join us this Tuesday, June 17th at 7 p.m. for a meeting explaining where and how you can get involved in serving here at The House.
This is a great season! I’m so honored to get to be here with you.
Pastor Nicole VanGelder