1. Religion for Wrong Reasons
“You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”, said Jesus in Matthew 23:15. This happens when one tries to bring people under their own control/authority instead of under God’s righteous moral authority. So when Jesus gives his instruction to “make disciples” in Matthew 28:18-20, he says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples…”. Our mission on earth is to walk/lead towards what the Creator intended the world and our lives to be, which is to live consistent with the life and teachings of Jesus: “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). Being a follower of Jesus impacts all areas of practical life – whether it be dealing with a troublesome neighbor/co-worker/boss/subordinate, work ethics, stewardship of money, family relationships, courageously standing for truth/justice, courageously standing up for rights and well-being of fellow human beings, etc.
2. Divine-Human Project
Making disciples is a divine-human project. It is an all-consuming mission/endeavor every day of our lives. Hence the promise: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). God’s presence is a necessary condition to make any headway in the project – we begin by nurturing ourselves into disciples of Jesus, helping one another in family/community to be disciples, regular ongoing teaching in church gatherings, etc.
3. Surest Way to Ensure God’s Presence in Our Life
How do we ensure the presence of God in our lives? It is not about sitting in a temple or a church building. God says in Isaiah 66:1-2: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made”. So where does God dwell? “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit”.
So the surest way to have an approving/favorable presence of God in our lives is to have a humble and contrite spirit!