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By Rev Dr Colin Peckham

Fear of the authorities they had hidden behind locked doors. But no, ridiculous or not, the words rang forth with the utmost clarity, 'Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'

The speaker was either completely devoid of His senses-or He was God! Since resurrection this had been His supreme and glorious theme. When He ascended into heaven, the very last words He spoke to His adoring disciples were to go to 'the uttermost part of the earth!' The eyes of the Master were upon the gigantic harvest. The only ones who could gather this harvest were these simple souls before Him.

Soon however, they were to be equipped by the Holy Ghost. Soon they would be preaching in the cities and in the villages. Others would be inspired through them and the glad news of redemption would leap from land to land. Followers of the Man of Galilee obeyed gladly, exultantly, the Divine call: 'Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel!'

Yet Christ did not ask anyone to do what He Himself had not already done. We have therefore:

Christ's Example

What an example of selfless dedication He gave us-what an example of love. He had created the world. He had been united with the Father from eternity. He had been worshipped by heaven's angelic hosts. Now, in order to accomplish the redemption of those whom He loved, he left it all-the adoration, the beauty, the purity, the intimacy of the Father's fellowship-and plunged willingly into the humiliation of the Incarnation, the constant companionship of sinful creatures and the atmosphere of evil in an evil domain. His abandonment to the Father's will was complete. He made no provision for ease. he had no mansion prepared for Him here on earth. The King of Glory knew menial tasks-even washing fishermen's feet!

There was within Him one consuming passion, to save a lost humanity. Love, as an unquenchable flame, burned within Him. On he went-a rushing steam of salvation. The Son of Man had come to seek and to save that which was lost. No barrier was too formidable; no difficulty too great; no hardship too wearisome; no trial too harsh, no humiliation too degrading-even the ghastly Roman cross and supreme agony of separation from the Father! What love is this! What incomprehensible and unfathomable and beautiful force we behold and we bow before the love of God, the God of love, the God who is Love! 'Consider Him' the Scriptures say-consider Him indeed!

His task was partly to train the disciples whom the Father gave Him and we have:

Christ's Enlistment

The men who walked with Jesus were privileged beyond all others. Jesus chose and sent forth twelve disciples, giving them special spiritual powers. he later sent forth seventy. The conditions and commission given to the seventy were similar to those given to the twelve (cf. Matt. 10 & Luke 10). To both groups He stated that the harvest was plenteous and the labourers were few. he laid the solemn charge upon them to proclaim a dynamic message 'the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.' The conditions under which they laboured were certainly not luxurious. the positions which they held had neither political nor social power. their campaigns were not designed to make them wealthy. The spirit of sacrifice was prominent. they had one thing to do and that was to herald the coming of God's Almighty Christ, for He sent them 'into every city and place whither He himself would come.'

Without His charge they would have gone no where; without His power they would have done nothing. He was the centre of their ministry and, in the power of the Spirit they went forth and conquered. Could we reverently say that from a human point of view, Jesus was the General Director of the 'Galilean Faith Mission'! He thrust them forth and, by His authority and in His name, doors were opened and the Kingdom of God established. Still today this has not changed. He is still the whole message and its might. It is He who thrusts men and women out into his service, and as they minister 'in every city and place', He comes amongst them and seals His Word through them.

Christ's Enterprise

From the Individual, through the twelve and the seventy, and not on and out into the world's wide fields. 'Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.'

This Almighty Commission, this great separating and empowering Word, has resounded down the centuries, and it resounds just as strongly today. it circles the globe and echoes in every gathering of God's children. how it moves the heart and fires the soul! How it stirs the mind and claims the life! Jesus says 'Go' and He says it to Me!

The commission comes from heaven! I see it with my eyes and hear it with my ears, but far more potently I sense it with my spirit. Am I not His? Does He not swell within me? The Christ who left heaven's glory and spent Himself so utterly, is in my heart! His Spirit within me responds to His Mighty Word to me-Go! I am caught up in the eternal thrust of God. I cannot escape it. I am part of it. The Word lives to me and in me-Go!

Oh, who will go? Who will heed this mighty Word? Who will respond to the Divine pleas? Who will give themselves in the spirit in which He gave Himself, yes, by the same Spirit, utterly, wholly, completely, irrevocably to God to do His will for ever? Will you? Will you give yourself now?

Pray then this prayer with me even in these moments: 'Lord I lay all that I have and am and hope to be, on Thy altar. The consecration is complete. I hold nothing back. Take me, guide me and use me as Thou wilt for ever.'

The Lord who sees into the innermost parts of the heart will take the offering . What a privilege to give all to Him! He will indeed guide, send and use you as seems best to Him.