"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" Matthew 28:18-20
If you have been at Brook Hills for any amount of time, you are not a stranger to this passage. We regularly encourage and remind each other of this as we recite it to close out each worship gathering. We encourage one another in the clear and direct call, task, and mission that each believer is given - to take the Good News into all the world. No believer is excused from this task.
Over the past few weeks, we have had the great privilege to commission workers to various parts of the world to go and live out the Great Commission. During this time, I have found myself reflecting on the concept of surrender. While each individual and couple that has been sent out has different unique characteristics and personalities, they all have something in common in this going: a spirit of surrender to the Lord and the task He has given them, and specifically how He desires them to live it out.
One of our long-termer recently wrote on the theme of surrender in her own life:
"Surrender. It's a word that's been on my mind lately. The current rhythm of my life is one that is directing my thoughts to this idea. When I think about surrender, I think of laying things down. I think of releasing my grip on what I am holding fast to - good or bad. I usually think of really "big" things. But I think surrender is a daily choice we make, with all the big and small. And I don't think surrender is unique to any particular season of life or circumstance. Regardless of where we find ourselves in life, surrender is a regular habit we need to learn...!"
These are the words of a sister who is living out the Great Commission in a context much different than our own here in Birmingham. However, the posture of surrender towards the Lord is one that every believer should have. This friend considered the call of the Great Commission and considered how the Lord would have her surrender. She followed his lead to North Africa.
This is the task that has been given to the church and to every believer. So, what does surrender look like for you today? Each week we joyfully gather and regularly remind and encourage one another in this task and commission. Through giving to the Global Offering, you support and sustain those who have surrendered to this charge to "go" and have been sent to some of the least-reached places. This year you specifically sustained this sister who so graciously reminds us that, "Surrender means trust....Surrender is possible because he doesn't leave us alone to fight the battle without help. He is with us in it! What an amazing reality!" There is excitement and joy that comes with a spirit of surrender towards the Lord in this task. How are we considering the big and small things in our lives - our finances, our time, our relationships, and our occupation? Surrender includes thinking about these things and having open hands to the Lord for him to do with them what he will - for his glory!
Here at Brook Hills, one way we join with those sent is by surrendering to this mission ourselves and through giving to the Global Offering. This money goes to help our long-termers live and work on the mission field to the glory of God. It also helps our mid-termers and even provides discounts for our students to go and see what God is doing around the world as they learn to grow in their own walks with him.
Thank you, Brook Hills. Your faithfulness to continue to give to the Global Offering blesses and encourages us all. Praise God from whom all blessing flow!