“He presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)
From this account in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, it’s pretty clear that the accounts recorded in the four gospels where Jesus appeared to his disciples after His resurrection are not at all complete. They were the stories each of the four narrators chose to include, but there must have been many others over the course of 40 days, and most likely to different groups and gatherings of the disciples. These appearances clearly had two main purposes: first, to prove to them that He was alive, and second, to give them instruction as to what they should do.
The most famous of these appearances will be our last in the series and is commonly called the Great Commission and is found in the last few verses of Matthew’s gospel.
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “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 of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)
Ruth Martin Fischer, the amazing woman whom I married, who goes by the name of Marti, claims these verses as her personal instructions from God. She was led to them soon after her conversion and this commission has been a driving force in her life ever since. Now when I say this, I need to explain, because how one person interprets a verse from the Bible as personally given to them can be very different from another. For many people, a personal verse is a suggestion — something God wants them to keep before them as a guiding principle in their life. Put it on your refrigerator and reflect on it now and then. That’s all well and good, but that’s not Marti. For Marti, this is her assignment; it was given to her alone, at least she’s the only one she knows about, and her job is to fulfill it in her lifetime. That’s right: Marti is personally responsible for making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Marti is to save the whole world, and anything short of that is short-sighted and small thinking.
This is largely what motivates her. As long as someone is not following Christ, or worse, hasn’t even heard of Him, her job is not done. That’s why to be heading up a ministry with the actual potential of reaching every nation via the Internet is right up her alley. Her incentive has been renewed, but the rest of us are dragging our feet. I say “us,” because I have been the biggest damper on this fire, trying to get her to slow down and get more realistic about her efforts toward the goal. “It’s just a goal to shoot for; no one’s going to ever reach it,” I say, throwing more water on the fire. But who am I to say? Who am I to question what God is saying to my wife? My purpose should be to help her — to find out what she needs and provide it for her.
If even a few of us had half her seriousness, energy, commitment and follow-through, the world would be a different (and better) place.
I’m not telling all of you to be like Marti. Each of us has our calling from the Lord. But I am asking you to use whatever resources you have to help her do it. Volunteer, pray, give, tell others, teach others, inspire, get people to the Catch. We have a job to do. We’ve been commissioned, and if you’re not sure you have been, Marti is sure she has, so help her. I’m behind this like never before.
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. (Luke 24:50-52)
Suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10-11)
Why are you standing around looking up into the sky. You have a job to do. You have been commissioned to do a very big thing. Let’s get down off this mountain, get the Holy Spirit, and get going!
Our girl remains missing. Continue to pray for Miriam, our 18 year old who has mental issues. She has been sighted in the Kansas City area — in a town called Tonganoxie.
From her Dad,
I think her hair is now all the way shaved. Thanks for helping and reaching out. We are kind of at a loss. They said we could try to go to court and file for guardianship since she has mental health issues. We could do that against her will but we don’t see how that will help anything.