A BIG TASK
Scriptures: Matthew 9:37–10:4, 28:19; Mark 16:20, 2 Corinthians 5:11–21
Memory verse: 2 Corinthians 5:19
"He has committed to us the message of reconciliation."
The title of our study today is "A Big Task." A task refers to work that needs to be done and usually it takes considerable effort. A big task is one that requires a lot of work, and one that takes time to complete.
Big tasks are completed faster when several people are involved in the work. The country of Malawi celebrates Mother's Day each year on October 15. It is customary for all the children to return to their mother's home on that day. The seasonal rains are just beginning so children all go to mother's farm. They prepare the soil and sow the seed. Usually, in one day they can complete the task. Mother is always very happy!
Ask: What are other tasks that can be completed quickly when many people are working together to get the job done? (Allow responses.)
It is easier to accomplish the task when many helpers are involved. Jesus taught this concept to His disciples in Matthew 9:37, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." The harvest needs to be gathered. It will be gathered by workers. There is a limited amount of time in which to gather the harvest. Many workers in the field will guarantee that none of the harvest is lost. Jesus compares the harvest to sinners. Unless believers bring them to faith in Christ, they will be lost and spend eternity in hell.
Hearing God's Word
The worker in the field is the instrument God uses to gather the harvest—to bring sinners into the Kingdom of God. The apostle Paul recognized the important role of workers and highlights this truth in 2 Corinthians 5:11–21:
- "We try to persuade others" v. 11
- "For Christ's love compels us" v. 14
- " He gave us the ministry of reconciliation" v. 18
- "He has committed to us the message of reconciliation" v. 19
- "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors" v. 20
- "We implore you on Christ's behalf" v. 20
Ask: Have you ever helped to settle a quarrel between two students? How did you go about it? (Allow responses.)
The task God has given to every believer is that of reconciling people to Him. The believer's message to the sinner is "Come back to God!" The believers speak as Jesus Christ's representatives. God is giving every believer the privilege of urging every sinner to trust in Jesus and be saved.
The word "reconcile" means to settle a quarrel between two or more people.
Ask: Why is preaching the message of reconciliation such a big task? (Allow responses.)
There are two basic reasons why the task of preaching the message of reconciliation to sinners is "big":
1. There are a lot of sinners. The harvest is huge! The harvest includes family, friends, fellow students, teachers, all the villagers, all the city people and everyone in your country. It also consists of various language groups throughout Africa and the world - a big field with a big harvest that needs a big work force to accomplish the task.
2. The message of reconciliation is to be delivered by believers. It is our obligation. The message has been given to us to tell others. We are to persuade, to convince them that they are sinners who need to make peace with God. Jesus has committed this task to us which means He is trusting us to get the job done—even when sinners seem uninterested in what we have to say.
In This Together
Jesus ascended into heaven following His resurrection. "Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it" (Mark 16:20). Jesus has assigned a big task to us believers, but He does not send us into the harvest field alone. He goes with us! He works with us, side-by-side. We preach reconciliation and He endorses our ministry by performing miracles. It is a team effort. We are partners with God in gathering the harvest.
Ask: What does it mean to be a partner with God in delivering the message of reconciliation? (Allow responses.)
Believers bear the responsibility of preaching, but their senior partner performs miracles. Jesus provided salvation through His sacrificial death on the Cross. We believers fulfil our part of the partnership by proclaiming the message of salvation.
The principle of partnership is demonstrated in Jesus' ministry here on earth. One example is the feeding of 5,000 people as recorded in Mark 6:30–44. A crowd of people followed Jesus into the wilderness to hear Him teach and see Him perform miracles. They were rushing to find Jesus and failed to bring any food with them. Late in the day Jesus knew they were hungry. His disciples found a boy with five loaves of bread and two fish. The boy gave his food to Jesus.
Jesus gave thanks for the food and began to break the bread and fish into pieces. The amount continued to multiply. Jesus asked His disciples to distribute the food to the people. They fed 5,000 men along with women and children who were present. This is a perfect example of partnership. Jesus provided the miracle and the disciples gave it out to the people.
Jesus has provided salvation. Believers are to proclaim the good news to everyone. It is a partnership arrangement. Jesus and believers work together to achieve the heavenly Father's purpose.
Accepting God's Word
Sometimes our responsibility as believers seems to be too big a task. It appears from our perspective that the Lord could speak from heaven and deliver the message in all the languages of the world, without an accent. Or, He could send an angelic messenger to every sinner just as He did to Mary when announcing the birth of His Son. However, God has a different plan.
According to God’s Word, God's plan is to use believers as His ambassadors. We are assigned the task to speak for Christ Himself, persuading sinners to become friends with God—accepting Jesus as their personal Saviour. God has given us a message of reconciliation and He will help us to deliver it. It is a great privilege. May our response to His Word be: "I am your servant. Use me to fulfil Your purpose."
Getting it Done
The task of communicating the gospel to unreached tribes and individuals will take a lot of work. We believers in Christ will need to keep our eyes on the goal and intentionally attempt to achieve it. It is good to remind ourselves that we are not alone in this effort for Jesus promised in Matthew 28:19-20, "Therefore go...surely I am with you always."
Today we look at the continent of Africa. Africa has 987 unreached tribes numbering 340,074,000 people. Reaching each person with an adequate gospel witness is a huge undertaking!
God Resources His Messengers
Whenever God asks us to do something for Him, He always provides the resources to get it done. He puts in our hands the tools needed to achieve the goal. There will be challenges and difficulties to overcome, such as: different languages and cultures, and kilometres.
The best tool is our personal, face-to-face, introduction of Jesus to unbelievers. The written message in the form of the Bible, tracts and teaching material is powerful too. People today also like visual materials, such as: pictures, graphics, video and other media. Thank God for these wonderful tools!
Technology: A Gift from God
Technology is a revelation of knowledge that comes as a gift from God to the human race. It has the potential of being used to communicate the salvation message to the masses—to over one billion people living in Africa and another six billion in the rest of the world.
We must utilize radio and television broadcasts, video on You Tube, printed publications, emails, cell phone speaking and texting, and many other forms of modern communication. These are tools God has given us to get the job done.
These tools are useful when dedicated to the Lord. So, here is the equation: Messengers yielded to the Lord with His tools in their hands = Message of reconciliation made available to everyone on the face of the earth.
May the Lord help us to develop a closer relationship with Jesus, to utilize our talents and skills, and enhance our ability to use technology for the advance of His Kingdom.
REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Unreached Tribes of Africa
1. Light of the gospel to shine upon the 983 unreached tribes,
2. The Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of the people to receive the truth,
3. Our youth group to believe and praise God in advance for the answer.
"Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24).
MORE INFORMATION: www.joshuaproject.net
Remember: A BIG TASK
Memory verse: 2 Corinthians 5:19
"He has committed to us the message of reconciliation."
1. I want to be a worker in God's harvest field.
2. Together, God and all we believers can get the job done.
3. It is a privilege to be God's representative to sinners.
Pray for Unreached Tribes of Africa.
Study6 | All the World/Great Teachings | africaatts.org/go-teach