Well, it seems fitting to start this fourth and final Advent article by sharing the last five verses of the Gospel of Matthew. Yes, in this season we anticipate and celebrate Jesus’ birth, but we also remember the words He said after He rose from the dead.
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:16-20, ESV).
Known as The Great Commission, Jesus leaves us a legacy of disciple making. He modeled how to do it, as He called followers to draw near and walk with Him daily. And while He did not force the disciples to stay near, He simply led them and entrusted them to the Father by fasting and prayer. He showed us His great love by living with us and dying for us.
We are called to do that for others — to simply walk with God into all the places He is calling us to go, bringing others with us, teaching and training them along the way. He modeled it so that we might follow it. God came to earth by way of His son, Jesus — to walk with us, talk with us, and train and equip us to do the same — walk with others, talk with them, and show them the way to Him.
As I read the last five verses of the last chapter of Matthew, I noticed there were eleven disciples with Jesus going up that mountain in Galilee. The original twelve were missing a member. Judas Iscariot had taken his life mere days earlier. He had chosen to betray Jesus. He had chosen to walk away.
And many will choose that same path. Many will walk away. Scripture tells us that even some of the eleven with Him that day doubted. There will be days of doubt. There will be death in this life. There will be darkness trying to dim the light. There will be hate seeking to overcome love. There will be legions of evil trying to end the legacy.
But take heart, dear friend, God did not draw near to us through Jesus to merely give up before His work on earth was done. No. He stayed, even when we left. He left us the Holy Spirit. He still walks with us today. He is still making a way. And He calls us to partner with Him by making disciples. It’s part of the legacy He left for you and me.
He is near. He is here. He made the way clear. And now, we continue to walk with Him — in life, and light, and love, as we leave a legacy for generations to come.
Father, thank you for leaving a legacy. I celebrate the birth of my Savior while remaining fully convinced He came to go and come again in order to accomplish your great plan. Thank you, God, for drawing near to me. I long to draw near to you every day as you continue to show me the way.
Help me stay close to your side by being in your Word, and help me share your Truth with others as I continue the legacy of making disciples. Father, have your way in my heart today and every day that follows until I am by your side in Glory, near to you forever and ever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Daily Reading Plan for the Fourth Week of Advent
Sunday (12/18) — A LEGACY of Love: Matthew 22:24-40 & Deuteronomy 6:4-7
Monday (12/19) — A LEGACY of Consistency: Matthew 23:27-28 & Jeremiah 23:11
Tuesday (12/20) — A LEGACY of Expectancy: Matthew 24:42-44 & Daniel 12:4
Wednesday (12/21) — A LEGACY of Faithfulness: Matthew 25:23 & Lamentations 3:22-23
Thursday (12/22) — A LEGACY of Prayer: Matthew 26:38, 40-41 & Psalm 69:13
Friday (12/23) — A LEGACY of Resurrection Power: Matthew 27:62-63 & Isaiah 26:19
Saturday (12/24) — A LEGACY of Making Disciples: Matthew 28:16-20 & Psalm 102:18-22
Tabitha is a wife, mom, author, teacher, and speaker. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, Steve. They have four sons, Joshua, Caleb, Nathan, and Isaac. She loves words — written or spoken and is passionate about God’s Word and the life changing truths found in it. From reading it to living it out in word and deed, her heart’s desire is to challenge others to do the same. She has authored and taught Bible Studies for large groups, small groups, and online groups. Encouraging ladies of all ages and life stages is Tabitha’s passion, and she does that through speaking at conferences, events, and retreats. You can find out more about Tabitha, her Bible studies and Devotional, and her speaking schedule at www.tabithadeller.com.