Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Great Commission.8

"If you are not for me, you are against me; 
and they that do not gather with me, scatter."

I gather.

I gather many things.  

  • Pop bottles on the side of the road.  
  • Tools and lumber to build things.  
  • Family & friends for holidays. 
  • Small business owners for membership in the association I work for.
  • Friends who pray for friends.
  • People to meet my Lord.

My gathering is motivated by many things.  Duty. Maturity. Responsibility. Joy. Happiness. Livelihood. Ambition. Obedience. Love. Coffee.

Jesus commands us not, primarily, for activity, but for our development as kingdom citizens.  Gathering is not what we do, as His followers, it is who we are.  By the activity we become the command.  Activity empowered and guided by His Spirit.  Commands that reflect his nature.

  • "His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
  • "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
  • "Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, 'Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
  • "The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,"
  • "Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather."
  • "And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
  • "But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?"
  • "And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost."
  • "And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, "Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe."
  • For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them."
  • "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me.
  • One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn't even find time to eat.
  • I sent you to harvest where you didn't plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest."


Adam Smith, in The Wealth of Nations, explains that in order to efficiently make something as seemingly insignificant as nails, it takes many workers each doing a small part from gathering ore, to melting it down, making the casts, separating the cooled metal, burnishing the edges, packaging, distribution, and sales.  If one person were to do all those activities only a few nails per day would ever be produced.  But by many people doing a small part, thousands of nails are produced daily.

Jesus has one work of the Father: building a kingdom of righteousness, faith & love.  If our mindset is His, we daily do our part of helping in the effort.  Small as it is--a kind word, a sacrifice of giving, a prayer offered for a friend, work done with integrity, a cup of cold water to a child, a testimony born of need, healing hands, gracious words spiced with a little salt--gathering activity that is marked by His nature.