Divine Dust

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)

As Christian believers, followers of Jesus Christ, we are commanded to Go. We come to the Church to become equipped to Go. In faith we are to be a nation in action, Christianity is not an inactive place of rest. As Christians we are walking in faith to our place of rest in the Promised Land that our Lord has prepared for each of us. It is but a short journey and we are to follow Him as He leads us along the dusty road to His Kingdom. It is not an easy road to follow, but then anything that is easy does not result in anything of value. Our victory is assured through Jesus, as “we can do all things through Him who strengthens us”. (Philippians 4:13) Where Jesus leads us He has already been and has prepared the path for us.

Jesus sent His disciples out to make disciples in Matthew chapter 10. He gave His disciples these instructions as to what to do if their message was rejected. “”If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.” (Matthew 10:13-14) I find the instruction, “shake the dust off your feet” strange. After giving this some thought I think that it is symbolic to us, as we are dust. In Genesis 2:7 we read, “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” We are dust, once Divine Dust, as Adam and Eve before the fall. Now, as a result of the fall we are cursed dust and live under the judgment of Genesis 3:19. “By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” Does this not give the strong hint that we must labor for our keep? But the point is we are dust and to dust we shall return unless the Lord comes. What then makes us different from all the other walking dust on this earth? Our acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Holy Lamb of God and His atoning blood is all the difference between us, the Divine dust and the rest of the dust we share this world with.

We are commanded to “Go and make disciples of all the nations.” We are to teach the Word of God. Some of us will plant the seed of His word, some of us will water the seed that has been planted, God will cause the seed to grow, and some of us will harvest. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6) It that effort under the guidance and preparation of the Holy Spirit we will have shared the gospel of Jesus Christ. But to those who reject our testimony, those who chose not to hear the good news, those who ridicule, mock and persecute us, we are to withdraw our peace blessing and leave their house shaking the dust from our feet. I vision this as leaving them to themselves to wonder lost in the sea of the dust of humanity. I believe that as God the Father loves his creation this must be a painful thing for our Lord and Heavenly Father as I know the joy He has when one returns to His home in the Kingdom. I also pity them, as how will they stand on that Day of Judgment with their feet in the sinking dust of this world. I praise God that at some divine moment in my life my feet were planted on the Rock and there I shall ever stand, (Psalm 18:2) and I also praise God that your feet are standing upon the Rock of Ages.

Some people question that about God. How can a God of love send the creation He loves to an eternal place of fire and suffering? How can a God of love withdraw His love and allow some in His creation to go through eternity without His love and presence? We read in Romans 3:21-26 that Jesus is the just who though sinless paid the price for our sin. Is that not the greatest love? We also read that Jesus is the justifier. Who but a sinless one has the right and worth to forgive the sinful and to those who reject His gift of salvation judge them for their sin? “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Tell me, after you have given it great thought, what is love without justice?

In Romans 14:12 we read, “So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” For us at the Judgment Seat of Christ and for the lost at the Great White Throne Judgment, either way we will be judged for our deeds in the flesh. We are all accountable to God Almighty. Therefore, as brothers and sisters in Christ does this not also make since that we are also accountable to each other, that we are to edify each other as members of His body the Church. We read in Hebrews 10:25, “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” We are accountable to our Pastor and he is accountable to us, I am accountable to you and you are accountable to me, as we are all accountable to each other in love and not in judgment, as we are preparing each other for that day when the Master shall judge us for our deeds in the flesh. Is this not love, is this not the justice of love?

Our burden, for which we shall also be held accountable, is the lost, is the dust that searches in the sea of dust. We are to go and share that great knowledge of Jesus Christ which we have been privileged to hold dear to our hearts.

We have been given the gift of free will and the foolish have enslaved themselves to the world we now live in. Proverbs 14:12 reads, “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” We are all servants, we are either slaves to sin or bondservants to the Lord Jesus Christ. God in His incomprehensible love has provided, at a great sacrifice to Himself, a path to restore man’s relationship to Him. Still the many love this world and look not to the greater world to come, His Kingdom, and they remain slaves to their sin, there rebellion towards the character of our Creator. For them we seek to share the saving knowledge of God’s Son Jesus Christ. It is one way or another our calling, “to go and make disciples of all the nations.” We pray each day, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” The question is not if His Kingdom will come, not if His will be done, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” The question is, are we in His kingdom doing His will through Jesus in us?

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, January 8, 2014

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