Love God, Love People, Make Disciples

Love God. Love people. Make disciples – who do the same. These three commands sum up
the Christian life.

When Jesus was asked “Which is the greatest commandment?” he said:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your
neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:37-40)

But, it is not enough to do this ourselves. We must also make disciples, teaching them to
obey Jesus’ commands. Look at Jesus’ final words:

“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 28:18-20)

The basic command is to “make disciples.” The other verbs tell us how. We are to make
disciples by going, baptizing and teaching them to obey.

Together, the Great Commandment and the Great Commission form a circle. The Great
Commandment teaches us that we must love God and people. The Great Commission
teaches that we must make disciples – disciples who obey all that Jesus commanded.
Obedient disciples must multiply; because they – in turn – love God, love people, and make
more disciples.

This cycle is the reason Christianity has expanded over the last 2000 years. This cycle is
why you and I are followers of Jesus today.

Look behind you. There is a simple test to determine whether you are obeying the Great
Commission: Look behind you. Do you see (following you as you follow Jesus) a chain of
disciples who are making disciples who are making disciples?

“A few year ago, I evaluated my life in light of the Great Commission. I realized that my
ministry had a superficial effect on many – but was not making disciples who made
disciples. I flunked the Great Commission test. I have spent the past few years of my life
rearranging things – investing more deeply in fewer – so that, today, I can see a growing
chain of disciple-making disciples.” -Mark Aspinwall