His Last Command, Our First Concern
If you have been around this ministry for many years, “His last command, our first concern” will be familiar to you. If you are new to Haggai, or if the phrase is unfamiliar, I would encourage you to reflect on its profound meaning.
Why the reflection? Because it is foundational to the rich history of Haggai International that we plan to celebrate in the coming months. 2019 marks 50 years in the life of this ministry, and as we head into this season of celebration, I want us to look at some of the history of the organization that has transformed millions of lives through a simple, but lasting commandment. It was Jesus’ last command, and today it remains our first concern.
Two key scriptures formed the “why” and the “what” of this ministry. Let’s start with the why.
Matthew 28:18 states:
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.
Despite hearing this verse throughout our lives, its message is often overlooked. Dr. Haggai’s vision to begin a ministry to equip leaders to demonstrate and present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who haven’t heard was fueled by the true meaning of this verse. What does it inspire you to do?
Mark 16:15-16 reads:
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Acts 1:8 states:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
These are the final recorded words of Jesus before He ascended into Heaven – the very last thing He said to His disciples. Imagine being there in that time and place as one of the disciples, looking into His face and hearing those words. When a risen Jesus, who had conquered death, issued this directive to you, what would be your first priority?
Those disciples made it their first concern; in fact, they made it the sole purpose of the remainder of their lives . . . until they lost them for it. They were transformed by a risen Lord who gave them a vision for the future that ultimately changed the world.
Today, because of you, God is transforming lives for the cause of the Gospel, through the Haggai Leader Experience. Soon, representatives from Asia, Africa, Latin American, and the Middle East will return home to their nations where they, too, will make His last command their first concern. This, in a world where one out of four people live in Gospel poverty.
These leaders join the over 110,000 in 188 nations who have been trained by the Haggai Leader Experience and are actively fulfilling Jesus’ final command.
Thank you for your commitment to these leaders and for supporting our vision to see that the Gospel reaches the ends of the earth.
Dr. Beverly Y. Upton
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