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Complete Authority

Scripture: 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [Matthew 28:18-20 NLT] One of my favorite Disney movies is Aladdin. I realize that the reason is most likely because Robin Williams was one of my favorite comedic actors. In Aladdin, Robin Williams plays the genie of the lamp. The genie has the ability to grant Aladdin three wishes, with a few provisos. Aladdin promises that he will use his last wish to release genie from the lamp. He is moved to do this because genie tells him that he has “Phenomenal cosmic powers, but an itty bitty living space.” The genie has all of the power and authority to grant three wishes to Aladdin, but he is limited to the confines of the lamp for his living space. While he is able to grant his master any three wishes he desires, the genie doesn’t have the greatest of arrangements. We tend to experience the opposite reality. Living in the United States of America we tend to have adequate living space and the ability to move around freely. What we often times feel is lacking in our life is power and authority. Have you ever experienced this feeling in your life? It could be at your workplace where you have been asked to accomplish a task without being given the authority necessary to do so. Wherever you have experienced this reality in life I am certain it was a frustrating experience. When we are asked to do something, it should be required that we are given the authority to accomplish the task. In our Scripture for today we see that God understands this principle. God sent Jesus to accomplish a great task for the world. As we have been studying in The Apostle’s Creed, Jesus came as God’s only Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. All that God sent Jesus to do would have been impossible without the authority to accomplish it all. God knew that and provided Jesus with all he needed. Jesus told his disciples, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth.” Complete authority to accomplish the work for which God the Father sent him. Today realize this … Jesus gives us complete authority to accomplish what we are called to do in His name! In our Scripture for today Jesus commands his followers to go and make disciples in his name. He promises that he will be with them “always, even to the end of the age.” In Luke 24 verse 47 Jesus also told his followers, “With my authority, take this message of repentance to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.” That same command and promise is ours today. The Holy Spirit will continue to lead us to go. The Holy Spirit also is the authority when we go in the name of Jesus. Wherever you feel led by the Holy Spirit to move today, be confident that you have been given complete authority to accomplish what you are being led to accomplish. Prayer: Loving God, thank you for giving Jesus Christ complete authority. Empower me through your Holy Spirit to move when you say move. May I realize the promise of the presence and authority that comes from Christ alone today. I will go where you send me. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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