BGCT president: Christ goes ahead of us

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Now that we have celebrated a wonderful Holy Week, what does Christ expect us to do next?

rene maciel headshot130René MacielHe was crucified on the cross, buried and laid in the tomb for three days, and then he rose from the dead. Then the Scripture says, “He is not here; he has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you.”

It was a beautiful celebration. The weather was perfect, cool and comfortable. The worship service was diligently directed and thoughtful. And being around my family was a blessing. The whole day was a gift from God.

Now what? What is our next step? The Scriptures say the disciples went to Galilee to see him and meet with him, and he went ahead of them.

texas baptist voices right120The imperfect disciples, 11 of them, obeyed, and they saw him and worshipped him, and then Matthew 28:7 also says “some doubted.” Like me at times, they doubted it was him. They doubted his power. They doubted his existence. Maybe they doubted their own eyes.

This wasn’t the first time they doubted him. On the lake, they thought he was a ghost, and they doubted he could calm the waves. Peter doubted and began to sink. I have doubted him many times, and he still proves himself to be the risen One, and yet he still goes before me.

He goes before us, and he tells us like he told them even in spite of our doubting ­to go—go and make disciples, baptizing and teaching them to obey everything he commanded. Then the wonderful promise, “and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Even in our doubting and imperfection, he has called us to be disciples, to be followers, and to go and make other followers. That is our next step: “Go”—an action word. We are called to move forward in the building of the church, and he goes before us. He is in front. He is with us. We have a mission, even in our doubt and struggles, even in our little faith, even when we become discouraged and feel like Christ is dead and in the tomb. He has risen, and he goes before us.

It is the body of believers that has been called to go and make disciples. I know many churches struggle and have lost their vision for Christ, but the church is his bride, and the church is the way he has called all nations to come and worship him.

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The purpose of the Texas Baptist convention is to care and support the local church body—to strengthen and build, to plant and grow more churches, to go and make disciples. I ask you to continue to pray for our convention to move forward in supporting the body of Christ and that even in our imperfection and doubting, we will go to meet him and worship him.

What’s next? It’s time to go. He is going ahead of us.

René Maciel is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio.

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