Sydney native Gregory Whittaker, raised in the Salvation Army, co-founded Ryde Salvos three decades ago with a group of friends and remains an active member of the community. In addition to his commitment to the Salvation Army, Greig has dedicated 25 years to building a family business involved in various retail sectors.
Greig has owned and managed businesses such as Video Ezy, Gloria Jeans, Subway stores, and juice bars. In this period, he also founded a marketing company that catered to the retail sector, managing the national and international accounts for the Video Ezy group.
Recently, Greig shared a special 5-minute sermon with us during Sunday Morning Together, highlighting his passion for spreading the Gospel message, and the importance of the Great Commission. Read Greig’s full message below:
‘Have we missed the way, the cause if you will, of the Great Commission? Let me just start by making a couple of comments about God himself. You know, the story of God, I find is always infused with the character of God. It’s a reflection of His being.
God’s being extends perfectly into the way God behaves. He does not behave in any way that is contrary to His being. When God acts, His behaviour is a reflection of the way that He is. We see that in creation. When God creates, it reflects His being. The oneness of His being is reflected in His creation.
We know that God exists in oneness, in this beautifully divine dance of love of three distinct beings that are inseparable in their oneness. And when God creates, we see this oneness. If we look through the telescope at creation into the planetary systems of the universe, we see the oneness, the connectedness, the interrelatedness of the created planetary system.
If we look through the intimacy of a microscope, we see the atomic structure of things and we see relational connectedness of particles and atoms. If we look in nature we see how intimately connected it is. And again, personally, God creates us as connected beings, and we thrive in relational connectedness of families and communities.
So the more intimately we look at God’s creation, the more we see the unity and oneness of God being visible there. And again, when we look at the story of salvation, God invites us and brings us into the beauty of His oneness.
We’re not loosely connected to Him. We’re not believers in Him, but we are participators with Him in this beautiful oneness. Now God clearly wants this oneness with Him to be shared by all humanity. He commissions us to go and make disciples, to bring humanity into the beauty of oneness with Him.
We all know the Great Commission. But again, I’d ask us to pause and ask the question, have we missed the way of that Great Commission? I want to invite us to turn to John 17 and this beautiful prayer that Jesus prayed. This prayer has a cause and effect about it.
He says the effect that Jesus prays for, if we look at verse 21, is that the world would recognise that He was sent by the father. If we look at verse 23, he says, the effect of my prayer is that the world would be convinced that you sent Me, for they will see the way that believers love one another, that they participate in the same passionate love that we have.
But the cause is what I’d like us to look at. The way Jesus wants His believers to be, the brining about of this Great Commission. And in verse 11, he says, I ask that the power of your name would protect each one of them and watch over them so that they will be united even as we are one. Or in verse 20 and 21, I ask not only for the disciples, but also for those who will one day believe in me through their message. I pray that they will be joined together as one, even as you and I Father are joined together as one, I pray that they will become one.
Or in verse 22, for the very glory you’ve given me, I’ve given them so that they will be joined together as one and experience the same unity that we enjoy. Then verse 23, You live fully in me and now I live fully in them so that they may experience unity.
Here we have Jesus praying that His followers will become one so that the effect of that oneness will be that the world will know Him, know that the Father sent him, know that the love of God is available to them.
So my question to us today is how the Kingdom will come, and how everybody will meet and know Jesus? I invite us to reflect upon that beautiful prayer of Jesus in John 17.
Thank You Jesus that you have brought us into the oneness of your being.
Thank you that you invite us to experience You in all the magnificence and beauty of your oneness. In reflection of that, we repent when we as your people, as a body of believers, have not reflected that oneness, have not lived in that oneness together, have not shown the beauty of that oneness to the world around us.
We repent of that and ask now that you would break division, that you would bring the diversity of your body into a beautiful state of oneness. That the world may know the Father sent You, and experience the love of the Godhead personally. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.’
Listen to Greig’s full message on Sunday Morning Together below: