Prayers for January 15
Jesus told us to go and make disciples in Matthew 28:19, "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."
He spoke of sharing with nations, while we struggle with our neighbor to the left... or right.
A disciple of Jesus is a follower of Him, recognizing that while we live in the is world, we are not of this world. We put our self-centeredness aside and exchange it for Christ-centeredness. To accomplish this we choose everyday. We choose to spend time in His word, learning Who God is, and His love for us. We choose to follow Him, His ways, His love for others. Discipleship happens... and is multiplied in others we mentor, who desire this life. It is a natural response of falling in love with God and our desire to please Him.
The thing is... Discipleship is daily. It's deliberate. It's determined. It's disciplined.
“The truth about discipleship is that it’s never hip and it’s never in style. It’s called to come and die, a long obedience in the same direction.” — Mike Breen
While discipleship should be central to our faith, a natural outflow of our love for Jesus, it seems the opposite is often true. Jesus commanded us to share Him with others, all the nations. It was not a suggestion, yet we seem comfortable ignoring this... Pointing finger at myself here.
To become a disciple means we exchange us, for Him. Our plans for His plans. Jesus spoke of the cost. "Whoever wants to follow Me must take up their cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet lose their very soul?" Luke 9:23-25
Are you amazed at how relevant God's word remains?! Luke talks about gaining the whole world. If ever there was a time when the whole world is at our fingertips, it is now! Social media allows us opportunity to reach people throughout the world, in seconds. And we crave it, the likes, the friends, the comments, the shares. And yet... we stand to lose our souls as we gain the whole world, if we are not careful.
Careful to choose Him first. To recognize the twelve disciples were mostly uneducated men. Fishermen who became fishers of men. We have no excuse. We are chosen as they were. There is no test to take to become a disciple of Jesus. It is a choice of being intentional, in following Jesus and His ways. It is not easy, it is not a solitary life, and it is done in relationship with others.
It is an intentional choice to follow the One who chose us, loves us, sent His Son to die for us, so that you and I can celebrate everyday the hope that is ours, through Jesus Christ.
Let's be followers, disciples... not just fans. Find your neighbors and nations and share the joy. The world is at your fingertips, waiting.
Jesus, let us grab hold of the opportunity you offer us each morning. We live in freedom to love our neighbors with abundant grace. May we desire to honor you as we love others well and extend our arms wide open. Help us to be deliberate, determined and disciplined as we hope to show Jesus to all we meet. And may we lovingly disciple one another along the way.