By Published On: November 2nd, 2022Categories: Leader Blog, Meditation for Preparation0 Comments

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:44-49 (New International Version)

As a mother, I disciple nearly all day long.  I am naturally interested in my children’s Christian growth; I want them to step closer and closer to Jesus, and I am eager to take their hands and lead them there. I worship in front of them.  I pray in front of them.  I talk to them about Jesus.  I tell them what I’ve learned in my study.  I ask them how they are doing in their own Bible studies.  I bring them to church, shuttle them to youth.  I arrange playdates with other believing young people.  I invite Christians to come to our dinner table.  I pray over my children. This comes naturally to me, and it is a work that never stops.  

Some days I get a little pushback.  Some days my children are too sleepy to pay attention or too distracted by the world.  Sometimes the church disappoints them, a relationship fails, they question what Christianity is about and whether they believe.  These are the harder days, days when I have to pray more and lean on the Spirit to help me answer and care for my young Christians. I still never want to stop.  I can NEVER stop.  They are my children.  

This is not always true about me.  With others, I have not always persevered.  Have you ever stopped discipling someone?  As in, given up on them?

I have.  I am ashamed to say it, but it’s true.  There have been people I have given up on.  Oh, maybe at the time, there were complicated circumstances.  Sometimes a person just moves across the country.  Sometimes a person gets married, has babies, becomes busy.  Sometimes deep, terrible sin drags them away.  Sometimes deep, terrible sin drags me away.  Sometimes I get exhausted, discouraged, angry.  

I hate that I have given up on people.  That I lost sight of the gift of discipleship.  Especially when I think how Jesus did not give up on me.  He did not run from me the countless times I turned on Him.  He did not stop just because I moved or got busy.  He faithfully pursued me and pursues me still.  Thank God that He forgives me my failures at discipleship and allows me to try again.  

Because making disciples can be a joyful, glorious thing.  It’s a ring-side seat to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes it comes easily—we just witness to what we’ve seen Him do.  If you’re blessed to have friends who sharpen you and want to be sharpened by you, you know what I mean.  If you’ve been on the mission field and seen churches explode with new believers, you know what I mean.  You see a child you taught in Sunday School get baptized.  You see a lost friend bow to pray.  For a moment you are sure that you actually did what God wanted you to do.  It’s all joy, and it can fuel your faith for years.  

Granted, making disciples can also be a hard, frightening, time-exhaustive thing. I mean, you have to be with people.  You have to be willing to be with people who might be difficult, who might be a different age or race or economic status.  They might be sick, lonely, hungry, needy, sinful. If you are listening to the Holy Spirit, you won’t always get to choose the people you lead to Jesus or the people you have to shepherd as they grow in Jesus.  You might have to go overseas.  You might have to go home. You may feel that it was all a waste of time. You might never hear a thank you.  You might never see a baptism. You might have to stay up late and get up early. You might have to risk your reputation.  You might be inconvenienced.   

It wasn’t easy for Jesus when He came to disciple 12 hard-headed, needy, sinful men, . but He stuck it out unto death. The Spirit did not hesitate when He entered your broken life and vowed never to leave you.

We are His witnesses.  Given power from on high.  Our minds opened to understand the unlimited grace we have been given.  Every promise of the scriptures has been fulfilled, and the Fulfiller of All wants to use us in His plan.  Do you hear the audacity in that plan?  Dare we jump in?  Oh Spirit, fill your church with the bravery to jump!

And then fill us more with perseverance and grace to stay on the journey!  May it never be said that we ran out of steam, that we left someone alone.  That we dared lose sight of the joy offered to us in discipleship.  May each person we encounter see the hope and love of God.  May they know they are wanted by the very Creator Himself. Living this truth before others and telling this truth to others is a privilege, an honor.  Do you feel the honor?  We are allowed to walk with others toward Jesus!  Do you want to taste that joy?

Praise the mercy of our God!  Praise the mysterious wonder of His plan!  He is doing great things through us!