I’m not a minion just following Christ because he’s the biggest, badest dude. I am a follower of a God who is involved in my life, who cares, nurtures, laughs and cries with me. One who is moved with grief that we struggle so deeply with our depressed state. He is a God who comforts. Seems to me that a God who came off his throne, took on our flesh, limited himself to eat, drink and go fishing with us, would want his disciples to do the same.
Discipleship is messy. It means that we can’t keep our distance, it means that our sin marked scars will be exposed, and it means that we can’t be counting the numbers. Jesus went after the one who was lost, even if he had a crowd of followers. He helped the child destroyed by demonic forces. He healed the sick, he dined with tax collectors. He dined with Pharisees. God dined with me! I am that lost sheep that Jesus pursued. I am that one that he said was worth dying for. Anyone who wants to be a fisher of men has to be in the pool where the fish are biting. There is no formula, sharing the gospel is as individual as our fingerprints.
Discipleship starts with following Jesus.
“Come follow me, ” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19 (Notice that Jesus didn’t say you need to make yourself a fisher of men. HE WILL MAKE us in his image!)
Seeing the needs of those around you.
When He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36
Acting on those needs now, the harvest is ripe.
Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Matthew 9:37
Discipleship is not complicated, it is actually rather simple. In fact, many of our idols have “groupies” that make decisions on wardrobe, hair and behavior based upon the person they have plastered on their wall. Who are you studying? Who is it that you moves you to action? We all follow something or someone. I follow Christ and therefore my words are meant to draw you closer to the one who changed me!
There is nothing like witnessing God’s love catching fire in the bosom of another. I get a front row seat to God’s unfolding plan in your life! I am in constant prayer as I speak to you, asking for discernment. Many of you are struggling with deep heart and soul pain, as well as physical. I don’t always say the right words and that used to bother me. But, sharing grace isn’t about perfection, it is about presence!
May I be a light, present in the darkness. True discipleship is sharing the reality of Christ’s active role in my life, I carry a cross, not a silver spoon! Life has not been easy for me; I have many sorrows. I am learning to the depth of my being that my contentment comes from Christ alone, my hope is in him, and my joy is in that in his realm we are raised from the dead! For the past year I have been discipled, even as I disciple others. I was guided to scriptures that refresh my weary soul and speak truth over my circumstances when I find myself wanting to believe lies. I was strengthened by being in community with another, further along in her journey.
Participating in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Sunday I was deeply burdened and hopeful as I turned another page on suicide. So many men and women walked with me, deeply wounded by depression and suicide, just like me! I want to offer hope and discipleship gives me the opportunity to share through relationship. At times it feels like I’m attempting to hold back a tidal wave, but by God’s love, grace and discipline, I continue to stand in the darkness and cry out NO MORE! I cannot offer you anything less than what sustains me in my grief. Disciples of Christ do not stand alone, the Spirit stands with us. He lit the candles of the first disciples, and they lit many candles after Jesus, all the way to this present moment. Discipleship is lighting a candle, then another, and another until the world isn’t so dark any more.