Why do we make things more complicated than they have to be? With all the time saving devices and conveniences of today, simple things still remain so complicated. Things like cooking, cleaning, and organizing baffle us.
In the last chapter of Mathew, Jesus gives the simple command to “Go and make disciples.” There really isn’t much too complicated about this. Four words…two verbs…go, make. The idea of discipleship is talked about often, but I don’t see it, the reaching, bending, inviting that I see Jesus do in the gospels. Jesus teaches, touches, and tames those He meets.
Jesus doesn’t say go and make converts. Perhaps, that would be too easy. Converts take little time and effort and demand little from us. But, we like converts. They fill up our pews and fill out our forms neatly and nicely. Converts do much to fluff our feathers and stroke our egos.
Discipleship costs us something. Jesus invested in His disciples. He gave of Himself. He allowed access to Himself. He laid down His rights: rights to time, personal space, sleep, material possessions, and reputation. He was interested in others and put others’ needs above His own. Jesus became a servant.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3
Perhaps this is why discipleship is more complicated. Although the command is simple, we can’t fake it. We have to live it with others as witness. But as much as the disciple learns from us, we learn and grow as we invest in the lives of others. That is why the Lord calls us to it…to make us more like Him. To live out our faith authentically with others causes transformation and growth.
To depend on the Holy Spirit causes our faith to increase and to love others with the love of Christ is an indescribable gift. To spend ourselves for others causes great joy!
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4: 10-12
His love is perfected in us when we love others!!! Grace upon grace, sweet friends…we don’t have to be perfect. Jesus knows we will stumble…fail. He has given all we need for godliness and to live a holy life, but we have grace upon grace when we don’t. Humility is one of the best teachers out there to show others the saving love of Christ.
There are many books written by people way smarter than I am, so I know you can get all the information you need, but maybe we need less information and more relation…more time with people. Let’s spend life together. Eating together. Sharing together. Learning together. Discipleship isn’t something we do, but something we are…either being discipled or discipling others. It is an overflow, an extension of the love of God at work in us.
Discipleship may cost us…but as with love, it is worth the risk!