I Must Confess:
I am no New York Times bestselling author. By the time you see this blog, I will have poured over it for hours, and an editor will have pointed out my deficiencies in my grammar enough to make it respectable. Shocking…I know. As a matter of fact, there’s a laundry list of things I’d love to be better at. The only thing I fully count on is this…my need for Jesus every day. I ask Him constantly, “Are you sure I’m ready for this?”
I need to read my Bible more. There I said it. Life pulls me in a million directions between being a wife, a mother to five children, a daughter, a ministry worker, and a friend. It becomes easy to get busy. Most nights, I fall into bed promising myself I will do better tomorrow. I know I need reminding daily of what God says and who He is, yet I let my plate fill up till it’s running over and neglect what’s most important. You may be thinking, I know a good book about that, but I read it. Well, I read the first few chapters, and decided I didn’t have time to read it.
It’s just so easy to get off track, out of the Word, into the world and focused on me. Looking back, I can easily tell the seasons I didn’t read my bible by the relationship wreckage and my negative attitudes that resulted. I’d taken offense, and over thought each situation. My life became a ship veering off course, lost in a sea of man’s opinions and judgements. I turned inward with little care for the people around me due to self-focus.
However, when I read my Bible regularly, I see the world from God’s perspective. When my relationship with Scripture becomes valuable, I feel hunger pains in its absence, only then am I no longer satisfied with, tricked by, or saturated with the lies of this world. My desire to know God, allows me to know what He loves and desires, and where He wants to lead me.
There is no magic answer to this problem of misplaced priority. It requires discipline in making time for the most important things.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-8 (NIV)
Where Are We in Discipling?
How are you doing in this area? Do you find that you have a desire to search out the things of God but get distracted? Perhaps like me, you need to ask God to forgive you for viewing His Word too casually. Wouldn’t you rather be dripping with the love and Words of Christ rather than allowing our culture to dictate your emotions and values?
I disciple, yet I am deeply flawed. I’m thankful Jesus has redeemed my life. Although, I am better than I once was. I will remain less than perfect. I identify my faults easily, after all, I know myself. This makes me question, why would God want me to disciple anyone? Surely there is someone more qualified.
Perhaps there are many someone’s better than me, but He called me to do this particular work, faults and all. I know I may never have all the right words or answers, but I show up, love, and point people to Jesus. He will do the rest.
“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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely. I am with you always to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
It’s a Responsibility and Privilege to Disciple:
When Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all men,” it wasn’t a directive only for the apostles. It’s for you and me. I believe discipleship is how God grows the church. Discipleship may lack the spotlight and accolades compared to other callings, but it’s real. It’s life on life. One on one. As a believer firm in my faith I should be walking through life with another believer to teach, love, pray for, and share life with.
I can’t help but get excited about the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. What a privilege it is to witness God at work in the life of another. My flaws do not change the truth of God. Through discipleship, I have the opportunity to not only share about Christ’s passion unto death, but also how He lived and how He wants us to live.
Discipling a new believer is the responsibility and privilege of seasoned believers—not perfect believers.
New born Believers Need Disciples:
As I was holding my one-week-old grandson, I couldn’t help but think how helpless newborns are. They can’t lift their heads, their vision is blurry, and they can’t control their hands, they are vulnerable in every way. Who would leave them on their own and not give them what they need? They are lost without the love and care of an adult. Immediately, I thought of new believers being like newborn babies, in need of someone to care for them. Someone who sees their need to be fed, loved, and guided. God help us to have eyes to see and a desire to meet their needs.
Do you disciple? Do you see people that you have an urge to reach out to, but fear holds you back because you feel unqualified, or your life doesn’t wrap up in a pretty bow at the end of the day? I want to urge you to step out and pour out the love you have received in Christ on others. If we are waiting on perfection to begin, we will never do it.
We are All Imperfect Disciples:
I remember the moment I found out a Christian woman I admired wasn’t the picture of perfection, I thought she was. It surprised me, but also empowered me. Seeing her as perfect, only left me feeling inadequate. The very action that likely left her feeling she’d failed me, actually gave me hope.
We are ready for this. God gives us the task of studying His Word and making disciples. We are not perfect, but He never asked us to be. Jesus said…
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you. Must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love on another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)
Let’s move forward, aware of who we are and trust God to transform us and lead us as we walk in obedience to His Word.
Author: Emily Freeman
Emily Freeman has a passion for ministry. She ministers to women by speaking, writing, and volunteering her time on Bible Study Fellowship as well as single mom’s ministries. You can read Emily’s full bio by clicking on the tab “About Us” above.