Friday, October 22, 2010

Call it like you see the name of Love.

Seems like a pretty silly sign...

Yet as Christians, we often find ourselves in places physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually we have no business being. Situations we know better than be in. Lord knows I've spent way too much time in those places myself. Wish I'd seen the sign of obvious advice on my detours.

To me, that's where discipleship comes to play. If we use Jesus and His relationship with His disciples as the ultimate template, discipleship really isn't that difficult...yet so very important in the life of a Christian. Christ was constantly instructing, encouraging and correcting His disciples all out of His love for them and need for them to carry on His ministry and grow His kingdom. When He left to return to the Father and complete the plan of salvation for you and I, He gave us the Great Comforter to guide and lead us on our journey.

I've been very forthcoming about my dark time of agnostic ignorance and how empty that time was in my life. I can't help but think if someone spiritually mature had vested interest and invested time in me, things might have been different. Of course, that wasn't God's plan for my life, and I've come to understand more clearly what that plan may be...although I still ask and listen for an answer daily.

As much as I love the privilege God gives at times to be His light drawing someone new to come to know Him, I don't believe it's my ultimate calling. Don't get me wrong, I'll throw down and talk my testimony any time the Spirit tugs at me and says 'You're up!' ...but sharing my testimony and empathizing with young Christians struggling at the same point I did just comes natural for me. There are a number of young adults in my Sunday School class, and I pray for them regularly as individuals. I also send them text messages and Facebook messages of encouragement. When needed, I remind them how important it is to be in touch with God daily through His Word and in prayer. Sometimes I send passages of Scripture that answers a particular issue going on in their life at the time.

There have been times I've scolded a little...because I love them so much.

Is it discipleship? I never really thought about it that way before, but I guess it truly is. As their teacher, Scripture tells me plainly I will be held accountable for what I teach them. I get that and always keep that fact in mind. But, I'm also told there are two great commandments (Mark 12:30-31), and using those as my daily guide, it seems everything else falls into place.

I hope and pray there will come a day each of them follow in my footsteps and take interest in young, growing Christians. If God uses me to just keep one of them from falling into the traps of the world as I did...hallelujah! To Him goes all the glory and honor!

Thank you Lord for providing that ultimate example for me to follow.


Joyce Lighari said...

I love the comment about your calling not being evangelism. I spent a lot of my life thinking there was something wrong with me because I just didn't get into the soul-winning models. Again, not that it isn't important and not that I won't share - it is just that it's really not my gifting. If we could all just recognize our gifts and then function in them, the Kingdom would be taken care of... so often we elevate certain giftings as the ONE we all have to have as our major function - and then we fail and feel discouraged...
Good word (as usual)

David said...

If my gift is evangelism, then God is pretty weak - I'm just sayin'

Thank God discipleship is not the work of a single person; it is the work of Jesus. Without all the gifts being available to a believer, from prophecy to helps and everything inbetween, a disciple cannot be made.

For so long we have seen discipleship as making sure we transfer the knowledge fo Christ to another. It is so much more than teaching, it is modeling our gift, being in realtionship and teaching others to do what we do. And because no one does it all, it is not the work of a single person. It is the job of the "church" - the whole church.

Awesome! Nice to see you out of retirement!

Anonymous said...

Wow Tony, as I read your piece I think of how awesome it is that you are one who is interested in the young people. Not everyone is called to that age group and I affirm you as you are there to be an example to them,modeling Christianity for them They are our future and your investment in their lives will bear fruit...I am sure of it!