Choosing to be
October 8th, 2019
This is the devotional I had no idea that I would write. I especially never expected that I would write this devotional any time soon, perhaps when I was older, but not right now. But now is the time for writing this, so I will write as I have been instructed to write.
Most of those who read the material that I compose, clearly understand my passion for being a disciple and making disciples. I’ve felt the compulsion of the Holy Spirit driving me to greater commitment to those goals than ever before.
Before we go much further let me quote one of my favorite passages that I reference it seems at least once per week, if not more. It is a cen
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)
Jesus assembled His Disciples and then made this announcement in advance of His ascension into Heaven.
The first verse reassures the disciples that His work had been completed. The new covenant had been established and Jesus had the authority to dictate terms by which Grace was to be applied. He had purchased our salvation with his blood.
But He was also soon returning to Heaven to rule with His Father and He had a monumental task that He was assigning His disciples to carry out; spread the Good News and be His disciple makers.
Jesus was equipping His disciples with the tools that would be required; the authority He had earned to proclaim a New Covenant, the Good News of grace and mercy, afforded to anyone that placed their trust in Jesus and surrendered their lives to Him. And also leaving with them His Holy Spirit to guide and empower them.
The mission to spread the Good News, be a disciple, making disciples, who in turn would create other disciples was not something that was going to happen without commitment and dedication.
Jesus had told them, He would be with them always, even to the end of the age. The Holy Spirit sealed that presence inside every believer.
Until recently, I felt I was doing all that I could to pursue this goal of being a disciple maker.
I lead a small group in our church which is focusing on discipleship. Admittedly, I am not creating new disciples with the group, as all of us are seasoned believers. If anything, we are learning how to be disciples and disciple makers together as we meet.
Becoming That Disciple
Jesus took people who had careers outside of the ministry and transformed those individuals into His apostles, who were also incidentally His disciples as well. Those were true disciples who not only followed Jesus in word but did also in deed because they gave birth to other disciples. Those disciples gave birth to even more disciples.
These disciples producing disciples were the forerunner of today’s modern ‘small groups’.
The purpose of small groups isn’t primarily to feed fledgling believers into a deeper faith in Jesus. The growth of those believers into a deeper commitment and relationship with Jesus is a side effect of the process to fulfill the Great Commission. You see, small groups are intended to accomplish the very same thing the apostles did by training up their successors in multiples, who in turn, trained up their own successors, who then made even more.
This act of discipleship is the core purpose of small groups; to progress to the ultimate fulfillment of the Great Commission. To that end, with this understanding now, I can’t stand by in the shadow of this push to carry the message of the Good News to every corner of our world.
I must be a true disciple maker and to do that my vehicle will be the small group, where I will learn to train up my successors and, in that training, serve as an example of how to train their successors.
It is precisely what Jesus was telling us in the 28th chapter of Matthew.
But I have also concluded that as much as I enjoy writing these daily devotionals, my time is limited and if my priority is to seek out disciples and train them to become disciple makers, that time is better spent focused on the command given us all in the last chapter of Matthew.
So, this devotional will be the last of my daily writings for some time. I will continue to write as I have time, and God leads me, but Our Father as made it clear that my primary focus must be to be one of many small disciples. And like those other small disciples, committed to fulfilling the Great Commission, one disciple at a time.
When I entered into this discipleship journey, I expected it to call me to change, and suspected that it would be series of changes that I would be called to. I believe this is where I was bound and where I’m to abide for a time. One of His small disciples. “A Small Disciple”, seeking to disciple others.
I will try to write at least one devotional a week for now, but don’t be alarmed if at times the gap is more. As the Lord provides messages, for this devotional series, new ones will be published, emails will go out, and readers can read. But by the time you do, I will be back at work, spawning new disciples, in small groups.
In His Grace!