February 15, 2016

Making Disciples

Devotion for the Week...

I really enjoy teaching people to quilt. Partly it's because I love quilting so much, but a lot of the fun comes from seeing how excited they are as they see their progress. It's fun to see how amazed they are that they're making a quilt, and it actually looks like it's supposed to! For the past couple of weeks, I've been teaching my friend Michelle and she's now ready to put the binding on her table runner. When her husband told me that he thinks she's been bitten by the quilting bug, I said, "Then my evil plan is working...Get her good and addicted so I'll have someone to quilt with!"

You don't need to be an expert in order to teach someone one how to quilt. You certainly don't have to wait until your own quilts are perfect, or no one would be teaching! As long as you understand the basics (rotary cutting, 1/4" seam and binding, I'll say), you can introduce someone else to the joys of making quilts.

You don't need to be an expert to teach others about Jesus either, but we often feel we're not qualified. We want the pastors be the ones to tell people about Jesus, and to make disciples. After all, it's their job, right?

Actually, no. According to Ephesians 4:11-13, "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." To equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. The work of the pastor is to build up the people, so that they are prepared to do the work God has designed them to do. And what is that work?

Jesus' Great Commission (in Matthew 28:19, 20), says, "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." This command was given to Jesus' disciples and, by extension, to all of those who would come after them. We all have a part to play in making disciples.

It should also be noted that "go and make disciples" is not meant only for missionaries who are working in foreign countries. According to this lexicon at Blue Letter Bible, go, in the original Greek, means "to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on one's journey." In other words, the Great Commission means 'as you're going about your life, going here and there, make disciples.'

We don't have to be great theologians or trained missionaries in order to make disciples. We also don't have to have all the answers or have perfect lives, or no one would ever make a single disciple! We just have to be willing to share what we know about Jesus with the people we meet as we go about our daily lives. Being willing to answer a question, or offering to pray when needed could go a long way in turning someone's heart towards God.

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