I have been writing and editing this blog since the middle of last week. I attended church this weekend to find that my pastor was preaching on the same subject…hmmm.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)
There has been a lot said about making disciples lately. With books like Radical by David Platt and Multiply by Francis Chan, the church has started to take a closer look at the command of Jesus. The church has had to reexamine its priorities and refocus its vision. In their attempt to educate and encourage its members, the church has become a community that has forgotten its purpose.
Lately, I have thought a lot about my purpose. Why does God have me here? I am a part of a wonderful Christian community. When someone is sick, we chip in to help. When someone experiences the death of a loved one, we make them food. When there is any need, we run to help. All of these things are so wonderful, but I think we have missed the point. We have become so involved with helping each other and ministering to each other, we have forgotten about those who have no hope. We have become so involved in our own lives and the lives of other believers; we have forgotten the Great Commission.
Recently, my son was approached by a neighborhood Mom who was very angry. She yelled and cussed at him demanding he get in her car because she wanted to talk to me. My son stood there and cried refusing to get in the car. (I am thankful the boy listens sometimes.) She was angry about a disagreement he had with her boy. And when my son shared the story I was hot. I knew if I confronted her, it would not have been pretty. I don’t want her kids here and my son doesn’t want to play with them. Any time they come over he sends them away and I’m glad.
But yesterday I realized something, I have been teaching my son to dislike others based on their behavior. I have taught him to avoid “bad” people. Instead of forgiving that Mom, I glare at her as I pass by almost daring her to approach my son again. Certainly, I want to protect my son. Of course I don’t want him involved in inappropriate things. But this family needs the healing hand of Jesus. They need love and understanding and forgiveness. But I have refused to give it to them because they don’t deserve it. God forgive me!
There are so many amazing programs our churches offer to encourage and inspire us. But if we never use what we have learned to reach those who need Jesus, then we are wasting our time. We are praising Him for every blessing we have but never offer any hope to a dying world. It seems like a scheme of the enemy to keep us secluded in our little churches. He convinces us we are spiritual. If he can keep us contained, then the gospel ceases to spread. Isn’t that his purpose?
Lord forgive me. Forgive me for avoiding those who are not like me. Forgive me for not reaching out to those who are hurting and without hope. Each day, I cross paths with people who need you. Forgive me for focusing on myself and not sharing your love with those you put in my life.
- A Problem in the Church (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
- Discipleship (kschippersinsouthafrica.wordpress.com)
- Day two: how to make a disciple (myhumdrumjourney.wordpress.com)