Hours after returning from China, I stumble into a room filled with women I have built relationships with over a year. Older. Younger. Mature. New believers. Different backgrounds, cultures. A beautiful palette of God’s daughters.
Weak. Little in strength. I find my place. On the floor. Cross-legged. Below the place they sit on comfy couches.
I love these women. Prayers have intertwined my heart with each one. And I truly care about where they are at, where they are going, and where they come from.
And it is in this circle setting of many gathered, this confidential, sacred place, where lives are committed to transparent fellowship, that I share my heart. Faults. Weaknesses. Truth pointing to His light.
My goal is not that they see me as God. But that they look to The One who, by grace, has redeemed my life.
Many share deep things. Hard things. Tears fall freely. We laugh. Cry. Together. God is lifted high. And in Him, we all find refuge. No past, nationality, or difference can separate us.
Because our worth is not found in us, but Him.
Still, prior to writing this, I almost asked the editor if I could not write on discipleship. See, there can be fear in this word.
I once learned “discipleship” as…man as another man’s headship.
But that just is not the case.
I remember others claiming what, how, and why I had to believe something. Even insignificant things not correlating to the Bible.
I left relationships, wounded. A candle nearly snuffed out. A bruised reed, so close to being broken.
But, discipleship has no context, if its headship is not Christ. Discipleship is not a word that says, we can lord our wills, our thoughts, our lives, over someone else’s.
It doesn’t mean we are supreme. That we are wiser, more blessed, or more anointed…than another earnestly seeking Jesus.
Discipleship is two things.
1. Showing: Living the gospel.
2. Sharing: Telling others about Jesus.
And I think we have all seen those playing “good Christian,” preaching the gospel without really living it. Those who talk holy, but later we learn they’re living in secret sin.
Or because of fear of offending people, those that sit back, content to just “be good people,” without telling others about our blessed Redeemer.
But what separates silent “good people” from self-striving non-believers?
I project to you we must do both. Follow the Savior’s model by living well. But also be bold by sharing the good news of the gospel with a dying world.
It is said the apostle John was literally boiled alive for sharing the gospel. Yet afterwards, because he didn’t die, he was exiled to an island where he wrote Revelations.
And sometimes discipleship can seem overwhelming. We envision great apostles standing in front of a crowd of thousands preaching. Thinking….that is discipleship.
But this morning, my six-year old asked to take a book to school to practice reading on the bus. The book she chose? The Bible. She goes to public school.
She is discipling - living out her normal life of Christianity in front of an unbelieving world.
And sometimes the most important aspect of discipleship can be showing and sharing Jesus with those closest to us: our children.
See, discipleship doesn’t have to be complicated.
Discipleship is simply the overflow of our joy found in following Jesus. Standing up, or curling in a circle on the ground in front of other sisters. Being real. Transparent. Showing and sharing what God has done to bring us freedom. Sharing our testimony. Talking to our kids about Jesus.
Who has God called you to disciple today?
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented twelve children; ten foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world so desperate for the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women's. Jen continues to cling to faith that the local church is God's vehicle to reach the nations. You can find Jen writing about faith and challenging her readers at her blog,Rich Faith Rising. As well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Also, on facebook.
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