Discipleship isn’t about learning to witness, getting someone to make a profession of faith, and teaching them to witness.
Discipleship isn’t about learning doctrine and teaching others doctrine.
Discipleship is about deep Kingdom relationships that revolutionize lives and multiply transformation into other lives and into communities.
The core teaching of discipleship is about the Kingdom. Witnessing and fruit-bearing happen naturally as people experience transformation. Doctrine study happens as disciples deepen. But witness training and doctrine study, apart from Kingdom relationships that revolutionize, will never make or multiply true disciples.
Yesterday the Thief came close to killing someone I love, and he may have succeeded, for now, in destroying a lot of hard-won progress.
I pray it will be seen as a loving Father’s firm discipline that guides us toward the Better Life he offers us. Jesus paid a high price so we can have an abundant life. We are preoccupied with riches, when abundance is a matter of a rich life, peace with God, joy in difficult circumstances, and a mission that gives meaning and purpose to our lives.
The door to the Better Life opens when we admit we can’t get it and hold it on our own. It begins when we accept it as a gift Jesus has paid for already. If we stubbornly refuse to recognize God for who he is, if we insist on doing things our way instead of his, he will exercise discipline to show us his way. When we refuse to acknowledge him for who he is, the devourers wipe out our harvests. When we don’t give thanks to God for the simple gifts of life and breath, God steps back, lets us have our own way, and we discover just how painful life can be without his protection.
If you keep getting knocked down every time you get up, I beg you: Humble yourself before God and ask him to show you his way forward. He loves you more than can ever imagine and is simply waiting for you to realize how much you need him — and to reach out to him for help. Please, give up on stubbornness and let him rescue you and give you a new life.