Staying the Course
What does it look like to stay the course when making disciples? To be faithful. To endure even when things are difficult. This week, we will discuss the “middle ground” of discipleship. Once you have initiated and started something and you are making disciples, you might feel as if you’ve plateaued. This is the place where you’ve been at it for a while, and you might be getting tired or facing continued challenges. We will discuss why discipleship can be difficult at times, our need for faithfulness, how Jesus was faithful, and the struggle in staying faithful.
In light of our “woven” theme, this place of being in the middle of making disciples and pressing on to be faithful is where our net becomes battered and tattered. You can see the wear and tear on the net because you are fulfilling the call of making disciples and giving your life away. At times the net might need some patching, and through this patching the net gets stronger!
Great joy comes along with making disciples, because we get to join God in bringing the good news of the gospel to those around us. With that said, the day-to-day effort of making disciples can be challenging at times. Because of the depth and proximity of a discipleship relationship, it takes patience, endurance, and faithfulness to walk alongside someone in this way.
Once you are in the middle of a discipleship relationship, there might be times when you feel stuck, or you might sense that there is a lack of response. At some point, you might feel like you are just going through the motions without any life transformation. You might just get tired or feel lost as you search for next steps. Ever feel inadequate or that your efforts are not good enough? These feelings are normal because doing life together is beautifully messy. Because of the Holy Spirit’s power within us (Romans 8:11) and the victory we have in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57), these feelings do not have to keep us from being faithful to the call of making disciples. So how do we remain faithful?
Faithful Follower of Christ
In order to be faithful to the call of making disciples, we must first be faithful followers of Christ. We can’t help others follow Christ if we are not first following Him ourselves. Jesus spoke these words to His disciples: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24–25). There is a cost to following Jesus. We must deny ourselves and lose our lives for the sake of Jesus. We must give our lives away to others as we make disciples. But this cost is worth it because Jesus gave His life for us. He is our model. Jesus was obedient to His Father’s call to redeem the world by placing the Father’s will above His own (John 6:38) and by accomplishing the work God gave Him (John 17:4).
Pray This Prayer With Us
Oh, God, help us to be faithful like You were–to put Your will above our own and to accomplish the work You gave us, to make disciples. Help us remember that we will find our lives by losing them.