What jumps into your mind when you think of the Great Commission – specifically the command to make disciples?
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 ESV
Do you think about Bible study? The word “teaching” is right there. If you’re like me, you tend to think about teacher/student relationships or leader/learner relationships. Someone is leading someone else to learn more about Jesus. Typically we think of someone giving their consent to being made a disciple.
But the people we work with don’t often give us consent to be taught about the Bible. How do we make disciples when we don’t have their consent? Our customers and our bosses and our team members haven’t given us consent. What do we do until we get their consent?
Two ways to make disciples without consent: pray and model. Our prayers and our own spiritual growth put us in a position to be used by God to make disciples.
Do you think about prayer, specifically about prayer for others, as a disciple-making activity? Prayer lines me up with the intention of God. He’s looking for people who want to live, who want to know Him. When I pray for people, whether they want it or not, I begin to train my mind toward them. I activate my brain to be aware of them and to look to God for guidance on how I can help them know and trust Christ.
When we pray the Holy Spirit aligns us with His work in the life of everyone we pray for. The Trinity is more committed to our friends’ spiritual growth than we can even imagine. When we pray, we tell God we’re available to be used. From that moment forward, we work with God to make it happen.
Others know what we believe based on how we act. We must have a relationship with Jesus that causes us to live differently. I’m not talking about not drinking or smoking or cussing. We must take up our cross and follow Jesus daily. When we lay down our lives for others because of our faith, people will notice.
But wealthy people can hide their problems. When we pray, God guides our actions. God will give us ideas that no one else would understand. Maybe you need to stay late and help someone with their workload. Or you may need to give someone else credit. You may even need to let someone else get promoted ahead of you. Listen to God and do what he says!
Prayer and modeling allow us to make disciples every day, in every job, and any time. Don’t get a picture stuck in your mind. Ask God to blow away your preconceptions and use you in the lives of people today!
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