Two Saturdays ago, I went to a seminar on discipleship. The main point that I grasped hold of from this seminary was this: we can focus so much on building the church but Jesus instructed us to 'go forth and make disciples' and that he would build His church. This got me thinking in relation to a whole bunch of other things that I have been learning...
A core call of the church is discipleship: not awesome correographed dance/light/music shows, not fantastic preaching, not any cool or awesome thing that we could make or do. And why are we called to discipleship? I think it's because discipleship is an act of worship and our hearts are made to live lives of worship. Yet so many churches place focus on having a great Sunday service, rather than on building relationships and inspiring their congregations to be engaging and making disciples... And that's not just starting someone on the journey but following through with them so they lead someone else on the journey of following Christ!
It's difficult, it's really difficult. For me to do it I have to give up time and I can be like Martha in the Bible so easily: Luke 10:38-42 "38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister calledMary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
But that's where it is all about the sacrificial heart of worship! I'm always wanting to encourage people now to be reaching out to who they can and I'm pushing myself to try and do it too where possible. I know there are times recently when I've met and prayed with non-Christian friends simply because I know they needed it, even though to do so was a drain on my time and energy. I love hearing from Jeanille that she engages with her workmates in meaningful conversations about God and church, I love hearing from Jay too that he does the same with his neighbours. I love hearing that all kinds of people in our church are starting to do it, despite their own inadequacies, failings and brokenness. God is moving as we sacrifice our lives in the act of worshipping.
Last Wednesday I went to United Prayer and there the message was on this verse: 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." The essential point is that whether you think something is too mundane for you to glory God in, glory Him in that anyway! Praise him when you do something that you do everyday, praise him by the way you drive on the road, praise him by the way you write your essays. Whatever you do, do it for his glory and worship and praise Him!
Last night at EQUIP we looked at Acts 13:22 where it says "22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’" I thought it is so powerful that God here has said that David is so much a man after God's own heart that he would do God's will! Not a 'he might do my will' but he will do. Our God is an active God looking beyond the failings of men and women to their hearts: looking for hearts which predominantly worship Him in spirit and truth.
And that's what I want to do. I want my heart to be right before Him so that I will do His will and not my own. I want to be a disciple maker - who makes disciple making disciples. I want to worship in the services on Sundays. I want to love my family and Jeanille how He wants me to love and honour them! I want to have a sacrificial heart of worship like how Abraham did where I can lay it all down to be killed and have faith that He will be faithful to return it from death and utter ash.
I had a revelation yesterday that when God gives us commands it's not because he simply wants us to follow rules and regulations to be strict but because he wants what is best for our hearts. And his rules are best for our heart and soul if we follow them and do what He asks. So my challenge to you is to look at something and ask yourself how you can sacrifice to Him in order to better be free to live worship. I know I'm going to start that challenge myself!