Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘discipleship’

The Best Invitations

I love to be included.  When I was 3-4 years old, some young mothers and babies were sitting on a blanket on the grass between our house and the neighbors’.  I felt left out and was sort of hanging around hoping for an invitation, when one of the ladies said, “Would you like to join us?”  I wasn’t sure what “join” meant so I ran back into the house to ask my mom!

A few days ago I wrote about Jesus’ invitation to four fishermen to COME with him.  That word is one of the most inviting in the Bible. When Jesus utters this invitation, my heart says, “Yes!  I’m coming!”

“Come follow me”—to a life of companionship & discipleship  (Mt. 4:19)

“Come to me all you weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!” (Mt. 11:28)

“Come”—to Peter who asked for an invitation to walk on the water (Mt. 14:29)

“Come you have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you!” (Mt. 25:34)

“Come with me privately to a quiet place and rest a little.” (Mk. 6:31)

“Come and see (where I’m staying).”  And they spent the rest of the day      getting acquainted with Jesus Smile.  (Jn. 1:46)

“Come eat breakfast (on the beach).”  (Jn. 21:12)

Can’t you just see Jesus smile, sparkling eyes, and extended hand?  Who could resist an invitation to hang out with the one who loves us more than we could imagine, who made us, watches over us,  gave His life to save ours, knows us inside and out,and keeps on loving us all the more?  Here’s one more:

The spirit and the bride (God’s people) say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17) 

This is the invitation for all those who hear God’s call and thirst for the eternal life that He is freely offering.  Why not accept?

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The Best Invitations

I love to be included.  When I was 3-4 years old, some young mothers and babies were sitting on a blanket on the grass between our house and the neighbors’.  I felt left out and was sort of hanging around hoping for an invitation, when one of the ladies said, “Would you like to join us?”  I wasn’t sure what “join” meant so I ran back into the house to ask my mom!

A few days ago I wrote about Jesus’ invitation to four fishermen to COME with him.  That word is one of the most inviting in the Bible. When Jesus utters this invitation, my heart says, “Yes!  I’m coming!”

“Come follow me”—to a life of companionship & discipleship  (Mt. 4:19)

“Come to me all you weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!” (Mt. 11:28)

“Come”—to Peter who asked for an invitation to walk on the water (Mt. 14:29)

“Come you have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you!” (Mt. 25:34)

“Come with me privately to a quiet place and rest a little.” (Mk. 6:31)

“Come and see (where I’m staying).”  And they spent the rest of the day      getting acquainted with Jesus Smile.  (Jn. 1:46)

“Come eat breakfast (on the beach).”  (Jn. 21:12)

Can’t you just see Jesus smile, sparkling eyes, and extended hand?  Who could resist an invitation to hang out with the one who loves us more than we could imagine, who made us, watches over us,  gave His life to save ours, knows us inside and out,and keeps on loving us all the more?  Here’s one more:

The spirit and the bride (God’s people) say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17) 

This is the invitation for all those who hear God’s call and thirst for the eternal life that He is freely offering.  Why not accept?

10 Commandments for Christ’s Ambassadors

As Jesus sent out his disciples on their first mission trip—to preach, heal, and cast out demons—He gave them these instructions.  But they are also for us today who represent Him to the world.  (See Matthew 10)

1.  Give and serve freely. (v. 8)

2.  Trust God for your needs. (v. 9-10)

3.  Focus on those who will listen. (v. 11-14)

4.  Be prepared to suffer. (v. 16-28)

5.  Trust the Holy Spirit for what to say when put on the spot. (v. 19)

6.  Don’t give up!  Endure to the end! (v. 22)

7.  Don’t be afraid. (v. 26-31)

8.  Never deny the Lord.  (v. 32-33)

9.  Prioritize God over your own family and even your own life. (v. 34-39)

10. Humbly accept what people give you as a gift to God. (v. 40-42)

Career Change

It was the chance of a lifetime—if they only knew how it would end up!  These four fishermen were going about their business as usual.  Their family business was a stable income for the most part. 

Then along comes a compelling offer of a new career.  They had seen this extraordinary man before and even heard some of his teaching.  But now, he singled them out with a personal invitation, “Come with me.  Hang out with me and learn from me.  Work with me to change the world!”  This was no part-time job but a full commitment.  They would eat, sleep, and travel together with Jesus, learn from him and seek to become like him.

Did they hesitate?  Not a bit!  They left their boats, nets, income, security and all—and followed immediately.  No thoughts of keeping options open or waiting for a better offer.  It was an exciting life—often perplexing, dangerous, fulfilling, and blessed.

When Jesus calls, it’s time to go.  No delays, no regrets!  Being chosen for His team is an awesome privilege. 

Watching and Working

My mom tells me that I used to “sit onna ‘tool, wats Mommy” while she baked.  I took it all in and learned by watching.  In fact, whenever I make a pie, I remember how she used to make a paste to blend into the dry mixture and then chill it for a while before rolling it out.  I remember how she would put dabs of butter over the fruit before fitting the top crust, and prick a design of holes in it.  And her goodies were the best!

Then I think of Jesus’ disciples.  They spent years with Him, watching Him work—doing miracles, teaching, and caring for people.  Then it was their turn as He sent them out to do the same things. And they did!  God’s power also flowed through them to heal and bring the words of life.  What a privilege to be with God, watch Him at work, and then participate in that work!

God is still at work.  We don’t read much about that on the major news networks, but if we know where to look, we can “watch” His amazing work going on all over the world.  And we can be part of it—by praying for that lonely Christian in prison halfway around the world and for our neighbor next door.  By being faithful in the assignment God has given to us, even if it seems insignificant.  And much more.

Just ordinary people,
God uses ordinary people.
He chooses people just like me and you,
who are willing to do as He commands.
God uses people that will give Him all,
no matter how small your all may seem to you;
because little becomes much
as you place it in the Master’s hand.

Oh, just like that little lad,
who gave Jesus all he had;
How the multitude was fed
with a fish and loaves of bread.
What have may not seem much,
but when you yield it to the touch
of the the Master’s loving hand,
then you will understand how
your life could never be the same.

           Lyrics by Danniebelle Hall

When Jesus Calls

What happens when Jesus calls people to follow Him?  Here’s what I found in the book of Matthew:

The four fishermen walked away from the family business and followed him without question or delay.  (Mt 5:18-22)

Matthew immediately left his job (tax collecting) and went with Jesus. No guarantees, no contract, just complete surrender. (Mt. 9:9)

A religious teacher was ready to go with Jesus anywhere, but Jesus warned him that it would be a life of privation and rootlessness, humanly speaking.  We don’t know what he decided. (Mt. 8:19-22)

Another follower asked for a delay in order to attend to family obligations. (Mt 8:21-22)

Still another young man wanted to follow Jesus but valued his riches more—and sadly turned away. (Mt. 19:16-22)

Which of these people do you suppose had the most satisfying lives in the long run?  What would it cost you or me to make that kind of total commitment, never looking back, never holding back, no regrets?  Is it worth it?

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?* Is anything worth more than your soul?  (Mt 16:24-26)

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