challenge

Jesus is chasing me. i want to be clear that i don’t presume that its just me He’s chasing. i live in a paradigm where i believe He’s chasing all of us.

for the last 13 years of my life i have been obsessed with my relationship with Jesus. what i can get from Him, how i feel when i’m with Him, the peace He brings into my life, the healing and transformation He seems to continue in my life, my marriage, and in my family, the fascinating stories in scripture and their hidden meanings, the dream of heaven and all that will be…

but Jesus is teaching me something else right now.

as i hold the love that has grown in my heart for Jesus and the affection that i have for Him, God is teaching me something else right now that is so crucial.

my response to him.

Jesus said,

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 know, i am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

i guess people go about that command differently.

i’m on a quest to figure out how Jesus actually did that.

He didn’t make signs and picket funerals writing hateful things on banners about people that were created in His image

He never cursed others.

He didn’t hide in a bubble and disconnect himself from a hurting world.

He didn’t run his mouth about all the things that he thought were wrong while not doing anything about it.

He decided to spread his message relationally. He invested in a few.

don’t get me wrong. we know there were times when Jesus spoke to the multitudes. but the majority of his time he spent relationally. in homes with people and with his disciples.

He chose a few men to pour his message into while investing in them relationally.

 He invited them into his life.

He didn’t force. He didn’t manipulate. He just invited.

ahhhh. that’s how he did it. brilliant, don’t you think?

He does that today. He invites us into life with him.

we don’t have to accept.

so as i look at the life of Jesus and the way he poured himself into people, i look at the way He chose the people He invested in.

 He had a simple, but intense strategy. Jesus didn’t just give out invitations only. he gave out challenges. if people responded to the challenges, He would invite them deeper into his life. a strategy of discipleship that has worked beautifully.

He still does this with us.

i see the times in my life when i missed out on what God was doing simply because i wasn’t responding to the challenges. our journey with Jesus is made up of a many invitations as well as many challenges. those who know Jesus and walk with him, have experienced the challenges. sometimes, the challenges are quite simple. sometimes, they are stretching and uncomfortable. sometimes, they are hard and painful. times when the battle is intensified and you want to give up. but these challenges are necessary. we won’t progress. we won’t mature. we won’t bear fruit. we will not see transformation in our lives, or the lives of others for that matter… if we fail to respond to the challenges. its the way Jesus does it. its the way he’s always done it.

he invested in a few relationally, being wise with His relational capital, being strategic to invest in those who received his message. and He taught His disciples to do the same.

the people who responded to both of Jesus’ invitations and challenges, Jesus discipled

and those he discipled, discipled others

who discipled others,

who discipled others,

until the good news that Jesus has come to fulfill His joy in our lives and make our live’s new reached those who hold it dearly today.

pretty incredible, don’t you think?

***

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