“The Great Commission”, is a chapter heading in the book of Matthew created by man, and many believe that it was meant only for the 11 disciples of Jesus Christ, while others believe it’s meant for everyone who becomes a follower of Christ. These disciples departed from Rome and scattered to the region they were from.
After Jesus resurrection and ascension into heaven, most of Jesus’ disciples began churches to reach people. Paul began churches but he also discipled 8 men, including Timothy. Being as I am not a theologian, but either way, both forming churches and life on life discipleship were used by God to bring about Christianity for many people around the world.
However, I believe that the mandate from God to disciple others life on life in imbedded in the Great Commandment. Here Jesus is asked which is the greatest commandment in the Law. And Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and ALL your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I’ve asked lots of men how do you love your neighbor as yourself? Their responses are all over the table …. I love fishing. I love hanging out with my two sons. I enjoy going out to dinner with my family. I love travelling around the world. BUT this is the MOST IMPORTANT commandment in the world. Plus, I don’t want to hang out with another man’s wife or his kids, or go fishing, etc.
Given that Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself…I asked myself this question….How do I love myself? And my response was by ‘Loving the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and ALL my strength. I sensed that is the most important action I could ever take in my life and to help others experience the joy I have in my heart from loving Him.
God will honor life on life discipleship, for it appears to me to be imbedded in the Great Commandment … “Love your neighbor as yourself”, which begs the question, how do you love yourself?
Given that the answer is a GOD standard and not left up to personal interpretation, I “love myself” by “Loving God with ALL my heart, All my mind, ALL my soul and All my strength”. How about you?
I was extremely fortunate to be discipled by Dwight Hill, a Navigator, who was called to disciple men life on life. Dwight discipled me for 15 years and I’m sure he discovered that I’m a slow learner. Coming to Christ at 49 and being in and of the world for so long may be another reason for taking 15 years with me.
“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ” …. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Only a disciple can make a disciple” …. A. W. Tozer
May you and your family be blessed by the King of Kings!
Almighty Mighty God, we need you to bring about the transformation of our heart, mind, and soul into being Jesus with skin on. We can be followers of Jesus that truly seek to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We need You to mold us into the likeness of Jesus as we encounter the many trials, and seek You to guide us through them—and then be able to model the good news and help inspire others about you Son, Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus, we declare our dependency upon You for “our daily bread”, our protection and for your forgiveness when we fall short. In Your holy and perfect name. Amen.