There is a story that is told about a child who attended Sunday School and learned about our big God who created everything visible and invisible with a word. She also learned that through faith, God is in us. She was a little confused and so she asked her Mother, "Is it true that our God is a big God?" "Yes, that is true," her mother answered. "Is it also true that God is inside us all?" "Yes, that is also true," her mother answered. "So if God is so big, and He is inside all of us, shouldn't He stick out a bit more?"
What does it look like if God is "sticking out a bit more" in a person or in a congregation? Since this is February, and February is the month we think about love, then I am going to touch on that attribute of God. Scripture tells us that God is love. His very fabric of His being is love. Love must be expressed in relationship. Scripture also tells us "What great love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called His children. And that is what we are." It is God's good pleasure to draw us into relationship with Himself.
God wants us to go and do likewise. God wants us to form relationships with others so that we can share the love of God as expressed in Christ Jesus. What great love Our Redeemer has lavished upon its community that they have shared the Good News with her community! In order to do that we have to make time in our own lives to let "the fullness of Christ dwell richly within us." In other words we have to commit to a life of discipleship to our Lord Jesus Christ. In discipleship, God grows in us until He starts sticking out all over the place.
In Matthew 28 Jesus gives us His Great Commission. "Go and make disciples of all nations...." Notice Jesus didn't tell us to go and make members of all nations! He tells us to make disciples. "Come on Dave", you may be thinking, "That's just splitting hairs." I submit to you that it is not splitting hairs. I believe one of the biggest failings of the church today is in making members into disciples. Members are what you would expect to find at a country club or a book club or a sports team. (Although the commitment level of some sports teams are very much like discipleship). The Church is to make disciples. Members who take the next steps into living a life of faith that expresses itself in committed service. True disciples reflect God's love in their words and actions.
I am asking you to take a personal spiritual inventory right now. Are you in the disciple or member category in your walk with Jesus Christ? Be honest. Are you OK with your answer? Would you like to change? A disciple of Jesus Christ is a genuine believer. They walk the talk. We are a fallen people and will make mistakes. A disciple admits and confesses their failings and asks for forgiveness. They also forgive others for any and all offences against them recognizing that we are all fallen. A disciple seeks the good of the community over their own personal agenda. A disciple speaks the truth in love and does not gossip.
Read 1 Corinthians chapter 13 every day this month and reflect and pray that God would give you that kind of heart. It has been a blessing in my own walk with God. God bless us as together we seek to be disciples of our Master. Always remember that you are the apple of God’s eye and He loves you very much!