For more than 33 years I have seen discipleship at work through New Missions. Young children grew up experiencing the love of Jesus, then followed His teachings, and now serve as leaders in their churches and communities.
One of our core values at New Missions is discipleship—and we say it this way: “Together, we are making disciples, because discipleship is the true measurement of success.” Jesus wants us to make disciples, because He knows the results discipleship brings. It brings fruit in the life of each Christ-follower, for the Glory of God. Discipleship is following Jesus. He is our guide and role model. We then lead a life showing others how to follow Jesus. In Matthew 28:19-20, we have what is known as the Great Commission. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
To fulfill this Great Commission, we need to live by the Great Commandment. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 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.” Matthew 22:36-40
We make disciples when we are loving our neighbor, and we are a disciple when we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. And, if we truly love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, that would cause us to love our neighbor. Do you see the cycle? Loving God fuels loving our neighbor, and loving our neighbor points people to Jesus. As they follow Him, they become a disciple.
My wife and I host a couple’s Bible study in our neighborhood. Right now, we are studying the fruit of the Spirit, and what I enjoy about this study is how it points us to Jesus. How can I exemplify love if I do not know the source of it? God is love. It’s because He first loved me that I can love anyone. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.” As I wrap up each Bible study, I ask the question, “How will we yield to the Spirit each day?” Dear Lord, be our guide and give us Your Spirit so our lives may exemplify Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self- control. As we host this Bible study (which started in our home and is now hosted in other homes throughout our neighborhood), we are seeing disciples made because people are following Jesus. Then, they are living out Christ-like behavior.
Right where you are, be a disciple-maker by loving others, which points people to Jesus. ~Tim DeTellis