Church Life Update Letter
A relative of one of our church members is one of the models in a beautiful video (see link below). After I watched it,I realized it's a great picture of discipleship. Discipleship is the most central activity of the Kingdom. It's what truly changes lives, communities, and nations and will ultimately usher in Christ's return and the redemption of the cosmos.What's beautiful about this video is that these women were helped to overcome some of their negativity. That's what discipleship is, but on a much deeper level. It's not just hearing what my leader thinks of me. It's not even learning to think more positive things about myself. It's hearing and learning what God thinks of me. Paul, one of the greatest disciplers ever, wrote the following:
From now on we recognize no one according to the flesh.
(2 Corinthians 5:16 NASB)
Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God... But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 4:1-4 NASB)
Being discipled is what happens when I find people who I believe know what God thinks and feels a bit more clearly than I do. I then ask them to speak into my life and tell me what they see. They pray and ask God to help them see me the way that He does. Then they speak into my life. Instead of filtering their input through the lens of what I already think, I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt. I take what they say and pray and ask God to help me understand what He wants to show me.As I come to understand God's thoughts about me, I am freed from thinking about myself. All that wasted time and energy is now available for thinking about others. I'm now ready to begin discipling someone else.Who is discipling you? Is there anybody in your life who you think knows what God thinks and feels a bit more clearly than you? Have you invited the person to speak into your life? He or she will often wait until you ask.Whom are you discipling? Are you as purposeful about choosing disciples as Jesus and Paul were? Are you asking God to show you who they really are or are you just telling them your own opinions? Do you tell them who you see God has made them to be, or are you just telling them what they should do? Advice is cheap. Godly counsel helps people understand that wrong choices aren't just "bad" but are a violation of who we really are. Good choices aren't just "good" but help us become who God has made us to be.
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To view the video referred to above, go to www.youtube.com and search ”Dove Real Beauty Sketches.”