Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Converts or Disciples?

I read an article recently that has meant rethinking some things.  I remember, clearly, the day I walked forward to accept Christ as my Saviour.  I was but seven years old.  Young as I was, I was thrilled that Jesus lived in me!  My Mother reminds me of wanting to tell everybody, of inviting the neighbourhood kids to DVBS, of a vibrant faith...

As I matured, and grew in my faith, I heard many a challenge to share my faith, to witness.  We were encouraged to be evangelistic in our relationships. With the passing of childlike faith came the fear in how to do this.  But I also heard that preacher voice in my head about being a witness, evangelizing and making converts.

Back to the article that has me rethinking that voice.  Where in the Bible does it instruct me to make converts? The author of the article claimed we are instructed to 'make disciples'.  He also gives a list of how those two things are different.  The one that hit me was:

             "Converts are believers who live like the world.  Disciples are believers who live like Jesus."

This hit me on a couple of fronts.  Firstly, and most importantly, which am I?  How do I live?  When people look at me would they call me a believer? Do I live like Jesus?  I pray that I do. For my deepest desire is for people to see Jesus (when they seem me), and not me.  I want people to notice a discernible difference in how I live, from how the world lives.  This is something I need to constantly check, for it is a very slippery slope, especially if you are living in the world, as we are also called to do.

The second front is regarding those I bear witness to.  Am I seeking to make converts of those around me?  Or am I seeking to make disciples, as Jesus commanded me to, in the Great Commission?  I often tell my friends here in GDL that my desire is to help them become more like Christ, to help them grow in their faith.

I absolutely love it when our study groups get excited about Jesus, His truths, His Word, His life.  I enjoy watching them learn or understand something new.  I love to hear them share about how others see the change in them and look to them for answers.

The Great Commission from Matthew 28

"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.


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