Baptism

To fulfill Christ’s Great Commission, “go into all the world and make disciples,” it takes one to make one. To participate in making disciples of Jesus, we must ourselves be in the process of coming into union with and obedience to the person and teachings of Jesus.

Monday – Matthew 28.16-20. We, as part of Christ’s universal church, can only fulfill this commission Jesus gives His disciples, if we desire to let Him shape us into being little Christs, as penned by C.S. Lewis. Jesus isn’t content with converts or even believers. He wants to transform our hearts, our thinking, and our living to mirror His heart, His teachings, and His pattern of life in our world. Pray for transformation. That’s a prayer He longs to answer for us.

Tuesday – Matthew 9.9-13. Let’s meet Matthew, who would one day become a gospel writer. Matthew was considered a sinner, yet Jesus called him to be with Him and be His disciple, His life apprentice. “When Jesus walked among humankind there was a certain simplicity to being a disciple. Primarily it meant to go with Him, in an attitude of study, obedience, and imitation. There were no correspondence courses. One knew what to do, and what it would cost. Disciples had to be with Him to learn how to do what He did.” (Dallas Willard) Pray for an increasing desire to be with Jesus, allowing Him to transform your values to be like His.

Wednesday–John 21.15-18. Peter had responded to Jesus’ invitation to be His disciple. Yet, Peter experienced disappointment and failure in his moment of great trial. This passage is part of the powerful scene of Jesus’ reinstatement of Peter, reaffirming him as one of His disciples, part of His mission. It is a sobering and yet beautiful moment when we realize our failure and Christ’s gracious invitation for us to assume a role of service as one of His apprentices. He calls, we respond. We do not have to be defined by our failure in following Him. He wants to restore us.

Thursday–Matthew 16.24-27. C.S. Lewis reflects on our passage: “The way of Christ is different: harder and easier.” Christ says: “Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and there, I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over all of yourself, that which you think is innocent and that which you think is wicked–the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.” Prayer focus: “Lord, how much of me I have surrendered to You? Where do I try and retain control?”

Friday–Matthew 11.28-30. Again, C.S. Lewis comments: “The Christian life is both harder and easier than what we are all trying to do. You have noticed, I expect, that Christ Himself sometimes describes the Christian way as very hard, sometimes as very easy. He says, ‘Take up your Cross’–in other words, it is like going to be beaten to death in a concentration camp. Next minute he says, ‘My yoke (teaching) is easy and my burden light.’ He means both. And one can just see why both are true.” When, by God’s grace, we do surrender our will, we enter a relationship with God that is, easier, because we are in harmony with Him.

Saturday–Romans 12.1-2 “Though costly, discipleship once had a very clear, straightforward meaning. The mechanics are not the same today. We cannot literally be with Him in the same way His first disciples could. But the priorities and intentions of the heart–or inner attitudes–of disciples are forever the same. In the heart of a disciple there is a desire, and there is decision, or settled intent. The disciple of Christ desires above all else to be like him.” (C.S. Lewis) Prayer focus: “Create in me an ever deepening desire for You and to be like You.”