Category Archives: Being and Doing Discipleship

Dead to Sin – Alive In Jesus

Ephesians 2:4-5 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

What does it mean to be “dead” in sin? In Ephesians chapter two, Paul is contrasting the way of the world vs. the way of Jesus. Paul’s position is that there are two ways to live:
1. according to this world, which is controlled by Satan and is evident in the life of sin that this world displays through disobedience to God’s way [verse 2].
2. or according to our saved status, from Jesus,that is graced to us because of who God is. This Jesus status [verse 4 calls it “made us alive in Christ], that we share, boasts that we are seated with Jesus in the heavenly realm [verse 6], so that we might show off how amazing Jesus is [verse 7], and we are the handiwork of God, designed with a purpose to accomplish [verse 10].

This comparison, between the way of the world and the Jesus status, brings into focus what sin is. Sin is anything that is contrary to the will of God. Specifically, in verse 3, Paul shares with us that living for ourselves, seeking to satisfy our selfish thinking and desires, is of the evil one and deserving of wrath.

What is the will of God? It is that we love Him [God] and we love others [Matthew 22:37-40]. Anything that we do that is not loving toward another person, is sin. It is easy to pick out the obvious sin: gossip, lying, murder, abuse, cheating, adultery. But the not so obvious, that is not loving toward another person, is also sin. Like: assuming we know what a person is about/how they think, using guilt trips, manipulation, dismissive attitudes, passing judgement in our minds, taking a second [critical] look at another human being, is also unloving.

    Jesus is perfectly working on our perfection in Himself.

Jesus died [God’s mercy demonstrating grace] so that NOTHING could stand in the way of our relationship with God. Our creator loved us so much and so wanted to be part of our lives that, though we deserved wrath [verse 3], we did not receive wrath, but grace. God also wants this kind of relationship with every other human being. So, when we act in unloving ways toward others, we sin and we potentially stand in the way of that person’s relationship with God.

Any time we do anything that could damage our relationship with God or another person, that is sin. Sincere believers ask me all the time, how can I be dead to sin? The answer is that, if you follow Jesus, you already are dead to sin. Jesus accomplished this work on the cross and with the empty tomb. It is not something we can accomplish for ourselves. It has already been done.

Followers of Jesus are dead to sin when they live out their journey in light of the love relationship they have with Jesus.

A Jesus follower may struggle with surrendering a behavior or an attitude to Jesus. But that struggle is part of the relationship that is alive, growing, dynamic, interactive, real. Jesus is perfectly working on our perfection in Himself. He loves us so much that He is not willing to leave any morsel of sin hidden in our closet. Paul writes in verse 3 that all of us have lived according to the world at one time. It is God who makes us alive in Jesus.

A follower of Jesus who loves Jesus could simply ask this question when confronted with sin, “Will this hurt my relationship, or another’s relationship, with God?” Is this the loving thing/attitude/behavior/thought? We fail from time to time. We fall short, but we are alive in Christ, thankful and dependent upon His love.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A Call To Discipleship

Now more than ever, the words of Jesus herald truth…“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.John 13:34-35”

The world needs disciples. What is not needed is more rhetoric, hate speech, divisive commentary, baiting of one side against another. The world needs Jesus. They way the world comes to experience Jesus is from His disciples.

Like so many, I add my voice to the fray of noise regarding the violence that we see played out in America. Senseless killing of individuals, regardless of color or ethnicity, a life lost is tragic. You may disagree, but then you may not claim the name of follower of Jesus.

Jesus chose to heal his attacker’s wounds. [And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Luke 22:50-51]

Jesus chose to forgive the men driving the spikes through his wrists. [Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34]

No slight, no offense, no racial profile, no name calling is worth taking another person’s life. No one has been slighted, offended, profiled, racially slurred or called names more than Jesus. His path is not protest. His path is not angry words. His path is not violence. His path is forgiveness.

Instrumental to all of this is Jesus’ relationship with His Father. The second key is that Jesus chose. He chose to love his father, obey his father, honor his father. He chose these rather than his anger, hurt feelings, slighted ego, wounded spirit, selfish motives, entitlement attitude, and perceived rights.

There are all kinds of buzz and conversations happening at lunches, around the water cooler, in the break rooms, at the back yard BBQ’s. What if Jesus’ followers started acting like Jesus-followers and offered a word of forgiveness instead of jumping on the commentary wagon? What if Jesus-followers would go out of their way to be polite, smile, offer a helping hand, concentrate on building relationships that reflect Jesus?

Our broken, hurting world needs disciples of Jesus to be disciples; “love one another as I have loved you.” — Jesus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

In Anticipation…

I have noticed something in my own life that is concerning. I am moving through life to get to something else in life. In short, I am living in anticipation of the future, not being fully present. This is not a new phenomenon. To quote the great poet Mike Reno, “Everybody’s working for the weekend.” Many are moving through life, to get to something that we think is better than our current reality.

Recognitions like this alert me to observe the landscape. What are other people doing? Am I more like them than I am like Jesus? This is not an attempt to shift the blame for my failures of perspective, but simply to take to heart that the measure of influence in my life has been shifted toward the world and away from Jesus. This allows for some self assessment and much needed course correction.

Anticipation can be our personal issue, leading us to distraction from Jesus. However, the anticipations of others that are placed on us can also cause us to shift focus. Mike Reno again: “Everyone’s looking to see if it was you, Everyone wants you to come through, Everyone’s hoping it will all work out, Everyone’s waiting they’re holding out.” Many of Jesus’ followers were followers solely in anticipation of his Kingship. They wanted to see what he would do, to ride on his coat tails into a new existence that they thought would be better than their present doldrums.

Anticipation in and of itself is not a bad thing. Throughout the Bible we see characters anticipating the coming of the Messiah. We see Jesus teach about the prepared bridesmaids who are anticipating the coming of the bride groom. So where does anticipation cross over to alter our course of following Jesus?

For each of us, anticipation that leads to distraction may be different, but for me it looks like this: the majority of my thought life is distracted by thinking about what is to come, what might happen. Instead, I believe I should be living fully present for Jesus here and now. In the decisions that I am making, in the conversations that I am having, in the text messages that I am sending, in my prayers, in my driving, in my walking, in my waiting for my Starbucks, in all of life, am I fully present to those around me? Am I fully present to the Holy Spirit’s voice guiding, directing, and influencing?

This past week, a rather peculiar thought came into my brain. I wondered why, but then identified it as the leading of the Holy Spirit to do something that I did not want to do. As I prayed through this, I was struck by the idea that I had a choice to make. I could dismiss the thought or I could be obedient. I reached out to some friends to pray for me as I had decided to be obedient and I had no idea how or where this obedience was going to play out. I wish I could tell you at the end of the day, I had an identified reason why the Holy Spirit asked me to be obedient. But I can’t, and I may never know. I just know that I was asked to follow, to be faithful, present, and so I did. I share this simply to illustrate that when anticipation leads to distraction, we miss opportunities to be used by God.

Spiritual Practice –


How do we anchor our thoughts in the work of being fully present? It is a work in progress but here are some suggestions:

Ask the Holy Spirit for help in this area? Ask Him to speak, lead, guide your thoughts and actions. How many times to do we pray that God will assist us with our plans for the day, rather than pray that we would be open to God’s plans for the day as we go about our normal duties?

Set yourself a reminder, a calendar date, a visual signal to refocus on Jesus. I have a friend who changed the home screen on his phone to a single white word on a black background, “Jesus.” For him, every time he opened his phone, it served to remind him what he was to be about.

Get yourself a blank journal and daily write down where you felt the influence of being a follower of Jesus, throughout your day. End your reflection time by asking for more of Jesus’ influence in your life.

Use your lunch break to read some scripture. This can be a great way to refocus on whose you are and who really is in control.

Link with an accountability partner. Agree to text one another two to three times throughout the day to keep one another on task for Jesus. Our Dusty Disciples group uses the phrase, “Bring it.” as a rallying cry to give to Jesus our best.

This journey of following Jesus has an end goal that can not be rushed. This end goal is only reached through the daily faithfulness of following our Savior.

Begin, patiently, to put these spiritual practices into your life, and you will hear Jesus say, “This is the way, walk here… I am the way, follow me.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Obedience is More Than Something to Do

A lot of people raised in the church, raised around religious people, grew up with this notion: following Jesus means following all the rules. It means no fun. It means not even thinking about fun. Depending on your age, you remember the blue laws, Sunday drives, boring afternoons.

Why do we teach others that following Jesus can be reduced to following a set of rules? Rules are easier than being in relationships. The Pharisees were experts at this. They had the form of faith, without function. A list of rules to follow allows us to be in control. We choose to follow or not. A list of rules allows us to bargain with God; “Please Lord, allow me into your heaven. I have followed most of the rules, most of the time.”

Whereas, a relationship requires trust, energy, surrender, vulnerability, transparency, self sacrifice, and is, overall harder, but ultimately worth the work. Take a moment, and think about each of those descriptive words in the last sentence. Do any of those words describe your faith journey with Jesus? If yes, how?

Or is your faith journey dominated by: calling on Jesus when life gets difficult, keeping track of your “good” status, counting on it being greater than your “bad” stuff? Maybe your faith journey is marked by Gracism. “I thank you God that I am more deserving of your grace than the person who…hurt me, did this, did that, doesn’t live how I think they should, etc.”

I have the privilege of being on a faith journey with some other men, as we strive to grow more like Jesus. This week we looked at 1 John 5:3-4a “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” To this verse we posed 3 questions:

1. If I am to show my love of God by obedience to Jesus’ commands, how does this not become just a new set of Jewish laws, that ultimately ends in Pharisaic living?
2. If I am to show my love for God by obedience to Jesus’ commands, is obedience up to me?
3. If I am to show my love for God by obedience to Jesus’ commands’ how is it not burdensome?

So here is how I would answer this:

1. Because following Jesus is about our relationship with him, we obey not because the law saves us but because we love & trust Jesus! Jesus, when asked to sum up the greatest commandment in Matthew 22, tells us that we are to love God with all that we are, 100% of the time. Jesus is describing a relationship. Jesus tells us to treat our neighbors as ourselves, again a relationship. Jesus tells us to teach, baptize, remember and make disciples, again all done in the context of relationships. The greatest indictment of the modern era church is that we have reduced disciple making to an assembly line process. Do this, do that, take this class, attend this six week course and we will all be better disciples. However, I believe I have set the ground work for the fact that all that our assembly line discipleship making has achieved is vacuous hollow self justifications, devoid of real, life changing spiritual power. When was the last time you prayed to the Holy Spirit, asking to understand/know/hear from/be guided by/be convicted by/have a stronger relationship with the Spirit of Father and Son? After all, the Godhead, lives in a relationship within Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. Yes and no, it is up to us! Jesus won’t make the decision for us but; because of our relationship with the Holy Spirit, He is there to encourage, guide, influence, and convict us to choose obedience. How many of us make decisions, devoid of any other relational influence in our lives? We do what we do, and don’t do what we don’t do, to try and please a displeased spouse, an angry boss, garner the attention of a distant parent or a lost child. Our relationships impinge on every aspect of our existence. Why is it, then that so much of Christianity has been striped of it’s relational nature and been replaced with things to do? Is it any wonder that our pews are empty when “leaders” live passionless lives that reflect only themselves rather than the person of Jesus?

And finally,
3. Obedience to Jesus does not become burdensome because of our relationship, for we know he wants only what is best for us. Do not translate “not burdensome” as easy. Obedience will always be a conscious act of our will. However, as our relationship grows stronger with our savior, that relationship begins to influence our thinking and our decision making, and transforms our acts of rebellion into acts of faithfulness.

Here is how some of my dusty brothers chose to answer these questions…

“My love for God is not burdensome because I have the Holy Spirit dwelling within me. Nothing is impossible with God. By being obedient to Jesus I am in my Savior’s love…”

“…our obedience is not burdensome because it’s relational. When we care about someone, even hard work has meaning…”

“We love Jesus! Therefore we follow Jesus’ teachings! Therefore we love others.”

So how about you? I would welcome your answer to these three questions and your insights and thoughts. In the comments section below, join us on the journey of growing our relationship with Jesus.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Discipleship is Kingdom Building

There are several common misnomers among those who seek to grow the church. The first is that church growth is all about numbers. The second is is that God wants the church to grow. In regards to the first, do not hear what I am not saying… I am not saying that new people coming into a saving relationship with Jesus is not important. It is, has been and always will be vital.
However, in the great commission Jesus does not tell us to go out and increase our numbers. He tells us to go make disciples. Most church growth interests are about closing the deal, people in the pews, numbers going up and to the right. This is not a bad thing. It’s more like a half completed wall mural. It leaves many wondering what else was supposed to be there. When we ruthlessly focus on discipleship, the numbers work themselves out.

In regards to the second, God is not interested in growing the church [in terms of numbers]. He is however very much interested in building His kingdom. God’s kingdom is where the many care more about the needs of the lost sheep than their personal needs.

To that end I want to share with you what it is that I do.
44DFE443-6722-40C3-9198-CE93565BE3DB
The groups that I lead are filled with courageous men.  They may not feel comfortable with this imposed descriptor, but the bottom line is-they are.  They have done what few others have done, and have embarked on a journey to grow in the likeness of Jesus.  They want to be covered in the Dust of their Rabbi, Jesus.  But this journey is not like any other they have traveled, for they have given themselves to the others who are also following Jesus.  We constantly work at transparency, vulnerability and openness to others. We practice speaking into each other’s lives as we keep their eyes on Jesus.  Just as the Spirit of Truth testifies about Jesus (John 15:26), so these men choose daily to listen to the Spirit’s testimony while striving to follow.

Do they do it perfectly?  Does anyone follow Jesus perfectly?  Obviously no.  We do however, choose to surrender our will for God’s.  Each group of men I challenge to pray.  We utilize lots of spiritual prayer practices.  One prayer that I challenge them to pray each day has this line, “I commit myself to the role you have invited me to play, as you are building the likeness of your Son, Jesus, in me….”

Two important points:
First, it is our choice to ignore the call of our Savior or to commit to it.  When Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, James and John from their fishing boats in Matthew 4:18-22, they have a choice to make, but the commitment is all or nothing.  They either get out of the boat and follow, or they stay in the fish business.  
But this isn’t the only time they have to decide to be “all in.”  In John 6:66-69, the crowds are leaving Jesus because His teaching is too difficult, too demanding.  Jesus asks the disciples if they are going to leave or stay.  It is Peter who answers that they aren’t going anywhere, they are “all in.” There are many other scriptural references where the disciples need to re-up their commitment to follow.

My point is simply this; committing to the call to follow and to become more like Jesus today than we were yesterday, is a daily choice. 

Second, it is Jesus who calls us to be like Him, and in that calling, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is building His likeness, His Kingdom in us.  This Kingdom is where the power of God is lived out by those who follow the King.  When we choose to forgive, to repent, to show compassion, to speak the truth, to live a servant attitude, we imitate how our Rabbi, Jesus lived and taught. As we make these obedient choices, the Kingdom is more realized in our simple act of obedience and faithfulness.  

One of the guys in our group recently shared that he was in a conversation at work and found himself tempted to lie. He said he was convicted by the Holy Spirit that there was no reason to lie and to be faithful to Jesus. The beauty in this model is that, not only was he striving to listen, willing to obey, but also to share his experience with a group of brothers in the journey. It is the role we have been given, to commit fully, continually.

“It is the role of every Disciple, to commit fully, continually.”

God is building His Kingdom in us, one relationship at a time. I am honored to be in the journey with these men. I know I am closer to Jesus because of the work of the Holy Spirit and them. In John 5:17 Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.”  

Thus the question of discipleship is twofold: Are we fully committed; are we all in? And are we continually renewing our commitment to be like Jesus, by obedience, trust and in community?

Join with me on the journey. There is always room!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Discipleship and the Planet Pluto

There has been a lot in the news lately about the historic NASA mission of the New Horizon’s spacecraft to visit the planet Pluto. This grand piano sized satellite traveled faster than any other earth space craft at a speed of 30,800 miles per hour. At that fastest speed of any known space craft it still took New horizons 9.5 years to cover the 9 billion miles to the dwarf planet. The radio signal from New Horizons to earth to let us know that it had arrived and was functioning took 4 hours and 25 minutes to make the trip of 9 billion miles, and that signal was traveling at the speed of light.

Why all the statistics? Well, besides being a Jesus follower, I also am a nerd [and I mean that with all affection and positiveness.] It’s fascinating to me the amount of time, energy, money, and hard work that it took to achieve this historic achievement.

Something like this doesn’t happen over night. It takes serious commitment and time. To travel through space, endure extreme cold, and radiation, takes careful planning and resoluteness.

Nine and a half years, think about that. What are you committed to for nine and half years? Once New Horizons was launched and began it’s journey there was no turning back. There were all kinds of obstacles and deterrents, but the commitment to go was one way.

This mission to Pluto has brought to the surface, once again the discussion about colonizing the planet Mars. With our best technology and planning and commitment, it is said that if it can happen, those that go, are going with the knowledge that it is a one way trip. If they reach Mars, if they are able to build a sustainable living on Mars, there is no coming back. The technology simply doesn’t exist to get them back to earth. It is a lifetime commitment. Once they lift off, the world behind them, there is no turning back. It will be a one way trip into the unknown.

This led me to reflect on our discipleship journey. Following Jesus is all about commitment. Yet it seems that many in the post modern church have made commitment a dirty word. Why do we think that following Jesus is any less of a commitment than what it takes to build a space craft to travel nine billion miles? Why do we think that discipleship is a journey, in which we have all kinds of options, that our opinion is important, that we chose if it is convenient, and give attention to if we have nothing better to do?
Where do we see Jesus invite his disciples to focus on him for one hour a week and then spend the rest of the week critiquing whether they felt entertained, energized, equipped, and enabled to go about doing what they want to do the rest of the week?
In fact we see the exact opposite:
Matthew 16:24 “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Luke 14:33 “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
Matthew 22:37-39 “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.”

Our Jesus is looking for people who are all in.

Our Jesus is looking for people who are all in. Our Jesus is calling people to give their all. Our Jesus expects 100% of us 100% of the time. Our Jesus is presuming commitment.
In a conversation that I with a disciple this week, we were sharing our ideas about trusting in Jesus rather than fighting for control in our lives. We ended our time by encouraging one another and reminding one another that there is a reason that most of the time the commitment to journey with Jesus is called the “practice of discipleship.” The mistakes, not withstanding, do not weaken our commitment on the journey to be more like Jesus today than we were yesterday.

Hillsong produced a song back in 2013 entitled “Christ is Enough” that uses the lyrics from an old hymn. “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. The world behind me, the cross before me, no turning back, no turning back.” Video for Christ Is Enough by Hill Song

We all need to be encouraged/challenged in our discipleship. I have decided to follow Jesus. The world behind us, the cross [dying to self] before us. No turning back, no turning back!

Suggested Dusty Discipleship practices…

1. Do a spiritual inventory, how is your commitment level to Jesus? Is there anything you are not doing that you should be doing?
2. Click the link above and listen to the song, Christ Is Enough, and talk with Jesus, reaffirm to Him that he is your reward and all that you will ever need.
3. Challenge “convenience” thinking in your life. Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit in your life that commands your commitment and obedience.

As always, I look forward to journeying with you, as we are covered in the dust of our Rabbi, Jesus!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

In It, Not Of It – Living Out Our Discipleship

There have been tons of head lines about the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage.
Most headlines are designed to grab attention, to get you to click on a link.
The majority of what is written is designed to divide and polarize.
I’ve clicked on a few links, and read a lot of headlines, the preponderance of which lead me to believe that most have an agenda, and few to none have a realistic view of both sides of the debate.
So I will jump into the fray and add one more headline, but mine is on behalf of my Jesus.

A popular contemporary Christian group from a number of years ago was a group by the name of Avalon. One of their songs always stuck with me. It was like the Spirit of God grabbed my head and heart and said, “Listen to this!” The song is entitled, “In not of.” Here are some of the lyrics:
“Come take the Light to darker parts,
Share His truth with hardened hearts,
We are not like the world, but we can love it.
Come bring the hope to hopeless men,
Until the lost are found in Him,
He came to save the world so let us be. . ., In it, not of it.”

Now I am not inferring from this song that people of the conservative nature of Christianity are the “Light” and the rest are the “darker parts.” Hang with me here… at the core of the Gospel of Jesus is the central truth that our world is broken and Jesus is the answer to that brokenness. If you want to argue the “brokenness” of our world, as in our world is not broken, my friend you have been living in a bubble.
Given this “core” nature of the Gospel, many Christians find themselves aligning themselves into “like” camps of people who think, act, and believe like they themselves do. But from where I sit, that is akin to lighting a lamp and hiding it under a basket.

To these folks, seeking refuge in the ‘like” camps, I have this challenge. Many say your “like” camps are about preserving the truth, remaining true to the faith, but I ask is it really about the truth, or just about comfort? Far too many people from this camp-simply want to avoid the potential of conflict that their differing opinion can cause, so they hide out with like minded people, so they don’t have to enter the struggle. They do not build deep, abiding, Jesus style relationships with anyone who does not already think/act/believe like their pseudo classic exemplar of Jesus.

I would like to distinguish between this archetypal “Christian” and a Jesus follower. Jesus followers, like the song by Avalon points out, realize as they are in the Word, that they do not have the option of veiling their lives from the world; for Jesus came to save the world [if this is a problem, one might want to check out John 3:16-17.]

“What if, rather than introducing others to Jesus, we built a relationship with them and allowed them to meet Jesus in us. The challenge of course is that we have to have a relationship with Jesus that shows we know Jesus and follow Jesus.”

Another Jesus follower, Erwin McManus writes this: “From the moment we become citizens of the kingdom of God, we become aliens and strangers in a world that chooses to live absent of God. From the first step taken to follow Jesus, we are out of step with the rest of the world. Once your life is in sync with the story of God, you become out of sync with any story that attempts to ignore or eliminate God. You are a stranger to them, an alien among them, a nomadic wanderer who, while refusing to be rooted in this life, seems to some-how enjoy this life most.” That is what a Jesus follower does. We are in the world but not of it.

Jesus followers know death does not have the final say. We live not tied to a material world, because we know that what we have is not add value to who we are. We know we are loved beyond compare despite what others say. We are chosen, instead of being marginalized. We are friends in on what our Lord is up to. We are children of the most High King.

A Jesus follower loves our King and loves the world which is deeply loved by our King, so much so that He was willing to fight for it, by laying down His life. Why are so many people worried about defining what we are agains? Jesus followers live by the stamp of grace upon our lives by which we are marked. Jesus followers build relationships with people who as McManus says, attempt to “ignore” God. Why? Because they matter to our King, and we are willing to fight for what matters to our king, despite how it messes with our comfort level.

I love McManus’ last line, “…refusing to be rooted in this life, [Jesus followers] seem to some-how enjoy this life most.”

In our effort to be covered in the dust of our Rabbi, Jesus, strive to be in the “fight” of this world, but fight not for doctrine, dogma, position, rightness, but for the hearts and minds of people, for whom the heart of our God, beats. Build some relationships holding on to our Jesus, who held on to God, and fought after and died for what the Heavenly King loves.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Discipleship and Servanthood at 3 am

It’s 11:30 pm. I’ve been wanting to sleep since I got up this morning. It’s also shift change. A brand new, wide awake nurse comes in to introduce herself, tell us what the rest of the night holds, and to check vitals on my son. I push aside the desire to pretend I’m asleep aside. I listen to her story. I make eye contact. I thank her for keeping the night watch. I put her first.

It’s 3 am. My son needs me. So I get up. I help. I comfort. Ignoring the fact that he is my son, he hasn’t done anything to deserve it. Of course, he hasn’t done anything to not deserve it. I put him first.

It’s 4 am. The nurse comes in to check my son’s vitals. My body says roll over. My mind screams, why check vitals in the middle of the oh-dark-thirty morning? So I get up. I help. I engage. I put her first.

I share this with you, not for human praise. I don’t want it. I am not perfect. Far, far from it.

I choose to live out my discipleship by serving. Jesus served me when he put me first, when he went to the cross.

I lie back down, I utter a prayer, “thank you Jesus, for making me first in your life.”

I fall asleep knowing that I am loved, and that is why I love. I fall asleep knowing that God’s comfort for me is found in Him and that is why I comfort others. I fall asleep being held by serving hands that have served me many times over, and that is why I serve.

To many my words may seem trite. To others, too touchy/feely. But the disciple-who has come to the part in the journey of “being” with the Trinity, understands that the “being” informs the “doing.”

Left to our own motivation, if it were up to my good intentions, serving would happen when it was/is convenient.

In a world distracted by Satan with busyness, servanthood becomes optional. In this world the servanthood of discipleship becomes something we can do if it is easy, fun, low commitment and is convenient to our schedule.

Jesus does not call us to a convenient discipleship.

If a journey of comfort [as the world defines it] is what you seek, then do not follow Jesus.

If serving others is an option for you to choose, you do not follow Jesus.

Jesus is not interested in fitting into our schedule. Jesus is the schedule. His kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Rick Warren is fond of saying that “God is more interested in your character than in your comfort.” There is truth there.

A cursory reading of the Bible finds that the people God chooses to use, are rarely called to a life of comfort and convenience.

By following Jesus, will you know comfort? Yes. Will the comfort our Rabbi grants to us match the worldly definition of comfort? Most likely not.

By following Jesus, will it be convenient? Not unless we learn to “be” in Christ on the journey.

If you are interested in being just a good person, by all means, please continue to occasionally don the towel of servanthood, when you feel like it and it is convenient.

If you are, if I am, interested in being a disciple of Jesus, being covered in the dust of our Rabbi, then servanthood is a way of living out our “doing” because our character has been shaped by the time spent “being” served by our loving Lord.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather