Sunday, June 6, 2010

ID2010: Disciplemaking: Men Without Seeds

Today's sermon on the character study of Elijah as a disciplemaker was very thought-provoking. What are we doing to make disciples?

Incidentally, I bumped again into Andrewer on the bus back after a midnight walk around Clarke Quay with Elvis. Haha. TWICE! At Pasir Ris last Friday, and now yesterday. Definitely for a God-purpose. So we chatted. About our WFLs and the spiritual gifts we have. As usual Andrew is a great bro who keeps on seeing the good in others and affirming - and this is not a natural function of his personality, but really of the Spirit BTW - thanked me, saying that God used me to help him develop his spiritual gift of intercession. Hee.

One thing that we talked about as well: the kernel of wheat that falls to the ground and dies.

Dying to self.

There's so many of us who are still remaining as seeds. We do not become many seeds. Because we do not want to fall to the ground in the first place. We want to remain comfortable. Refusing to deny ourselves and take up our crosses daily. Wanting God to work on our terms, not His.

Stretching. Discipleship. Stretching requires us to step out of our comfort zones.

Our lives are useful for the kingdom only to the extent we're willing to let ourselves get stretched.
23Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

27"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!"

It is God's will for us to become disciplemakers. But in order to do that, we must die to our own dear desires first. "... if it dies, it produces many seeds."

I think one reason I keep hearing about people not dreaming of anything beyond living a "normal Christian life" is that they say that they do not feel called to be this or that. But honestly, have they ever prayed and sought God to confirm their lack of a "calling"?

In fact, Jesus said that His heart was troubled. But what did He say? "Father, save me from this hour"? No. He desired the Father's name to be glorified. And interestingly, He said this when His fame had spread beyond Israel, that the Greeks came to seek Him out.

Could it be that, from what we have read in the book of Acts, that God's default calling for everyone is to GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS? That ... if we do not feel called to go out, we should be in fact praying to confirm our staying at home?

The most enthusiastic disciplemakers that I've seen in church - also happen to be some of the most missions-minded people I know. Is this a mere coincidence? And I don't need to state the converse case - there are too many examples unfortunately.

Responding to God's call doesn't mean that we die-die must go out right now. But... it does mean that we should cry out, "Here am I! Send me!" The harvest is plentiful, but THE WORKERS ARE FEW! And that was just for the lost sheep of Israel! Now it's also for the whole world - what the hell are we doing? It may be the case - and truly so - that God wants us to stay at home. It's fine! But... have we first asked Him to send us?

Otherwise we are being presumptuous, assuming that He's not sending us - when we have never even volunteered in the first place. Hello?

Thank God for Jon's willingness to respond to the call to be a disciplemaker. Yes, he knows that he's far from what God wants him to be. But he is willing. And I think God can do a lot with a willing heart, no matter how long it may take.

Yes, the title's a pun on a chapter from C.S. Lewis' "The Abolition of Man". And a double-entendre too. :P I needn't explain that, hee. ;)


Huanyan said...

Man without chest... no wonder I found the title so familiar

yeu@nn said...

haha! :D