Today’s post from Renee Fisher is part of the blog series Discipleship: Re-Imagining Our Calling From Christ. To receive future posts from the series in your inbox head HERE. Engage with the writers and community of readers using the hashtag #DiscipleshipBlog.
So many churches have programs for this and meetings for this and for that. Yet there are so many areas the church is lacking in. Why is this? I think it’s because we need to be told to or asked to be put in a discipleship program. I think it would be awesome if older brothers and sisters willingly walked alongside younger Christians for the purpose of encouraging them. Instead of applying a label, we should have the same love for the body of Christ as Jesus does.
But that also requires us to stick around in community long enough to care.
In my new book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, I talk about how I was deeply hurt by two different people in the church. One even worked on staff at the church I attended. I tried everything to bring her flowers and apologize for hurting her (to this day she has never told me exactly what I did wrong). The other one dated a guy I was interested in, and instead of blowing me off when I cussed them both out–they forgave me and we ended up remaining friends even after they broke up.
There is just no way we can put discipleship in a box because people don’t belong in boxes. That’s Matthew 5:23-24 exists, to remind ourselves that we are individuals in Christ.
“If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God” (NLT).
We are ultimately responsible for our own actions.
When I was a young 20-something, I desperately searched to find my purpose. Instead of waiting for the church to create a discipleship or mentor program, I enabled the help of my parents, friends, and mentor-like figures. I couldn’t, wouldn’t stop at anything to see God’s calling on my life (another one of those churchy words).
As a young person I knew discipleship was an area that I didn’t want to lack in. I saw it as the key to discovering my full potential. I knew I would come up against spiritual, financial, physical, and emotional roadblocks, which I did–many times.
Following Christ and being His disciple is no joke. It’s costly. Jesus wasn’t kidding when He said we’d have to take up our cross and follow Him. There have been too many times in my life when I didn’t think I was going to make it, and if it weren’t for my desire to be intentional about my faith and personal devotion–I honestly might have committed suicide.
In my new book, I share my story and how God used the power of forgiveness to set me free from others including myself. In fact, I am so passionate about it, that I named the tagline of my site: Intentional Discipleship Meets Personal Devotion. I believe my calling is to spur others forward from the freedom that I, myself, have experienced (Hebrews 10:24).
I wonder how this looks like in your life.
Question: How do you think we should be intentional about discipleship and why?
Renee Fisher, the Devotional Diva®, is the spirited speaker and author of Faithbook of Jesus, Not Another Dating Book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, and Loves Me Not. A graduate of Biola University, Renee’s mission in life is to “spur others forward” (Hebrews 10:24) using the lessons learned from her own trials to encourage others in their walk with God. She and her husband, Marc, live in California with their dog, Rock Star. Learn more about Renee at www.devotionaldiva.com.