Be encouraged to make disciplesby Milton A. Hollifield, Jr., Executive Director-Treasurer
Sometimes we can all fall into the trap of serving God out of a sense of duty and obligation rather than a sense of joy and love for our great Savior.
God’s Word tells us that Christ’s commands to us as believers are not intended to be burdensome. Jesus Himself said that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.
I have been meditating on these truths over the past several weeks as they relate to making disciples. I recently shared some thoughts with our staff that came out of my own time with the Lord that I would also like to share with you.
As we strive to cultivate a disciple-making culture here in North Carolina and beyond, I want to be sure that we are encouraging our churches and congregations and not discouraging them.
The thought of making disciples can seem like a daunting task. We may not feel adequate or knowledgeable or sufficiently trained to help others grow in Christ. Yet when we pause to consider the depths of God’s great love for us, Christ’s commitment to us and the Holy Spirit’s presence within us, we should be encouraged, moved and motivated to serve the Lord because of our awe of Him.
When was the last time you paused to ponder how much the holy and perfect God of creation loves and values us? He loved us enough to send His sinless Son to suffer on our behalf, to become sin for us and to die in our place even when we were still sinners.
The more time we spend with the Lord in our daily devotions, reflecting on who He is and all He has done for us, the more we will grow in our love for Him. And the more we grow in our love for Him, the more will want to obey His commands.
God’s Word makes it clear how much He loves us and how much He is committed to a relationship with us through Christ. He does not ask us to do more for Him than what He has already done for us.
Those of us who are married know that we do not want our spouses to share their love with anyone else. As the church, we are the bride of Christ, and Christ does not want us to have any desires and affections that compete with Him. Christ gave His all for us, and He doesn’t want to be second place in our lives.
Thankfully, we do not have to try to love and obey God out of our own strength. We can rejoice that He has given us His Holy Spirit to enable us to live in His power, experience His joy and be successful in advancing His Kingdom.
Attempting to be a follower of Christ apart from accessing the power of the Holy Spirit who is present in your life will leave you tired, exhausted and frustrated.
So be encouraged that God has not left us alone in this task of making disciples. May we continue to grow in our walk with Christ as we reach others and help them in their walk with Christ.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” – 1 John 5:3