discipleship

Us. No them.

“Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you. Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.” (Hebrews‬ ‭13:1-4‬ )

Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims as if their abuse had happened to you. Put yourself in their place, see the world from their perspective, walk a mile in their shoes, learn about the pain that made them this way, understand the hardships that formed their life, show compassion to those who don’t think like you do.

The world we live in currently resides in the horrible mindset of us and them. This mindset poisons compassion and chokes grace. It teaches people that love is only useful for people like us and that it’s not afforded to them. That decency, respect, dignity, grace, and understanding are preserved for us and not wasted on them. How can we be this way when our Savior, the Lord of Lords, humbled Himself to our own stature to make us like Him? Our Prince of Peace literally took our place on the cross, as in He very literally put Himself in our place; Jesus looked upon the world and said to the Heavenly hosts, the Father and the Spirit, “I will make them alike to us”. And He did so! He paid the ultimate price and set the record straight: no them - just us. Now He calls us to be the same way to others.

We are all on the same plane now the only difference is that some people don’t know the one who made this so and continue to careen down the path of destruction; the path of us and them. Be a part of the truth movement. The one Jesus began and finished so long ago. The one that Jesus will bring to a close soon. There is no them. Just us.

-31 Women (Nan)

In a world of “I do what I want” and “I need no help from you,” be one of those with open hearts for God’s Word and the church body.

We live in the end times, loved ones. While the Bible is available to us, while real disciples of the Lord Jesus are reaching out to you, while the church body continues its ministry, open your heart to us. We can work together through a walk together, following the Lord Jesus.

As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NLT)

This verse has been on my mind lately. Paul wants us to understand that in the last days there will be times of difficulty. And those difficulties will not come from natural disasters, political decisions, disease, or famine, although those difficulties will be there also. The difficulties that Paul talks about will come from people and their attitudes.

You can probably find a description of yourself on the list, I know that I found myself. That is a symptom of our fallen conditions. But I’m not everything on this list and neither are you.

What I do notice is that this is a pretty good description of post-Christian American culture, a culture that is more than ever denying God, and that is a scary thing.

If you do come across a person or a group of people who fit this description, the instruction is clear: Avoid them.

That doesn’t mean to turn and run (though with some extremely hardened people that may be the case). It meant to not let them be an important or influential part of your life.

And of course, never stop praying.

“Why is it that some saints walked with lions and other saints were eaten by lions? I don’t know. I just know that the saints were all saints because they had faith. Those that were eaten by beasts experienced the love of God just as surely as those that tamed the beasts. And this highlights the mystical paradox of Christian discipleship. We might be called to martyrdom or we might be called to a long and healthy and prosperous life. But wherever we find ourselves – in wealth or in poverty, in sickness or in health, in freedom or in prison, in joy or in despair – let us know that Christ is always in our midst. He is and always shall be! Selam.”

~Gebre Menfes Kidus

Our Lord’s making of a disciple is supernatural. He does not build on any natural capacity at all. God does not ask us to do the things that are easy to us naturally; He only asks us to do the things we are perfectly fitted to do by His grace, and the cross will come along that line always.
—  Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: September 25