The Price of Making Disciples

On June 26, 2014, in Christian Living, by july

Discipling people is like investing in the stock market.  You pay the price now, hoping that the drudgery is worth it all.  I remember not long back, praying to the Lord for the exact same thing.  ”Lord,” I said, “let this be worth it.  Let this be worth it all.” I dreaded the job of making disciples, not because I’m not ready… but because I know that if I take on the job, I’ll have to surrender almost everything else.

I love technology.  I love design.  I wanted to start my own company (in fact I have some great ideas in my mind waiting to come to fruition).  I want to author a book, focus on apologetics and research, have a family, and all sorts of stuff most people want.  I know from the start that should I decide to disciple people, I have to give up so many things.  I’ve already given up on starting my own company.  I have already been lagging behind in tech.  Books? I don’t even have the time to pen the first words of the book I’m planning to write.  I have also barely done any more apologetics and research since then.  The list continues… yet for what? What if it all went down the drain? What if the toil of my labor will end up with no one committing their lives to the Lord? How much disservice would I have done to myself then? And perhaps to the Lord?

I’ve always reminded myself that when one decides to be a shepherd, he is taking one of the most serious tasks in his lifetime.  Discipling others means a lifetime of commitment.  It means your ‘Me Time’ is no longer yours.  It’s God’s.  Being a shepherd means sleepless nights and restless days.  It means one has to keep an eye on the sheep, to protect them, nourish them, love them, heal them, feed, and lead them… AND when they have nothing to eat, you have to give your food to them.  Their nourishment is always at your expense.  Is it taxing? Absolutely.

I am always thankful of my church because I see in it a group of people who love the Lord and willingly giving their lives for His service.  See, some ‘church’ exist to exact money from members.  There is good money in the Jesus racket.  Others exist to make disciples.  My church falls on the latter, and I hope we don’t lose sight of that mission until God welcomes us home. I refused to be baptized myself for years, waiting for the right people to baptize me.  Sure, this shouldn’t be the right reason for baptism.  While I have already committed to follow the Lord, it took me four years before I got baptized.  I wanted to be sure that the church to baptize me will be the church where I am willing to serve the Lord in, a church that makes disciples, not just believers.  CCF is one such church… and I was baptized three years ago in this church.  Praise God for the leaders of this church.  They have done a masterful job.

I have never been so emotional in a retreat since my first one in 2009.  Being a shepherd is sometimes too taxing.  There are times when you just want to lie down and sleep the entire day.  Let’s be honest here.  Shepherding is not always a happy thing.  Sometimes I disappoint my sheep.  Let’s be honest, I think I do.  No, I know I do.  Sometimes they disappoint me.  Let’s be honest.  This happens.  Some of them actually pierce deep… and as a shepherd you have to make judgment calls.  You have to be rational, not emotional.  You have to make sure to turn the other cheek when slapped.  Refuse to lie down in defeat… and the greatest of all, to rebuke Satan.  Yes, to rebuke Satan.

My eyes well up many times in the retreat.  One, because the brothers which I have worked so hard for have committed their lives to the Lord.  This is the Lord’s victory.  The Lord’s Name and Greatness be forever praised.  I’ve also had have the most difficult time as a shepherd in those days, in fact I have once prayed that I may just lay down flat and rest and forget about it all. Yet towards the end, when the challenge was made, to commit to the Lord, to obey His call, I saw a sight I’d never thought I’d see.  My eyes moisten… my jaw dropped.  When I looked back, I saw such a wonderful sight.  The drudgery is worth it.  YES Lord, it is worth every single sweat and money and effort and toil.  I felt as though a hundred pound baggage over my shoulders was lifted from me.  It was nothing less than amazing.

The second thing is that my life verse shows up anew.  This doesn’t happen often… but when it does, God begins to do something incredible.

If I were to do it all over again, to start from zero, to shape, to build, to mold, and to mentor… if were to do it again, with different people, in different places, even time, yes Lord, I will.  Because every single blood and sweat that I pour into doing these things is ALL WORTH IT.

The LORD, my sin-bearer, my savior, died that I may live.  There is nothing more fitting for a grateful soul to do than to do likewise.  To live this life as a sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Him.

May the name of the LORD be forever praised.

 

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