Links Daily Devotional

Discipling

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19, TNIV)

Here in Southern California, October was a month of Links Fellowships gearing back up from the summer, after many returned from their summer travels. Four years deep in consistent activity here, we have been blessed to see a lot of growth in the region. But with growth come trials and challenges for a few of our Links Fellowships.

Some groups decided to try new studies, requiring greater commitment to reading a book or studying the Bible, and they noticed participants stopped showing up or were no longer interested. As I began to talk to the leaders in these Fellowships, I noticed one common denominator: they forgot about the fellowship! It became a study and the person-to-person ministry to one another was lost. Jesus was in the people business; we must be too!

The studies I like most for our Fellowships to use are the Links Players Friday studies, which accompany the devotion for that day. They print in a moment’s time, and with accessible but challenging questions, they give each person a chance to interact. Whether you are new to the group or have been coming awhile, you don’t feel lost or behind in the study, because each one stands alone.

I often say that every Fellowship is different because of the people, but the one thing that should stay the same is the teaching of Jesus Christ! The moment we move off of Jesus Christ, I see people move into weird conversations and Satan begins to do his work!

All of this falls into the category of discipling, the work of every believer. The first disciples were challenged by Jesus to go into the world and multiply themselves. They were supposed to be disciples making disciples. That mission hasn’t changed. We are to do the same. By study and prayer and conversation, by encouragement and exhortation, we are to help each other grow in the direction of Jesus.

This idea was confirmed for me in my recent reading of the devotional classic, My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. The October 27 entry includes this:

Jesus Christ did not say – “Go and save souls” (the salvation of souls is the supernatural work of God) but – “Go and teach…all nations,” and you cannot make disciples unless you are a disciple yourself… The great essential of the missionary is that he remains true to the call of God, and realizes that his one purpose is to disciple men and women to Jesus.

More than anything this takes time. We can come up with every formula we can imagine, but if don’t take time dig into each other’s lives at a spiritual level, we miss the best thing God has for us—to learn and to grow and to ignite others to learn and to grow, all for the sake of Christ and His kingdom.

Dereck Wong

November 8, 2011

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.