Links Daily Devotional

MISTAKES: Lessons learned in 50 years of disciple-making (Part 5)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” (Matthew 28:19, NASB)

In golf it’s easy to get paralysis by analysis.

Golfers can lose sight of the most fundamental goal: Get the white little ball into the bottom of the cup in the least number of strokes.

At the entry level or the highest level, there are rewards for accomplishing this goal. When a youngster begins golf, the reward is hearing the ball bang into the sides of a cup as it falls. For a bogey shooter, the reward is making a par. For the winner of the 2015 U.S. Open, the reward will be $1,440,000.

I see a parallel between a golfer’s end goal of getting the ball in the hole and one’s end goal in life.

As I wrote in my last devotion, my first serious mistake in “the lifetime school of discipleship” was adopting a mistaken way of getting into a right relationship with God. I thought it came by doing something, not from knowing Someone.

I made a similar mistake as to the end goal of the true disciple of Jesus. For decades I thought my end goal was to serve God. Share the Gospel with others. Or help the poor and needy.

ThoSAugh important and integral to the life in Christ, Jesus never taught this as the end goal of discipleship. He said, “The fully trained disciple will be like his master” (Luke 6:40, NIV). The apostle Paul later wrote that the final destiny of all called by God is “to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29).

John Stott, recognized as one of the greatest expositors of Scripture in the past century, dealt with “God’s purpose for His people” in his last major address before he died. “I want to share with you where I came to rest as I approach the end of my pilgrimage on earth,” Stott said. “And it is—God wants His people to become like Christ. Christlikeness is the will of God for the people of God.”

This is the end goal: To be like Jesus Christ. Both in character and practice.

And how does this happen? We learn the modus operandi of God in 2 Corinthians 3:18. He is “transforming (us) from one image to another by His Spirit.”

God’s plan of transformation will happen.

Our role is like that of a caterpillar. As the caterpillar cooperates with the new life within it to be transformed into a butterfly, we are to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to transform us into new people. People who live and love like Jesus.

Jim Hiskey
June 16, 2015
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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.