Making Disciples Like Jesus

I’ve been thinking a lot about the disciples here lately. Thinking about who they were when Jesus found them and who they became. Let me explain. There were some that were living in open sin when the Lord called them to follow Him (Matthew, the tax collector). He knowingly entered into the messiness there and invited them into His life. There were some that had the appearance of being helpful and ‘good’, but had a truly corrupt, wicked heart (Judas Iscariot, the holder of the money purse). Jesus poured out and invested His heart and life into them; even knowing the horrific cost and outcome. There were some that prided themselves in bold, flashy talk and promises, but were a fearful, coward at heart (Simon Peter). The Lord gently called them out in love and gentleness; seeing to the heart of the empty words. And then there were some that knew their identity as Christ’s follower and found their worth in that love (John, the disciple Jesus loved). Jesus loved them all the same, invested, and poured out His life for each of them; leaving the results and ‘fruit’ up to His Father.

I spend a lot of time with our kids. I see some from each of these categories. Some are a bit rough and prickly. Some are easier to invest in and eager for the relationship. While we aren’t Jesus, and can’t see into the future, we are asked to love and live as He did. Their response doesn’t matter. Their reactions to our investing aren’t our priority. The fruit of our time and efforts are not left up to us (praise God!). He simply asks us to love. To obey His calling and leading. To follow Him. And then let the rest go. Our kids may end up being a Matthew, a Judas, a Peter, or a John. And just as God used each of those men’s lives for His glory and purposes, so He shall do the same for our proteges!

I get it, that’s a hard Truth to live out! For two years I’ve been spending Wednesday afternoons at our middle school walking from table to table during lunch. I am not cool there! Kids that I know well try to pretend they don’t know me often times. I see and hear a lot that makes my heart cry for these little ones. I watch them get dragged into temptation and sin, while we stand nearby waving a red flag. I’ve wept over mentors, over families, over schools, kids, and horrific injustice. But I’m still here, by God’s grace, because I know that what my eyes see and my ears hear isn’t the end. Just as with His disciples, His is the final word. And I pray that this Truth encourages your heart as much as it has mine lately!

-Christina Hickman, Mentor Coordinator

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