Jesus said to the Jews who had believe in Him, “If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples.” (John 8:31, ESV)
Celebration of Hope 2019 has just concluded—a weekend of evangelistic rallies in several languages that was 30 months in the planning by the National Council of Churches of Singapore. The three-day event involved 8,000 volunteers from more than 200 churches and was attended by 125,000 people, many of them being non-Christians invited by family members or friends. Some of the rallies were also livestreamed on social media, and nearly half a million people from around the world followed the proceedings as testimonies were shared, Jesus Christ was exalted and His good news was presented.
This got me thinking about the Great Commission and about what it means to be a disciple-making disciple of Jesus. I was reminded that Jesus’ public ministry lasted less than four years. He never travelled overseas, and there was no social media technology with which to share His message or gain followers. Some historians estimate that He spoke to fewer than 10,000 different people in His lifetime.
Thank God for His salvation that was revealed in Scripture and supernaturally incarnated in Jesus. The last few years of Jesus’ life were meticulously recorded and commented upon. The Bible is the best-selling book in history, and billions of people have encountered God between its pages. However, I consider that Jesus’ legacy has most tangibly prevailed in the transformed lives of His followers. Whether famous or obscure, young or old, rich or poor, whether man, woman or child, those who live by the motto “trust and obey” impact more lives for the kingdom than we could ever know.
Such people authentically live a Christ-like life, and are salt and light on a daily basis to their nearest and dearest—their spouse, children, siblings, colleagues and BFFs.
They are not perfect (no human being except Christ is sinless), but the fruit of the Holy Spirit is evidenced in their everyday actions and words.
The discipleship journey can be long and hard. But take heart! Our heavenly Father has put Himself in charge of your welfare, and His spirit in you will empower you to choose the right thing, through every season. We are called to live victorious lives, but this is only possible if we lean on God, persevere with His strength and help, and get up again after we fall. Establish “habits of grace” by disciplining ourselves with Christ’s teachings and follow His examples of holiness, humility, fortitude, forgiveness and service. In this way, each of us can already be a practising ambassador of Christ even if we consider ourselves unschooled, shy or clumsy with words. And while we look forward to Christ’s return, let us pray for and encourage one another, for this is what faith community is for.
God bless us all.
By Aaron Lee, Elder (YCKC Bulletin 26 May 2019)
“A man’s real belief is that which he lives by. What a man believes is the thing he does, not the thing he thinks.” – George MacDonald (d. 1905), fantasy fiction author, poet and Christian minister.