How Do I, Disciple? By MVC Guest Author, Karen Barstow
How do I DISCIPLE Lord within my current circumstances? I ask this question often and listen for direction.
Surely First: I DISCIPLE within myself: in daily time spent with God, with the Holy Spirit, in walking with Jesus, in the Word. And I know that I disciple myself by taking care of this body, mind, and soul with which he has gifted me, to live a healthy lifestyle, to seek wisdom and understanding of myself and my relationship with HIM daily. Giving thanks to HIM daily means we recognize blessings that flow upon each of us daily regardless of our circumstances.
Second: I believe that he expects us to DISCIPLE by trying to live the way HE modeled so that others will see and know the peace and contentment which come from walking with HIM. Being a disciple begins within our own families, in the way we treat our family members, in the way we teach or try to teach our children. I certainly did not do that as well as I wish, nor can I simply fall back on hoping that they will see what Faith has brought to my life. It is my obligation whenever those moments arise to share personal experiences, to write a note, to let each child and grandchild and great-grandchild know that they are a child of God and that I pray daily that they will learn to give thanks and ask for HIS help in whatever they do, that they will know that they are loved by a kind and merciful God who made them perfect in every way.
Third: The second commandment is to love thy neighbor as thyself. Jesus showed us that our neighbors were everyone, not just those who lived nearby, who looked and believed as we did, but all of mankind. Loving, as HE directed, means giving and forgiving always, being kind and compassionate with all. We need to DISCIPLE in our neighborhoods, our communities, our church families by serving in simple ways when we can, even if that only means a simple greeting of hello, a telephone call to check in on someone, bringing in a newspaper, praying for others. We may not be able to invite others into our homes during Covid, but we can stop and greet or sit outside to visit those who are not able to get out. We can pick up the phone to say thank you to our teachers, our church staff, our first responders, and medical providers for their hard work during these challenging times.
Fourth But how do I truly DISCIPLE that is, speak the words to share the Gospel when I am not trained?? I have learned that where ever we are: at work, at school, sitting with a friend, with a grandchild, that God provides THAT moment when a question arises and God or perhaps it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the words to simply share what faith has done in our lives. It is easy to share even with strangers when you know they are already a person of faith, but harder often with those with whom we associate daily, or even with family members.
The Mission Field is right here outside our doors. Let us, DISCIPLE!! Karen Barstow MVC April 2021