Thoughts.Words.Actions.

There is a word that has been tossed around the “christian circle” a lot.  It seems to be a buzz word.  That word is discipleship.  Do you understand the meaning of it?  Do you understand the importance of it?  Do you understand your own role?  I know I’ve said that word some what carelessly for sometime, but now there needs to be some action.

Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”  ~Matthew 28:19 (The Message)

That’s a pretty large commission isn’t it?  With the weight of the importance of this instruction, I wonder how many of us wait until we are “flawless” to move forward in this?  It is easy for us to be inner focused where we continually ask ourselves, “Who am I to disciple others?”  “What authority do I have to speak into someone’s life?”  Yet, I wonder how many of us only remember the first part of Matthew 28:19.

I appreciate the Message version of this word as it continues…”Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”  You see, we don’t go into relationships, discipleship, with the arrogance of thinking we know it all or have all the answers or are perfect in any way.  But we can enter these relationships with the confidence in the authority we have because God is with us.  It is through the building of relationship, really getting to know someone, giving and sharing more of you, and willing to be vulnerable, that discipleship takes place.

Let’s start looking outward.  We aren’t here for mere conversion, but to train and disciple in a way of living!  And that starts now.  I refuse to let life and relationship pass by.  Because of the greatness of God and the Spirit in me, I have something to share, to teach, and I’ll continue to learn along the way.  But it’s time to give.  Let’s stop talking about discipleship, and begin to truly invest in others.  Give what you have.  

I’m committing to really investing in at least two new relationships to share what I have, to disciple, teach, and learn.  How about you? 

Let’s be intentional, with our words, our hearts, and our actions…

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Fan Into Flame.

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:6-7 

Sometimes our search for more (which can be healthy) can distract us from what we already have.  I remember hearing a prayer that was full of “God give me’s…”  God give me strength.  God give me faith.  God give me a desire to know you more.  God give me more of you.  God give me peace.  God give me joy.  God give me love.  And so on…

But haven’t we already received such gifts, strength, faith, knowledge, peace, joy, love?  And, forgive me, but I must admit that it is a bit foolish and selfish to ask God to give us more of Him when He has already given us Himself.  You see, we have received!

We have received in abundance.  It is within us.  He is within us.  He has given us such gifts.  And we are to fan into flame these gifts.  Why?  So that they grow!  So that they are a light to others!  So that they are shared and given to others!

You have strength…fan into flame!
You have faith…fan into flame!
You have knowledge…fan into flame!
You have peace…fan into flame!
You have joy…fan into flame!
You have love…fan into flame!
You have________…fan into flame! 

Thank you God for what we already have received in abundance.  Thank you that they are within us.  Thank you that you are with us.  Thank you for the Spirit that teaches and for the way that You continuously fill us.   It is with a heart of thankfulness that I praise you.

What gifts are waiting for you to fan into flame?  You have received!