Discipleship: Stepping Out of the Comfort ZoneOct 18, 2021
Reaching the lost has been Jesus’ great intention when He walked on earth. When He encountered Peter, He knew the thousands of people he would have ministered to. He also brought hope to the desperate adulterous woman who was discriminated against by many. He did not turn down the opportunity to heal the bed-dangling-crippled man so He could demonstrate the ability to forgive, restore, and set him free. Above all else, He showed His heart for the lost.
Barnabas also stepped out of his way to take Saul under his wing. When the people saw him as an evil persecutor, Barnabas saw Saul in God’s lens - a man in need of grace and forgiveness.
How did Jesus and Barnabas impact people every day? We can go on and on with strategies and creative ideas to approach people, evangelize, and disciple them. But both of them showed that we do not need to strive on our strength to help people around us. They simply stepped out of their comfort zone to reach the lost, hurting, and broken people around them. Jesus did not give the woman an invite card to the Meet & Greet gathering after church. His approach to people was to meet them in their moment.
Jesus did not have to take on and off a discipleship hat to be ready to help her. He has His Father's mindset. Because of Him, our every encounter could also be an opportunity to connect someone’s story with God’s story—the gospel.
Serving is a way of life for Barnabas. When Saul needed a friend, he could have backed out from the danger zone. But he took the risk and chose selflessness. Barnabas did not just bring Saul into the church but took him into his life. He journeyed with him throughout the years.
Nowadays, we tend to frame discipleship as a program for a few people, for a season. But Jesus and Barnabas’ approach was a mindset and their way of life. They chose to change the world, one person at a time.
How to have a discipleship mindset: Believe that God has placed you on earth to help people get closer to Him. Look at every encounter as a God moment or a disciple-making moment.
Sometimes, God uses the mundane situation to change a person's life forever. Think of a conversation with a new friend sitting next to you on the airplane. It can also be a long-term disciple-making with your friend over a cup of coffee to talk about the gospel’s impact on your life.
So what does it mean to have a discipleship way of life? Reflect on what makes you excited every day. Is it building your own kingdom (whether career, achievements, or success) or bringing His kingdom to the lost, hurting, and broken?
Jesus modeled how we can make disciples. And He did this because He is calling us to go and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB) says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
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