In Touch January 14, 2012
Posted on January 14, 2012 by under Touché,

167 Discipleship

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)

Jesus commanded them to make disciples-not believers, not churchgoers, not people ready to go to heaven when they die, but disciples, followers of Christ who practice what he preached. There cannot be a clearer call from Christ to determine what business we are in; however, to practice that day in and day out, 167 hours a week, seems like a distant dream for most who call themselves disciples.

I was sitting at my desk a couple of Tuesdays ago. It was the end of a day of work at HRC. I had spent most of it in the office and on the computer. I thought of 167: how have I lived my life this day for the glory of God? I don’t know that I had a very satisfying response. Our vision as a church is for us all to become 167 followers of Jesus Christ.

I wonder how many of us have that on our radar screen. For those of us who do, how many of us can reflect on a day when we have lived it? It is an awesome vision, but is it practical? Maybe religion should just be a segmented part of a well-rounded life that includes work, play, family, friends and church.

This Sunday we start a winter series that looks at the three “arcs” of 167 Living: Worship, Discipleship and Mission. These arcs reflect the ways we have seen people transform their lives into the fullness of their faith. It is our attempt to say our faith is not simply a small piece of the whole of our life; it is at the center of everything we are.

This Sunday we look at the transformation of Nathaniel and Samuel, two followers of God who see heaven opened as they say the most dangerous words you can say to God: “Here I am.” If we are willing to let our lives be transformed by following Christ, the promise that Jesus gives Nathaniel, that he will see heaven opened, is the same promise that Jesus gives us.

I know that is what I want. I think it is what we all want, to see heaven opened and the angels descending and ascending…to know with conviction that our lives are tied to a greater purpose, the one true God and his plans. The one to whom “all authority in heaven and earth is given” is also the one who says, “I will be with you always, even to the close of the age.”

Here I am. Are you ready to say that?