Fortunately, God made all varieties of people with a wide variety of interests and abilities. He has called people of every race and color who have been hurt by life in every manner imaginable. Even the scars of past abuse and injury can be the means of bringing healing to another. What wonderful opportunities to make disciples!
We need to shed our unearthly and nonsocial and idealistic and romantic and uber-spiritual visions of kingdom and get back to what Jesus meant. By kingdom, Jesus means: God's Dream Society on earth, spreading out from the land of Israel to encompass the whole world.
Those who aren't following Jesus aren't his followers. It's that simple. Followers follow, and those who don't follow aren't followers. To follow Jesus means to follow Jesus into a society where justice rules, where love shapes everything. To follow Jesus means to take up his dream and work for it.
And—you can be very sure of this—all who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ; who have seen the all-importance of the soul; who have seen their dread condition under the condemnation of the law; who have believed in Christ and His sacrificial death; who have committed themselves to Him, taking upon themselves the scorn and sarcasm of the world; those who have counted all things loss for his sake, who have denied themselves and taken up their cross daily and followed Him; those who have said, “I care not what happens to me as long as all is well between me and Him”—these are they who will be with Him in the new heaven and the new earth and will share and enjoy His glory for ever and ever.
Following Jesus may be personal, but it is never private.
According to Jesus examples discipleship is not a program we launch. It is a lifestyle we embrace.
Unless a person can give reasons, there is, literally, no reason why anyone else should take that person seriously. But without reasons, all we are left with is emotional blackmail. We sometimes call it 'moral blackmail,' but it has nothing to do with morals, only with the implied juvenile threat of having a tantrum unless everyone else gives in.
Why do so many today want to wander off to South Africa or Kenya or India or Russia or Honduras or Costa Rica or Peru to help with justice issues but not spend the same effort in their own neighborhood or community or state? Why do young suburbanites, say in Chicago, want to go to Kentucky or Tennessee to help people but not want to spend that same time to go to the inner city in their own area to help with justice issues? I asked this question to a mature student in my office one day, and he thought he had a partial explanation: 'Because my generation is searching for experiences, and the more exotic and extreme the better. Going down the street to help at a food shelter is good and it is just and some of us are doing that, but it's not an experience. We want experiences.
Your success as a disciple of Christ is not something you do; it is someone you disciple to also become a disciple-maker.
The only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us, and carry out, in our ordinary conduct; the insignficances of daily life are the importances and the tests of eternity, because they prove what really is the spirit that possesses us.
There are only three ways to teach a child. The first is by example, the second is by example, the third is by example.