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Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Baptist Church

Disappointed in Discipleship

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 View Comments Comments (0)


The highest calling we have received in life is to give God glory by making disciples. Everyone who has embraced that calling says with the Apostle Paul, (1 Corinthians 4:16) I urge you, then, be imitators of me. Again (1 Corinthians 11:1) Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. However, nothing is more disappointing than to look behind you and see that the one you’re discipling isn’t following.

Of course there’s the old Afghan proverb, “If you think you’re leading and no one is following you, then you’re only taking a walk.” But before you have a meltdown, contemplating your effectiveness as a disciple-maker I want you to hear Jesus’ heart (John 6:67) “Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’” If you live long enough someone is going to disappoint you.

Jesus experienced disappointment in His earthly ministry. Another passage that comes to mind is Jesus encounter with the rich young ruler. In Luke 18 the rich young ruler came to Jesus asking what more he needed to add to his portfolio to inherit eternal life. Of course he thought he had all the bases covered and as Jesus reminded him of what the law required this rich young ruler was ecstatic that he could say he had not committed adultery, he had not murdered anybody or stole from anyone. He was able to truthfully say that he had never bore false witness and that he had honored his father and mother.

I’m sure this rich young ruler was all set to hear Jesus’ words of affirmation, but (Luke 18:22-23) Jesus said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have…and come, follow Me.”But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. Jesus gave the clear call of discipleship this young man like He does to everyone of us who claim the name of Christ – come, follow Me. Jesus didn’t try to lure him, He simply issued the call to follow Him as a disciple and then left him alone.

To be sure this wasn’t the only disappointing experience Jesus had with those who claimed they wanted to follow Him. He was disappointed when the disciples fell asleep when He had asked them to watch and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was disappointed because Jerusalem would not embrace His message and it brought Him to tears. Jesus definitely faced disappointing moments but He did not allow that to distract Him from His mission and it did not affect His attitude towards people. He loved them unconditionally and prayed for them even though they disappointed Him.

Probably at the heart of the problem we have with people disappointing us is the misplaced expectations we place on them rather than God. We should never stop believing in the potential of people, but our trust must be placed firmly in God. People even with the best intentions will let you down, but God is always faithful.

To grow and go forward in spite of disappointments we must learn from them. Ask yourself, “What does God want me to learn from this?” “What fruit am I manifesting in my life when I am disappointed?” Disappointing moments are opportunities to demonstrate the same kind of forgiveness God offers to you. Sometimes they even reveal areas in our own lives that we must work on.

Don’t let disappointment distract and sideline you, instead ask God to give you wisdom to not put your faith in people and trust in Him and Him alone.

david ><({‘


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