Does “disciple all nations” not call to mind how Jesus himself “discipled” his men?  They were, after all, his “disciples.”  And when they heard him say, “disciple all nations,” would they not think this discipleship is what he did with them — investing prolonged, real-life, day-in, day-out, intentional time with younger believers in order to bring them to maturity as well as model for them how to disciple others in the same way?

… Discipleship, seen in this light, entails not merely the pursuit of spiritual maturity but the need for personal connection and substantial intentional investment of time, the kind of investment for which there must be going to accomplish.  Jesus spent three years with his twelve disciples.  He called them to be discipled at the outset of his ministry (Matt. 4:19), and he gave them the lion’s share of his life until his departure in Matthew 28.  He invested his life in these men.  It is amazing to track in the Gospels how much Jesus gave of himself to his disciples.  The crowds pursued him, but he pursued his disciples.  He was willing to bless the masses, but he invested in the few.

(John Piper, A Holy Ambition: To Preach Where Christ Has Not Been Named, pp. 24-25)

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Make me readier.

October 14, 2010

An old Roman coin was found on which was a picture of an ox, one of the servants of man.  The ox was facing two things, an altar and a plough.  The inscription read, “Ready for either.”

(Darlene Diebler Rose)

At the end, I don’t want to find that I served an eternal Master of an everlasting Kingdom with less “readiness” than this ox who served a mortal master of a setting kingdom.

My Master is worthy of so much more than that.

More mercy in the spring.

September 6, 2010

[Christ] will not only not break nor quench, but he will cherish those with whom he so deals.

Physicians, though they put their patients to much pain, will not destroy, but raise it up by degrees.  Surgeons will lance and cut, but not dismember.  A mother who has a sick and self-willed child will not therefore cast it away.  And shall there be more mercy in the stream than in the spring?

(Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed, p. 7)

Child of weakness.

July 29, 2010

Her, searching: Abba, Abba!

Silence.

Her : ABBA!

Silence.

Her: Abba, where are You?!  There’s a war raging outside!

Silence.

Her: ABBA!  I said there’s a war raging!

Silence.

Her: I can’t fight, Abba!  I can’t fight this one!  ABBA!

Silence.

Her, sinking to her knees: Abba, I can’t fight this one …

Silence.

Her: How can I fight the battle without when I can hardly fight the one within?

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

And then, softly, it came: “Thy strength indeed is small … find in Me thine all in all.”

Quotes galore lately on here.  It’s definitely been a good season of listening and reading (which is pretty much listening).  Good quotes.  Good season.  Good God.  :]

Keep the dynamic nature of God’s call in mind as you find His place for you.  Yes, He cares what you do with your life and, yes, He has a plan for you, but do not get bound up in the paralysis of analysis trying to find the once-for-all-time job description for your life.  Just stay close to Him and seek to serve Him.

(M. David Sills, The Missionary Call: Finding Your Place in God’s Plan for the World, p. 88)

Fruitful dying.

April 15, 2010

Are you sure that God wants you to be a pastor in this comparatively church-saturated land? Or might he be calling you to fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, to fall like a grain of wheat into some distant ground and die, to hate your life in this world and so to keep it forever and bear much fruit?
The question, brothers, is not whether we will die, but whether we will die in a way that bears much fruit.
(John Piper, via Tyler Kennedy)

God’s put a calling on your life.
(John Piper, in the introduction to his sermon, “A Passion for God’s Supremacy and Compassion for Man’s Soul”)

Life on life.

March 30, 2010

You can’t teach someone to follow everything that God has commanded without investing your life in that person.  Discipling can’t be done superficially.
(John MacArthur, The Master’s Plan for the Church, p. 132)

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
(1 Thessalonians 2:8)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14)