by Stan Rodda: When it comes to obedience in disciple making, it’s in our nature to overcomplicate the topic. Partly because it’s simpler to stay in our comfort zone and make excuses for why making disciples isn’t for us.
I don’t know enough.
I didn’t pay attention in Sunday school.
I don’t have the right answers.
I didn’t go to bible college.
What if He calls me to Africa?
But to another degree, it’s wise of us to think through carefully the cost of being a disciple. Salvation is free but discipleship will cost you everything. Jesus shares that with us in Luke 14 when He talks about counting the cost of following Him.
Then right after He tells us to count the cost, Jesus shares arguably His most famous parable, the Prodigal Son. He shares it in the context of Luke 15 where three of the most famous and memorable stories about finding lost things are found; the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son.
In the middle of all this, I believe we see in the example of Jesus, one of the simplest next steps of obedience that EVERY follower of Jesus can take. Jesus leads by example in eating a meal with those who are lost.
All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to Him. And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!’
Luke 15:1, 2 HCSB
I love this example of Jesus so much. Eating a meal with people who don’t know Jesus is a huge step of obedience. It’s not the entire journey, but it could very well be your first step in disciple making. Every single one of us is going to eat today. We are going to eat multiple times. In the midst of this global pandemic we are in, you might eat four times today if you’re being honest with yourself about that second lunch.
What if because of the example of Jesus you decide to make it a priority in your life, that you’re going to obey Jesus by simply having a meal with someone who doesn’t know Him? What if your next step of obedience is as simple as eating a meal with someone?
Over that meal you have the opportunity to share your story. You have the opportunity to hear their story. To walk in obedience and faith to simply begin walking with someone.
Here’s my encouragement for you. Take some time and pray something like this…
“Father, what are the names of five people around me who don’t know you? Co-workers, neighbors, someone from my kid’s soccer team, that person on the PTO. God you reveal to me five names that I can have over for a meal.”
Then pray and write those names down somewhere prominent. Listen as God shares those names and faces with you. Start praying for them now. Maybe you know they’re struggling with something now. Begin praying and ask God to go before you. Then when restrictions lift and we can be with people again, invite them over for a meal. Make those plans now and take that step of obedience.
This was such a great example of Jesus. It was so frustrating to the religious establishment that Jesus would simply share in a meal with someone who was lost. And we get to follow Jesus in this example. Jesus, who would you have me share a meal with? It’s not the entire discipleship journey, but it might be the perfect next step for you.
Disciple making is for EVERY single follower of Jesus. You can do this! And it can start with something as simple as eating together.
Who are the five people you’re going to pray for and have a meal with?