July 2018

Little Things from Lisa

How do you feel about change?  For me, there are some things I like to change.  I wish I had hair I could change up.  I like to change around my furniture and décor.  I like to try new restaurants and dishes.  And I even like to change up how I worship once in a while.

That being said, there’s plenty I DON’T like about change.  I don’t like to change shoes.  I only own a few pair and they each have a purpose.  I don’t like to change plans I’ve made.  I don’t like changes to my television show schedules, internet applications, nor my cellular phone.  These changes cause me nothing but headaches.

About a year ago I went to see the eye doctor.  I had had the same prescription lenses for over 3 years.  My eyes had deteriorated so badly that I had difficulty seeing close up, far away, and in between!  But I didn’t want to go to the eye doctor.  Mine retired and this is one of those “don’t like change” things.  So I put it off repeatedly until last year when I finally broke down and went.  After a scolding from the new doctor, he fixed me up with a new prescription.  And two weeks later, when those glasses came in, it was incredible!  Seeing clearly again was such a magnificent thing!  I didn’t even realize how badly I needed this change.  I wished I had gone sooner!

And then just this week, I was faced with it again…change.  I have a nice computer, but it is old in computer years.  I still run Microsoft Windows 7 on it and have fought the upgrade tooth and nail because of the big change it is.  But my computer was bogging down, locking up, and mushy in between.  I complained repeatedly to Hank who, after hearing it over and over, suggested I get a new one.  But that is a daunting task to say the least.  It meant I would HAVE to use Windows 10.  It meant understanding a whole new world in my desktop.  The straw that broke the camels back occurred late last week when the computer betrayed me again.  I threw my last fit and declared I would be buying a new computer!  Pronto!

After some research I finally selected a modest model good enough for my purposes and also as close to what I already have for familiarity.  And folks, it was like putting on those glasses!  Do you know how fast computers are now??  I pay for hi speed internet and now I use it too!  Once again, I wished I had not put this off, but done it much sooner.

These are just two examples in a lifetime and world of change.  Resistance is futile.  Change will happen.  And sometimes it even ends with a good outcome.  We’ve been talking all summer so far about discipleship for Jesus Christ.  And the more we reveal the truth of discipleship, we can see that at its’ core, willingness to change is the key to successful discipleship.

Are you willing to change your personality?  Your schedule?  Your lifestyle to be a disciple?  Did even reading that make you cringe?  If you are anything like me, you tell Jesus every day that, ‘Sure, I’d love to be your disciple.  Sign me up.’  And then I go about my life actually being that disciple only went it is convenient.  I am happy to be Jesus’ disciple if I don’t have to talk to strangers.  I’d love to share the gospel if it is somewhere I feel safe.  Discipleship for me is not a 9-5 thing, it’s a way of life specifically on Sunday from 9 to noon.

Can you imagine where we would be today if all of the biblical saints had been disciples only when it was convenient for them?  Or if it didn’t involve real change?  Think about Moses, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Isaiah, Mary, Joseph, Paul, Peter, etc.  Their true discipleship impacted the world beyond their own small community.

Which leads us to the other side of the coin.  Have you ever considered all of the people who turned down God’s invitation to discipleship?  The many, many who didn’t have the time nor the inclination to embrace a change in their life in order to serve God.  What could our world look like if everyone had said yes.

And we can take that a step further today by applying the same principle to ourselves.  Yes, the world is broken.  Yes, it is full of sinners, us included.  We can keep on living in it and seeing life through blurry lenses and say that it is good enough.  Or we can be disciples of Jesus Christ who bring clarity and healing to a hurting people.

Just before Jesus left this earth, scripture records this event: “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go 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 surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” Matthew 28:16-20.

Did you catch what I caught.  Perhaps for the first time?  Verse 17 said, “But some doubted.”  I don’t know that I noticed that before. Not even every one of the original disciples was fully committed.  Even then, like now, there was a reluctance to change.

What is holding you back from being a disciple?  I have my list.  I’m sure you have yours.  But imagine a world where every person says yes to the offer of discipleship.  What it could be like if we all lived like Jesus.  It boils down, as usual, to a choice.  Will we resist change.  The change we need inside our own hearts to enable us to live our lives for Him.

I pray this journey we are taking through discipleship will touch your mind, heart, and spirit.  May you grow closer to Him who created you and be the light for others to see. Amen.

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