Dear Church Family
Jesus's last orders were to 'go and make disciples' (Matthew 28:19). It's easy to complicate discipleship, but at it's heart it's simply this: it's following Jesus. It's going where he goes, doing what he does and saying what he says.
This life of following Jesus is the best life. The fulfilling life. The authentic life. But it's not always an easy life. Sometimes we're called to do things and say things that stretch us and that don't always fit with living comfortably. That's why being disciplined and obedient are such important but underrated aspects of discipleship (and why both are highlighted in my book, A-Z of Discipleship).
I've been at a conference this week. On the first day I met a man from London and we chatted about all sorts of things, including generosity, and he mentioned in passing how he'd been challenged by hearing about another Christ-follower who, when he eats out, tips the waiter/waitress the full amount of the bill. Later on that day we ending up eating together in the same restaurant with our spouses. When it came to paying the bill I felt a nudge from the Spirit to do this, which they thought was a great idea. So one couple paid the bill and the other gave the tip. The young waiter was overwhelmed! In fact at first he wouldn't accept, saying 10% would be just fine, but we said we'd like to thank him for looking after us and that we wanted God to bless him. He was so happy - saying that nothing like this had ever happened to him before!
What about you? What is the Lord calling you to do, even today, as his disciple? What is he asking of you, this summer? And as he is speaking to us at The Belfrey about encountering him in greater measure and learning not to fear, how are you responding? With business as usual, or with discipline and obedience?
Jesus said: 'Greater love has no one that this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command' (John 15:14).