Insights: Stretch to Imitate

I love Josh Georgen’s testimony he gave on October 13. Here is a man (along with his wife Nicole, of course!) who is doing a great job raising his kids.  I appreciate his honesty and transparency about how he pursues God’s way for parenting, but also sees himself fall short. Do you know his five children? They are Liliana, who is eight, Jubilee and Elena, six-year-old twins, then there is Josiah, who is three and finally, Adelise, who is one. Does anyone know what it is like to keep five children under eight on track for the Lord? How many meals is that each week? How many prayers is that? How many exhortations, rebukes, and hugs? How much time spent being a listening ear as a godly parent? My hat is off to you, Josh and Nicole!

But not only is Josh raising his own five children, he, along with Nicole’s support, is discipling young people in the middle school and high school groups at church.  Where does he get the time? God must give him 28 hours every day! – No, he has the same amount of time as you and I have, but he is so devoted to Jesus Christ and has so much desire to disciple his own children as well as other young people that he denies himself many things he might want and does instead what he knows the Lord wants him to do! Josh and Nicole met a woman recently at the store and, after dropping off their children at church, they went to pick up the woman, so she could come to church as well! I see these two  living out Paul’s words, “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all” (Phil. 2:17 NKJ). When the Lord promotes Josh and Nicole to glory in heaven, there may not be much more than a stain on the ground and a fragrance in the air from their drink offering, but they will have poured themselves out entirely to bless others on earth.  From talking to Josh, I know the reason they pursue their lifestyle is because they want to make a difference in people’s lives and they want to leave a difference for the sake of the kingdom. How about you?

Sometimes we become comfortable in our Christian life. We love to sit back, hear God’s Word taught and learn new things. We know learning is foundational to the Christian life.  God said through Hosea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hos. 4:6 NKJ) We get that. That’s why we keep studying God’s Word! But often, people do not realize that learning God’s Word is just the first step of God’s desire for us.  If we don’t have a Biblical foundation, we won’t get to the opportunities that God has for us. We want to keep learning. Yet we can fall into the trap of what Paul said about those in the last days.

You might remember the passage that “in the last times…people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud….always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim. 3:1,2,7 NKJ) Today, it seems many of God’s people are learning and want to learn more.  That’s fantastic! I then ask if people are sharing the gospel and discipling other people…and some are, but I’m not sure it is a very high percentage. The “knowledge of the truth” is understanding God’s Word, God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and doing what He desires – discipling others (Matt. 28:19-20).

Someone asked why I went over the vision again a month ago, when I spent five weeks going over it in January. I’m reminded of the story about the preacher who was asked why he kept preaching on John 3:16. He responded to the church leaders, “When I sense that the people not only know the passage, but are living it out in their lives by influencing others to the joy of what eternal life is, I’ll move on to the other passages.”  Friends, I walked through the Discipling Vision again in September to keep it before you. In some capacity, we need everyone to understand the principles, but also that they can disciple others and encourage others with that vision! It is Jesus’ calling on your life to disciple others!  He will provide everything you need.  All you have to do is prepare, be discipled and then invite others to follow you.  One of the best ways is through the environment of the home groups.

The home groups offer a safe environment where you can have a great time learning the truth and growing in a relationship with others.  However, they also are a great place where you can put into practice what you are learning by leading the prayer time, providing a place to host the home group and even facilitating the discussion.  All of that is designed to “get used to the water” with a good “life-preserver” and “lifeguard” present.  They are one of the best ways to watch, learn and practice how you can be a part of discipling others without the pressure of jumping in the “deep end” without support.

Consider Josh’s example and exhortation. I see a deep humility that he knows it is not about him.  He knows he must rely on others and just do the best he can as a dad and a disciple-maker.  And, he is doing it.  YOU can too.  Set your eyes humbly on Jesus, believing His goodness and will, and you will be filled with hope to take the next step spiritually to disciple others.  I love Paul’s exhortation to the Romans, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13 NKJ)  Join a home group this week!


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