“Christ’s Plan for Us”
Loving Jesus enough to radically follow and obey him leads to radical new priorities in our lives, including making disciples (Devotional Day 3) and giving sacrificially to the poor (Devotional Day 4).
First, picture Jesus in the upper room as he prepares to go to the cross. Praying to the Father, he begins, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4).
What is shocking is that when Jesus summarizes his work on earth, he doesn’t start reliving all the great sermons he preached and all the people who came to listen to him. He doesn’t talk about the amazing miracles he performed—giving sight to the blind, enabling the lame to walk, feeding thousands of people with minimal food, bringing the dead back to life. Instead he talks repeatedly about the small group of men God had given him out of the world.
At the end of the Son of God’s time on earth, he was staking everything on his relationships with twelve men. In the middle of his prayer, he even mentioned that one of them (Judas) was lost. So now we are down to eleven. Those eleven guys were the small group responsible for carrying on everything Jesus had begun.
One of his final moments with them is captured in Matthew 28. The eleven gathered around him, and Jesus said, “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.”
That was Jesus’ plan for them.
And for us.
If we were left to ourselves with the task of taking the gospel to the world, we would probably begin planning innovative strategies and plotting elaborate schemes. We would organize conventions, develop programs, and create foundations. We would get the biggest names to draw the biggest crowds to the biggest events.
The plan of Christ, in contrast, is not dependent on having the right programs or hiring the right professionals but on being the right people—a community of people who realize that we are all enabled and equipped to carry out the purpose of God for our lives: making disciples.
Whose life can you build into, nudging him or her nearer to Jesus, this very day?