Lately, I have been reflecting on how God has used people in different times in my life to help me grow. There have been times in my life that I have had struggles not knowing how I was going to get through. Then there were times where I hurt others and now, I reflect on those times and pray for those I hurt.
Whenever I start having these thoughts, I start praying and asking why are they coming up? This is not who I am any more. I beg that they would be removed and also that whoever it is, would come to know Jesus and that I didn’t cause too much damage.
What came to mind during a more recent reflection is how God has used people in my life at different times, even during the times I used others. It made me start to think of how we need to invest in others. Isn’t that what He meant when Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19 (ESV)?
To understand why I asked that, we have to look at the word disciple. Disciple, as defined by Miriam Webster’s Dictionary, is:
1: one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: such asa Christianity : one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ’s followers according to the Gospel accountsb : a convinced adherent of a school or individual <a disciple of Freud>
2capitalized, Christianity : a member of the Disciples of Christ founded in the U.S. in 1809 that holds the Bible alone to be the rule of faith and practice, usually baptizes by immersion, and has a congregational polity
What that means to us is that we are going to be “invested” into someone’s life. Sometimes that “investment” is something that is quick or it is something that is long term. We have to figure out how much and how long we are going to be invested.
Investments make a difference in people’s lives. We know that financial investments help gain more money, if done wisely. There are different types of other investments that make impacts. In the idea of Christianity, it is something that helps a person to grow in Christ. It also means that there are times that we give something to help a person.
One example: I shared an apartment with someone who turned out to be using crack. I was assaulted by one of his friends. I could not afford to come up with the deposit for rent. My bosses at that time worked together and loaned me the money so I could move into my own apartment. I signed an agreement for the money to be taken out of my check until it was payed back. They also worked together to provide furniture for me at an affordable price that I was able to make payments on. What this did is instill confidence, a sense of safety and self worth. I also worked harder for them because they believed in me.
If we did similar stuff for people that we are trying to minister too, if we did something similar for those who we are discipling, how much of an impact could we make for the Kingdom?
Until Next Time:
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NKJV):
The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”
4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”