“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations… and I will be with you, always, even to the end of the age” Matthew 28:19a-20b
These last recorded statements of Jesus make it plain and obvious what God’s agenda is for the church is until Christ returns. An abiding dude’s due diligence is to be directly involved in the work of making disciples. God’s agenda is establishing His Kingdom and glory in the universe, and the church exists in a pivotal era in history in making that a reality. There’s no doubt that God can do it alone, but He refuses to. He is a proud Dad who’s more than glad to put His tools in the wobbly hands of His children. The divine maker makes His children into makers as well. We help to build the walls in His Kingdom, which are not made up of the crude elements of earth, but of people. 2 Peter 2:5 says that we are “… like living stones, being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
“through Jesus Christ…”
Herein lines the person and work of a dude’s abiding – Jesus Christ. Without Him we can do nothing, but with Him, we can do all things (Phil 4:13). Jesus’ last words to His disciples before He ascended to the Father were Caribbean clear – “Go…and make disciples.” Dude’s do well to respond to Jesus’ command in making disciples for no other reason than obedience to His wishes, but there are practical benefits for discipleship as well. Making a disciple (a learner of Jesus) is rewarding for all involved in the process. A dude focused on discipleship takes responsibility in raising up others to “the full stature of the mature man in Christ” (Eph 4:13). The expansion of the Kingdom of God will not happen without mature dudes putting a shoulder to the ore of the discipleship and bending at it.
My family and I were back home in Indiana for Christmas one year and had gone to the mall for lunch the day after Christmas. In all, we were 5 adults and 4 children, including my mom, dad, sis, the Mrs. the children, and I. Like most other dudes with children I had a three year old that was prone to wander. There wasn’t a designated person to watch him, but everyone had ONE eye on him. He managed to sneak away in the food court while we were in line for some coffee at Starbucks. My heart took off for the races when I heard my dad say, “Where’s Caloway?” I’d heard enough Amber alerts go off for me to not have allowed the wild dogs of fear to drive me to a hyper-focus in searching for him.
There he was on the stalled merry go round in need of another quarter. The center beam was wide enough to hide his thin 3 year old frame. I’d never considered a leash until that point. His mother then decided to watch him like a hawk with his sticky little hand glued to hers under much protest. I fought the “What-ifs” for a few hours that night before resigning myself to sleep. I couldn’t help but think that this was parallel to bringing someone up in the faith. Most people fall through the cracks in the floors of our churches because many have one eye on them, but no one has two. It’s been said that “Everyone’s job is no one’s job.”
Who was it that had, or has, two eyes on your growth? You may have never had that someone in your life but God is stirring your heart to bring them into your life right now. Jesus told the people, gathered to hear Him at his famous Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt 5:6). Jesus’ brother James said something similar to this by saying, “If a man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally” (James 1:5).
I can’t think of one prayer of mine that God has answered instantly for money, but I can give you a dozen examples of how God has answered almost immediately my requests for wisdom and righteousness. If you need discipled, ask the Lord to send you someone to help you from where you are to where you’re going. If you’d like to disciple someone, do the same, and He will send someone to you when you’re ready.
One of the secrets of a dude’s abiding is helping someone to find their own. That, my friends, is one of the manliest things that could ever be done.