DOING LIFE WITH is a “field guide” for becoming a disciple who disciples. Punctuated with personal stories from the author’s own discipleship journey, this book casts a vision for—and offers the tools for—transforming the world with the decidedly low-tech approach of personal, ongoing relationship. The example that Jesus gave us. Here you’ll find the fundamentals of faith and practice to confidently lay a spiritual foundation in another person’s soul that will last for a lifetime. Solidly anchored in the scriptures, Doing Life With is a message, a mentorship, and a map. We have more than enough evangelism programs out there; it’s time to get back to basics with more life-on-life mentoring. Come join the movement!
Imagine something with me for a moment. We are sitting in with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and watching them experience community together. Observing how they relate to one another…how they talk, serve, and simply are with each other. Mind-boggling thought, isn’t it?
Love has its origin right there in the heart of God. And it is love that finds joy in blessing another. We can only dream about the exquisite fellowship experienced within the Trinity as they continually express love, affection, and delight in one another. It is truly who they are.
So it should come as no surprise then that the Lord draws Abraham to Himself and shares what’s on His heart—Father to son—“I will bless you, and make your name great.” Wow, what an offer! But then watch what happens next: “…and so you shall be a blessing.” Can you see God inviting Abraham to share the Godhead love-experience so that he too might become a source of blessing to all the families of the earth? (Genesis 12:2-3) Blessing is what love does.
Every human parent gets this at an intuitive level (except when their humanity has been damaged by the absence of love). We love our children. We want extraordinary amounts of good in their lives. In short, we want to bless them. Our parental love shows itself in wanting to nurture and protect, to see them grow and prosper, and ultimately for them to enter into and extend these blessings to others.
As a parent I want my three children to have the best relationships, the best marriages, healthy bodies, excellent character, and meaningful jobs so that they can benefit others. I want my children to become who they really are and fulfill the design for which they were created. We all want our kids to experience the full measure of blessing in their lives.
So look again at Abraham’s invitation to blessing. Suppose we recast this man as the disciple of The One Who Comes to Bless. It’s a different way to look at both Abraham and God, but I think it fits. God calls Abraham out, dumps unexpected blessing on his life, and then challenges him to become a blessing to others.
Now think about Jesus. He came to release captives, recover sight, set the oppressed free, and bring favor (Luke 4:18-19). Sounds like blessing, doesn’t it? I like to think of it as redemption reframed. The Father sent the Son to remove curses and bring people into His goodness. He wants the absolute best for every person! Including you.
No story represents this truth better than Jesus’ famous description of the Father looking for the return of his “prodigal son.” He is patiently, longingly waiting for the return of a child broken by sin and shame. When he catches a glimpse of his bedraggled boy trudging along the road in disgrace, He races to meet him, arms outstretched, falling on his neck with tears and kisses and shouts of joy! The effusiveness of the Father’s welcome catches me off guard. Even after many readings, it still gets me.
Above all things, the desire to bless is manifest in a desire to be with! A yearning for togetherness and deep-hearted fellowship. No wonder then that God comes as Emmanuel—the “God with.” He Himself comes to be with us in an unprecedented display of passion and humility. He chooses to walk with us through every step and bend of life.
Mark described Jesus’ call of the early disciples this way: “He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him” (Mark 3:14). And years later, even as He was leaving them He promised, “Surely I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). The incarnation was the Father’s ultimate blessing for His children, and it was this “with-ness” that profoundly marked the disciples. The religious leaders that persecuted the early church “recognized them as having been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). It is His being with us that marks us forever.
Why are we talking about love and blessing and God being with us? Because we really can’t (or shouldn’t) understand Jesus’ commission to disciple others outside of this context. There are lots of potential motivations for making disciples, some better and some less good, but I have yet to find a better reason than to bless others and equip them to extend that blessing even further. As I see it, this is the big story of redemption history…and our place in it.
For this reason I think of disciple-making as helping others to indulge in the rich, free blessings that come from following the One that our Father sent. He would not rest until He found us, restored us, and joined Himself to us. Amazingly Jesus called us “brothers” (Hebrews 2:11). Why? Because we all have the same Father!
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