During the 2016 elections I was in Israel. I remember sitting in the cafeteria of the Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem. The staff was putting on a parody of the elections–some dressed as Clinton, some as Trump–bantering back and forth with Trump clearly the butt of most of the jokes. To be honest, I was insulted but let the whole thing slide as I headed toward my bed.
On the way the Lord spoke to me saying that if Trump wins, He (God) was giving us (the church) a reprieve. He was giving us a limited time to get out there and make disciples, to advance His Kingdom. But we are failing.
How do I know this?
In my own life, as the previous post shows, things went haywire, and the enemy took me down a path God never intended for me to walk. It was a path of ‘me-first’ and God’s Kingdom advance second.
What was this ‘me-first’? Tending to my grandson who moved in with me and working three jobs to get out of debt and improve my credit–none of which happened. Why? Because I was so busy working that all those silly little things like paying bills on time, not spending money frivolously, and making meals at home instead of eating out was gone.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was supposed to tend to my grandson, but not at the expense of the Kingdom.
This all became clear when I attended a church I’d left a few years ago. The Sunday I returned was the first in their building campaign. They are expanding their building to the tune of six million dollars. At the same time, they are looking to raise one million dollars for outreach while maintaining their nine million-dollar two-year budget.
As I sat uncomfortable in my seat, I wrote:
$16 million dollars Lord? Really?!
15 million for buildings, 1 million for others – seems out of whack.
And THAT’S what’s wrong with my life–it’s all about my house not yours Father. Show me please how to turn it around.
It struck me that I was guilty of the very same thing. I was so consumed with my own house and my own situation that all thoughts of the Kingdom advancement and my call to make disciples flew right out of my head.
I’ve mentioned before the parable of the seed, and how I use it as a litmus to tell me where my heart is with the Lord. Well, here I was one of those who let the cares and concerns of the world choke out the Word.
As believers we’ve done the same thing with our country. God gave us time–not to defend Donald Trump, not to argue politics–but to make disciples.
A friend shared an article by Mario Murillo on Facebook. After reading it I thought, “Time’s up, and we failed. We failed to make disciples.”
What does it mean to be a disciple? Does it mean to go to church once or twice a week? To give 10%? To volunteer for church services? No. It means to learn at the feet of our Master then to live life as He would. (Darren Huckey of Emet HaTorah does an excellent job of discussing a disciple in his book, “The Four Responsibilities of a Disciple”.)
What was Yeshua’s main mission?
He said it Himself, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” If we could get that one point across to our fellow believers, would they ever be able to vote for candidates who support abortion, no matter how many promises were made for a better life for themselves?
I’m not saying that Republican candidates are God or even godly. I am saying we had an opportunity to help others realize that, out of all God’s teachings, He wants us to understand that life is more important than anything.
I recently spoke with someone I love and admire who is a Christian and a Democrat. I asked her how she could vote for someone who doesn’t share her values for life? She said that while she doesn’t believe in a lot that the Democratic party is pushing; she feels she should live and let live. That she shouldn’t judge. “I guess you would call me a Liberal.” Those words stung. I didn’t argue because I really wanted to understand how a Christian could vote against their own beliefs.
All this speaks to our core values as a country. But more importantly it is evidence of our failure to make disciples.
Time is running out. It’s not about elections, though elections show where our country stands on life. It’s not about getting people saved or making converts. It is all about making disciples–teaching Yeshua’s words and helping each other to walk out those words.
We are, after all, our brother’s keeper.
“Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak to warn the wicked of his wicked way, to save his life, that wicked person will die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood from your hand. Yet you, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul. When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and acts perversely, I will lay a stumbling block before him and he will die. Because you have not warned him, he will die in his sin. His righteous deeds that he has done will not be remembered—but I will require his blood at your hand. If you warn the righteous person not to sin and the righteous person does not sin, he will surely live, because he took warning. You will have delivered your soul.” Ezekiel 3:17-21
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught doing something wrong, you who are directed by the Ruach, restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness—looking closely at yourself so you are not tempted also. Galatians 6:1
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;” John 8:31
Thank you for your reminder that that is our job – to make disciples. Praying you are well!
All good here, Vivian. Give my love to the family.
This hits home for me in a personal way because I have a family member with Down Syndrome. As you may already know, a high number of prenatal diagnoses for that condition result in abortion. My struggle is more with certain churches that teach that sickness and disabilities aren’t in God’s will, or blame them on lack of faith. I even left the Assembly of God church I was attending for several years over that issue.
It really is sad how believers look at sickness and disease. We forget, as my rabbi often says, “sin gets on stuff.” When we insist that sin or lack of faith is the cause, we are in agreement with the Sadducees who did not believe in resurrection, but that punishment and reward happens in this life.
Thank you so much for sharing, Nicoletta.