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Brian Gibson

Equipping for the Task

By | Day 01 | One Comment

Can you relate to any of these common experiences?

  • Discovering a great-sounding recipe only to find that it calls for some obscure (but deal breaking!) ingredient that you don’t have?
  • Planning to build something only to realize that there’s a necessary tool or piece of hardware you haven’t got on hand? (Though this can be a welcome reason to buy a newly discovered “essential” tool)
  • Being told, “Go make disciples” or, “Lead people to Jesus,” but sensing that you either haven’t seen that process done, or aren’t equipped to do it yourself, or maybe both.

Few things are more exhilarating than being used by God to draw people into His kingdom. Yet few things can be more disheartening than the sense of defeat that results from being recruited or assigned to a task you see yourself as completely unqualified or unequipped for.

My wife has reflected on the fact that so often, the big challenging things we look at and say, “Wow, that’s amazing; I could never do that!” are actually the cumulative result of a series of simple steps.

She does leatherworking and sews handbags, and I appreciated the connection here when she shared that it all starts with a pair of scissors or a rotary cutter. Then she begins by cutting some simple squares. That’s not so hard, right? All the exciting and complicated stuff seen in the final product comes from the simplest and humblest of origins. Then incremental development leads to a stunning final creation.

Sort of like just saying, “yes.”

Yes.
I’ll sign up for a 30-day Discipleship Challenge.

Yes.
I’ll invest some of my energy to make a list of 30 people to pray for and with.

Yes.
I’ll brainstorm a list of 25 people who are distant from the kingdom, and pray for them too.

Yes.
I’ll carve out a block of time in my day to connect with God and absorb His Word.

Yes.
I’ll engage in something a little uncommon and uncomfortable and go with a friend or two on regular prayer-walks.

Yes.
I’ll cut out the simple, basic squares, and ask the Lord to stitch them together into a stunning final creation.

What I love (and think you will too) about the 30-Day Discipleship Challenge, is that it arms you with incremental growth steps, steps that become cumulative. They add up! Not sure what it would even look like to “Go make disciples”? Don’t worry, it’s simply but thoroughly sketched. Not sure what tools or ingredients are required? Don’t worry, they’re sprinkled throughout, with Scriptures, videos, and insights.

These simple “cut squares,” become springboards for lives lived more ready for and responsive to our call to make disciples. And rather than a sense of defeat at being asked to do something you feel unequipped for, you may find yourself instead with a growing sense of confidence and expectancy:

Just what might God do today through my simple, consistent act of obedience?

Sign up here to start the 30-Day Disciple Challenge yourself:
http://moredisciples.com/signup/

From Brokenness to Blessing

By | Day 05 | One Comment

She was sitting alone on a rock with a faraway look in her eye. Children were playing not far from her, picking up and bringing her sticks, shiny rocks, colorful weeds and other treasures only children have eyes to spot.  We walked up to her, and just briefly she seemed startled out of her reverie as we greeted her calmly but warmly, introduced ourselves and asked how we could simply pray for her.

It was the simplest of interchanges. We’d barely exchanged our names, let alone begun to unpack each other’s stories. But it became clear this was someone God had put in our path, and He knew what He was doing as we took simple steps of obedience, imitating the Good Shepherd who intently seeks out lost sheep far from the fold. This young mother’s story of brokenness would not be what carried the day as we struck up a friendship with her and prayed God’s blessing and mercy over her.

What most deeply impacted both her and us was her total and immediate confidence that God Himself had sent us to her to encourage her and strengthen her to stay on a path, for her own sake and the sake of her children, a path that had moved her from the East coast to the Midwest to escape a life of addiction. She shared with us her number, shared very specific ways to pray for her, and had the children come meet us, telling them God had sent us to pray for the family.

Maybe not every prayerwalk holds such immediate and meaningful interactions. But why not ask for them, seek them and anticipate them? We are, after all, sent out by the very One who knows the number of hairs on each head, the needs and hurts of each heart, and who rejoices and celebrates in each lost sheep, each son and daughter found and brought home.

– – – – – – –

Scriptures that come to mind:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? … Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'” Luke 15:4, 6

“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:26-27