Dear church,

What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? Well, it means we do much of what the first disciples did. We follow Jesus. We go where he goes, and we do what he does. We listen closely to his teaching, and we strive to do what he tells us to do.

That is discipleship, in a nutshell.

“For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.”

I can’t help but wonder whether the “useful crop” envisioned here has something to do with discipleship. I can’t help but wonder whether the “rain God” has sent – in the form of Jesus Christ and his grace – is intended to bring about lives of discipleship among the children of God.

It seems that’s what God is looking for – people who are continually striving, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to be more and more like Jesus. That’s the result, the useful crop.

This is important because people may become satisfied with the thought of simply giving intellectual assent to the idea of Jesus Christ. These people want to save their skin, and they know that if they say they believe in Jesus, their skin will be saved.

I’m not sure that’s the useful crop God is looking for. I think he’s looking for people who in some miraculous way are seeking to know Him.

Maybe that’s a question for your day. If you’ve drunk deep of the “rain” of God, what has been your response to this point in your life? Perhaps the place to start is to consider the measure of gratitude you have toward God right now. And then think about discipleship. Are you following Him closely?

Chris

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