American quarterback preparing to pass the ballWhen a quarterback drops back to pass, the one thing he doesn’t want to do is to throw an interception. Unfortunately, in the heat of the battle, what a quarterback wants and what happens to the pigskin may be two different things. The possibility of an interception shouldn’t keep him from throwing the ball, however. An experienced quarterback is quick and decisive. Of course, there’s always the risk of interception, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

A successful passer must constantly refine and perfect his skills while taking some risks. It takes practice and commitment to throw the pigskin into very tight spots and accuracy is essential. Great quarterbacks aren’t born; they’re made. Success comes from devotion, a great deal of hard work and the refinement of great mentors—coaches that help shape and mold these young men into valuable players.

So, it is with being a disciple. Jesus is perpetually perfecting us for the work of ministry. You and I, as disciples, are called to live like Jesus and make other disciples who can, in turn, live like Him and make other disciples. Discipleship is apprenticeship—the process of sharing, encouraging, modeling, teaching, listening, and serving.

Living like Christ and leading others comes from devotion to the Lord, time in His Word, time conversing with Him, and spending time with others. Like any skill, we become better with practice. Representing Christ is both simple and hard. It’s simple because we simply tell our story and let Christ shine through us. It’s hard because we and our sin can get in the way. We can become distracted by the things of the world that quench our fervor and choke our witness.

I love what Ken Carpenter, editor for Spirit of Revival magazine, has to say about discipleship: “Discipleship is a process. God’s desire is to etch into our lives the imprint of His Son, Jesus. He is responsible for the construction process of making us like Christ. But He needs yielded, available individuals willing to be shaped, molded, and carved by His hands.” And so, it is.
Speaking truth and leading others to a saving knowledge of Christ can feel risky, but the victory is so sweet! The daily practice of living a Christlike life will help keep us from having our intentions and actions thwarted by the evil one. Thankfully, God’s grace cuts through our own inadequacies. He just asks for a heart that is fully devoted to Him and willing to take the risk!

Scripture Reading: Luke 8:26–39

Personal Application

What strikes you most about verses 38-39 from the above passage? Let me challenge you with the following: Every day, when you rise, ask the Lord to help you represent Him well today through your life and words. Ask Him to lead you and give you opportunities to show His love to others.

Jim and Wendell signatures Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5