Day 13: God’s transforming presence – offering Christ to a hurting world

40Days_Logo_day13John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

John 14:12 
I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father.

In John’s gospel the “greater things” are rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ, “the Word become flesh…full of grace and truth.” We are created to “do the works” that Jesus did—preaching, teaching and healing—calling men and women to become disciples who make disciples. There is nothing more important, nothing more central, and nothing more urgent.

45% of the UM churches have not made a disciple in years. According the major study conducted before the 2012 General Conference, only 15% of our congregations are “vital.”

Jesus made disciples. We will never do thus until we repent of our disobedience and change. The first step to transformation is repentance.

Secondly, we are called to believe the gospel. In Jewish and Wesleyan teaching, belief is never separated from behavior. If we believe, we act in obedience. If we are not obedient and active, we do not believe.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit that was in Jesus and is now poured out on all who ask and seek and knock. This Spirit is the reason that we are able to do greater things. The third essential is to receive the Holy Spirit.

Our response is joyful, intentional obedience. This is Christian maturity.

Prayer: Forgiving God, I repent of my failure to make disciples. I am called to this. I believe there is nothing more important. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and empower me for joyful obedience.

The Rev. Dr. Tom Albin
Dean of The Upper Room Ministries & Ecumenical Relations GBOD | The United Methodist Church

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Use a program on your computer, a traditional journal, or feel free to use the comment section of this blog post to record your reflections as a conversation with others…
READ – What spoke to me as I read today’s meditation?
REPENT – Where is God showing me that I have failed to be obedient to the call to discipleship today?
RECEIVE – What words of redemption and grace is God offering to me?
REMEMBER – Who and what is God calling me to remember in prayer related to today’s reading?
RESPOND – How is God calling me to respond today?

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6 Comments on “Day 13: God’s transforming presence – offering Christ to a hurting world”

  1. Daryl Byford says:

    I am reminded that as a church member I also am Jesus’ disciple. I pray that as I teach and attend my church that I am an example for others to follow. I do fall short of this lofty goal so I also pray for forgiveness.

  2. As I prepare for a mission trip to Recife, Brazil where we will minister to children caught in sex trafficking, to “street people” (inculding prostitutes/transvestites/poor) and represent Jesus to all we meet, I am reminded that I don’t need to, no – make that SHOULD NOT wait for that trip to make disciples. Since we don’t know what tomorrow brings, I pray that God would lead me to the one today that needs to know God’s love for them.

  3. Randy Neal says:

    At Dorton UMC (Cookeville Dist.) yesterday, “Moses,” an evangelist and church planter from India, shared with the congregation, “partial obedience is disobedience, delayed obedience is disobedience, and although we obey but hate to obey, well, that too is disobedience.”

    I can’t say Amen, so I say Ouch!

    Lord, I have failed in this area. Please help me share Christ with many people today and begin a journey of discipleship with them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  4. Perhaps I have not had a greater nor more consistent sin in my life than the “round-toit.”

    How many times do we know what God would have us do to becoming a more mature Christian or to help lead someone into relationship with Christ; only to respond with good intentions, “Lord, I will get around-toit.”?

    Reminds me of something about, “Good intentions” and “paving roads…”

    Lord, forgive me for ever offering you a round-toit. Help me to be your disciple in each moment of my life. Amen