So I had such success with my word of the year last year that I had to choose one for this year. I started in December waiting for a song to clue me in –nothing….crickets… Nothing inspired me, nothing came to me. I tried to find my word by reading the Bible, looking on Pinterest, Etsy, Googling….searching and searching. NOTHING – no – that is not my word. I began to think that Patience may be my word but I still wasn’t sure. I would write down words that seemed to spark something inside me but I couldn’t find the perfect word. Oh no – it was mid-January –and I still did not have my word. Our athletes of our nonprofit ministry was going to each choose our word of the year and discuss at a meeting and I didn’t have mine. Wait – I was in charge of the meeting and I had nothing to share, nothing to inspire. I kept feeling that my word had something to do with the person in front of me. No – not a specific person but to focus on the person I was with; when I was with them. Well – so what word describes that? I prayed even more and decided that God would give to me if I TRUST (my word last year) him. I sat in the quiet and listened.
My word came – it was DISCIPLE. Again – not a word that I would necessarily have chosen on my own but this was my word for the year. I liked this word – it is a noun – DISCIPLE. It can mean – a follower of Jesus; the chosen ones, Jesus’ inner circle – how cool is that? Yes -that is my word!
Oh – it is a verb too – it is an action word – it can mean to teach or train others to be disciples. Oh that means I am committing to disciple to others and help them become disciples. I am not sure about this now.
I quickly turned in my Bible to the Great Commission from Jesus. I knew it was about disciples.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
It seems pretty clear to me that Jesus wants us to reach people all over the world. He wants us to share his love and that he died on the cross, and they should be baptized in his name. We should teach them to use their story, share their talents and follow the Bible which says they need to go. This is where I see my calling this year – I want to help others determine how to serve, what their talents are and how to share the gospel. I am praying for the right way to share and encourage others to serve God – not just go to church but to have a real relationship and a real servant heart. Some people want to do those things but they just need a little coaching. That is where I feel God is leading me.
So funny thing – I got my confirmation of my word DISCIPLE the very same week at church. Our pastors announced that the word for the year at church is “Discipleshift”. We are going to focus on this very thing! I love when God winks at me and I can feel him saying – I have a plan for you… I also heard the word DISCIPLE and read it several times and every time I got that feeling of confirmation! (Still haven’t heard a song with it in it like last year…)
I sometimes feel that I think too much of myself – why would God choose me to minister and disciple others? This is where I get confused – why me? But then I think – why not me? I can share through my blog, I can work in our nonprofit ministry with the teens, I can serve in our kid’s ministry, I can lead small groups and I can be an example. I can find lots of excuses not to disciple, but I am not going to this time – I am committed to follow Jesus. I am excited! You know I looked at the background of the first twelve disciples and they were nothing extra special – just plain ordinary folks. Fishermen, tax collectors, tradesmen; they were doubters, liars, followers – and they did amazing things for Jesus! I want to do that too! I searched more in the Bible about how to become a Disciple and found these tips in Matthew and even in Psalms.
Matthew 16:24-26 The Message (MSG)
24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
Psalms 34:19 The Message (MSG)
Disciples so often get into trouble;
still, God is there every time.
So I am focused on my word for the year – DISCIPLE and I intend to live it through my personal, spiritual, physical, mental and family life. My goal is to help others become disciples too – I would love to help anyone that needs support and help in finding their gift to serve God.
Let’s go make disciples!