I can relate to Jeremiah.
He writes, “Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’
Then I said, ‘Ah, LORD GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.’
But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am only a youth”; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD’” (Jer. 1:4-8 ESV).
Last semester, I learned a Hebrew prayer known as the Shema.
Jews view the Shema in a similar way that Christians view the Lord’s Prayer. But there’s certainly a difference. Devout Jews actually recite the Shema twice a day. You may be wondering where this prayer comes from. It’s actually in your Bible!
Moses says, “‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might’” (Deut. 6:4-5 ESV).
I can actually recite those two verses in Hebrew. The Jews recite more than two verses, but those two verses are the essence of the Shema.
It caught me off guard. I was on my way to school. Jamming to some rap. Feeling pretty good. When all of a sudden, a warning came across my dashboard: “Warning, engine overheated.”
I glanced at the temperature gauge, only to find the dial resting on red. Needless to say, I was freaking out. I stopped my engine as soon as I could. Hello, State Route 733. The outskirts of Pomeroy.
My Meigs County readers know two things about 733: there’s nowhere to pull off, and the cell phone service is terrible.
After letting my engine cool for a couple of minutes, I made it to Taz’s gas station. I finally reached my dad on the phone. He said, “Pop the hood. Check the antifreeze.”
Last week, I wrote about the origin of discipleship. It’s called salvation. My prayer is for everyone to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But I know that’s not the case, so here’s part two of “Discipleship.”
Turns out, I’m not the only one who desires you to be saved. The Bible says God “… desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4 ESV).
What’s holding you back?
Maybe it’s a voice deep down inside of you that says, “You’re not good enough. You carry on too much. You sneak around too much. You cheat. Lie. Cuss. You’re just not Christian material.” Bull crap. That’s exactly what Satan wants you to think. Here’s the truth: Jesus chooses the unlikely. Let me show you.
This week marks the beginning of a series on discipleship. Why? Because this word holds significant importance. I believe it’s my word for 2019. I’m longing for closer intimacy with Jesus. I’m longing for genuine relationships with other people. My prayer for 2019 is to focus on discipleship instead of merely being known or helpful. I challenge you to join me on this journey. Truth is, Jesus calls us to be His disciples.
What does “discipleship” mean? John Piper says, “It can mean my discipleship, in the sense of my own pattern of following Jesus and trusting him and learning from him… . Or it can mean my activity of helping others be disciples in that sense of learning from him, growing in him.”