Discipleship, Let’s Face It! ™

I’m not sure if anyone has coined this phrase before, so I’m going to…

“Discipleship,

Let’s

Face it!”

Gospel Incarnated Discipleship Needs Face Time!  And no, I’m not talking about the videotelephony software application and related protocol developed by Apple Inc.  That “FaceTime” name was purchased by Apple.  “Face time” however, is an English idiom for direct personal interaction or contact between two or more people at the same time and physical location. (Wikipedia) It’s hard to esteem others higher than yourselves (Philippians 2:3) when you’re not looking them in the eye. Especially when all you ever see of others is the back of their heads in a church.  It’s hard to Be devoted to one another in brotherly love and to honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10) when you’re not engaged WITH people. You’ve got to get out in the thick of it, even if it costs your life.  Jesus, in his “high priestly prayer” said, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)  Just before Stephen was killed by the Religiously Right, Luke explains that, “all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” (Acts 6:15)

I can remember my years in Lutheran church as a youngster. Every weekend, without fail, the pastor would close the service with the following benediction:

May the Lord bless you, and keep you;
May the Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
May He lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”

It comes from Numbers 6:22-27 and is known as the “Aaronic Blessing.” God instructed Moses to instruct Aaron, as a high priest to bless the people in that fashion. Today, all believers are priests (1 Peter 2:5-9) We carry the blessing as we go and are going* (Matthew 28:19,20) We who are strong bear the failings of the weak (Romans 15:2). We do it for their good and not our own (Romans 15:2). It is God who gives us endurance, encouragement and a spirit of unity as we follow Christ [Discipleship] (Romans 15:5). As priests we come bringing the full measure of the blessing of Christ (Romans 15:29) We become the benediction. We incarnate the face of Jesus, the hands of Jesus, and the feet of Jesus. We expose Jesus and his Exposé [The Gospel].**  Anonymity is ineffective in true discipleship.  Anonymous may be good at hacking, but not necessarily so at Making Disciples. We have to see their hurts, fears, doubts, and hunger, and let others see ours.

The phrase “Be the Church,” is popular, and in fact, a good phrase. Unfortunately, it’s gone the way of so many other sound bites.  So, I’ll coin another phrase, “Be the Benediction.” ™ I believe that one’s original too.

Susan Ashton, A contemporary Christian music artist, had a song on her “Wakened by the Wind” album entitled “Benediction.”  Here’s the chorus:

I’m following a voice in faithful pursuit
I’m searching my soul to do what I’m called to do
I need Your benediction, where’s Your benediction
I’m battling the odds through faces of doubt
And it would mean so much if You could send me out
With Your benediction, I need Your benediction.

 

So, go on, “Face Discipleship” & “Be the Benediction.” 

 

Download the “Discipleship, Let’s Face It!” Facebook Cover Photo HERE

One of the ways we, at Pathways International, put a face on discipleship is through our Christmas Basket Project.  You can find out more about that by visiting: http://wp.me/p1JPJU-1ay

 

* Any translation which suggests that “Go” in the Great Commission is “as you go,” is incorrect and incomplete.  I personally translate “go” in Matthew 28:19,20 in this way “go and as you are going.”

** Eposé - the act or an instance of bringing a scandal, crime, etc., to public notice

 

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    1. May the Lord bless you, and keep you;
      May the Lord make His face shine on you,
      And be gracious to you;
      May He lift up His countenance upon you,
      And give you peace.”


    2. Actually, Miguel, those are “Service Marks”, not Trademarks. The appropriate designation is SM, rather than TM. Trademarks only apply to goods and tangible products. Service marks, however, are for intangibles.

      (Where can I send you my bill for this legal advice?) :-)


      • Thanks for the advice!

        You can forward your bill to:

        Heavenly Kingdom
        Mansion in Reserve
        Miguel Labrador

        What about The © symbol? I was going to use that originally…


    3. You are quite right in this. In Jesus earthly ministry, would anyone have been considered his disciple if they were not “with him”? When he taught them, did he not ask them questions? Did he not listen to their answers? It is not only face time that is needed for discipleship, but two way communication, so that one cannot disciple hundreds and one cannot disciple those who only see and hear that person while he cannot see and hear them.

      It is a point of great aggrevation to me to watch believers attend church, attend small prayer groups, have lots of believers in their lives, but who do not hold themselves accountable to anyone for the way they live their lives. They don’t pay debts, and they ignore what is due to others. It seems that because they “are blessed” somehow their responsiblity to others is hidden under their experience with heaven. Some don’t even stay married because their relationship with that person who is not perfectly aligned with the Holy Spirit might hinder their spiritual experience. Ahhh, don’t get me started.

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