In the last two Facts we then discussed two questions: (1) What quality of disciple/laborers did Paul and his team produce and (2) What does it take to produce Pauls caliber of disciple/laborers?
Earlier in this series I questioned whether this generation was up to the task of producing quality disciple/laborers. When I expressed my doubts, I had just come across an article by Charles A. Donovan, The Car-wreck Generation. An excerpt:
Too many of us [The Boomer Generation] did not inherit the Great Generations greatest virtue: an ability to sacrifice. Instead we embraced instant gratification and self infatuation. We arrogantly thought we had invented sex, when all did was invent new ways to trivialize it. We mistook wants for needs, borrowed too much, saved too little. In the process we helped our proud and productive nation recast itself as a consumption-dependent economy. Ours became the Age of Appetites. 1
The simple truth is that to win the lost and effectively produce true men and women of God we will have to crucify our life of incessant self-gratification, self-fulfillment, self-promotion, and self absorption. In a word, our me-centered brand of pop khristianity just will not cut it. True discipleship means possessing at our core the very mind of Christ (See Phil. 2:3-8; 2 Cor. 10:5). Said Jesus, If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, carry his cross every day and keep close behind. For the man who wants to save his life will lose it, but the man who loses his life for my sake will save it (Lk. 9:23, 24 Phil. Translation).
Even Paul found self-sacrificing laborers in short supply: I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visitI have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:19b-21). (See Ezek. 22:30)
SUGGESTION: Prayerfully ponder your way through the bullet points under Question # 2 of the May 8, 2013 Facts: What does it take to produce Pauls caliber of disciple/laborers? Ask God to speak to your heart as to where you are in this ministry of winning the lost and discipling the saved. Is there a specific change you need to make in your life at this time if you are dead serious about being a true laborer for God?
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill
1 Opposing view on generations: The car–wreck generation – USATODAY.com Nov 18, 2010- Charles A. DonovanViews: 17