“You ever wonder why some Christians mature in their faith,” Stan asked one morning, “while others don’t?”
“I’m not sure,” I responded. “I suppose it might have something to do with discipleship. What do you think?”
“What I think,” Stan said, “is that your supposition is correct except that it’s more than ‘might.’ I think it has everything to do with discipleship Actually, with the lack of discipleship.”
“Yeah,” Stan replied. “Coming to faith is, of course, a fabulous thing, but it’s only the beginning.”
“Beginning of what?”
“Being a Christian.” Stan said. “Seems to me that becoming a Christian is really no different than becoming a human being. When we are born, that’s the beginning of a life of growing. Same thing when we are born again as a Christian. That’s the beginning of a new life that’s to consist of continual growth.”
“For how long?”
“Until our time here is completed,” Stan replied. “Until we get on the train.”
“So,” I said, “it’s supposed to be a train full of disciples. Is that it?”
“Well,” Stan said, “it seems to me that’s what God would like most, that every Christian would be a disciple, but that’s not the way it is. The train will be full of Christians and some of them will be disciples.”
“Some, but not all? Why?”
“That question takes us right back to the beginning,” Stan said with a smile. “Not all because too many are stuck on conversion, they haven’t done anything with their Christianity. They haven’t moved beyond conversion.”
“Moved on beyond conversion,” I repeated. “You mean like they haven’t moved on to transformation? If that’s what you mean, that seems like a huge subject.”
“Huge indeed,” Stan said. “‘Huge’ as in a whole lifetime of pursuing discipleship.”
“If it’s to be a whole lifetime for every Christian,” I commented, “it looks like there might be a lot of people who probably should get a move on!”
“‘Looks like’ and ‘probably’?” Stan replied. “I think it’s more certain than that!”
Bible verses to consider:
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, that you want me to be a Christian on this side of eternity before then. I confess that too often I do not surrender all of me to what you have for me, I do not take up what you have for me to take up, and I do not follow as you intend. I do that because I choose to not be a daily disciple. Please forgive that foolishness. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead in working out the salvation that you have worked in through the cross of Christ so you can and will make a difference in and through me for you and your kingdom. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious gift of life with Him eternally when your time here is completed? If no, why? What’s in the way? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with working out the salvation that was worked in by the cross? If you sense you are too often “stuck on conversion” and there is a need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?