The following is a part of our weekly devotional series, which is a companion to the 2013 Foursquare Life Journal. This week’s Bible reading comes from Job 9-18; Ps. 114; and Acts 13-28.
This devotional is about discipleship. Specifically, it’s about how we are called to disciple others. We know God has called us to disciple, based on Matt. 28:19, which says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (NKJV). But have you ever considered that the greatest disciple-making tool is the light you shine?
In Acts 13:47, the words of Isa. 49:6 were restated as Paul and Barnabas talked to the people of Antioch. The religious leaders were upset that the light Paul and Barnabas exuded attracted “almost the whole city” (Acts 13:44). Scripture says: “But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul (v. 45).
Clearly, we are not supposed to act as the Jews did. They were exposed to the light of truth that Paul and Barnabas brought, and this exposure illuminated something in their lives that they could either deal with or ignore. Unfortunately, they chose to ignore what was exposed, and they “raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region” (v. 50).
Like Paul and Barnabas, our call to make disciples includes bringing the light of truth to others. We are called to be the light that has the privilege to “be for salvation to the ends of the earth” (v. 47).
Being a light can be described as being a person who emits God’s truth and knowledge. Being a light exposes the darkness around us. Consider for a minute, however, that when we are light, we expose the areas in our own lives that have hidden darkness. How can we expect to shine the light that leads others to true discipleship when our own lives fail to reflect the light of God’s desires?
I heard an analogy recently. I was told to imagine a half-functioning body; unfortunately, that wasn’t hard for me to do. Years ago, my grandfather had a stroke and half of his body no longer functioned as it should. When half of a body doesn’t work, it obviously strains the rest of the body. The working half must do more work to compensate for the half that doesn’t.
But that wasn’t the point of the story. The point was that when half of one’s body is given to sin, envy, contradictions, blasphemy, extra-marital affairs, sexual perversion, pornography, greed and all the other issues we currently deal with (even as religious leaders), those looking on see a dysfunctional and dismal existence that no one desires to emulate.
We cannot attempt to disciple others by saying, “Look at me, I am created in the image of God,” or, “Listen to the light I am glowing with,” when we are living our lives with only portions of our bodies functioning properly.
God has set you as a light so that you can “be for salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47). Please consider your life the best tool to lead others toward discipleship. Allow the light of God’s truth to purify you! Love your spouse, take care of your family, spend time with God and do everything as unto the Lord. This is true discipleship and the best way to engage in discipling others.
By: Aaron Bull, senior pastor of Westminster Foursquare Church in Westminster, Calif.
Download the yearlong reading plan (PDF, 80 KB), or sign up for the full, online version of the Life Journal. To purchase a Life Journal for your own use, or to place a bulk order for church-wide use, visit FoursquareJournal.com. Learn more about Foursquare’s 2013 Life Journal project.