Appointed To Bear Fruit: A 90 Day Journey

Day 1 of 90 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Make Disciples


If today was the last day of your life, what would you do with your final moments? Would you spend the day cooking and eating your favorite food? That doesn’t seem too important since even after His resurrection Jesus still enjoyed a meal of grilled fish. Perhaps you would visit your favorite place one last time? That doesn’t seem to be a good use of your time either since after His resurrection Jesus traveled to Galilee, a beautiful and refreshing place. We will have all of eternity to enjoy God’s creation after He makes it new. 


What task is so important that, with your final breath, you want to make sure it is completed and passed on to someone else? Maybe you think, “I want to share the gospel with my mother and father so that they will be saved, because this could be the last time that they will hear the Good News.” Although that’s a noble thing to do, it still is not the most important. Your final activities should reflect the most important task of your life. Jesus’ example on the final night before His crucifixion highlights what that is for us as believers. Surprisingly, He doesn’t perform one final, incredible miracle so that the maximum number of people will witness it and repent. And He doesn’t hold a revival meeting in the courtyard of the Temple so that many will hear from the Lamb of God for the last time. 


So what did Jesus do? In His final moments, He does a single thing. He gathered His disciples and taught them again about who Christ is and how they were to carry out His mission. If you understand that the purpose of discipleship is to prepare people to go and make disciples, then when the time comes and you are no longer here, your ministry will continue on through the lives of your disciples. If your ministry is only done by yourself, others will hear the gospel and be saved—and that could be where it ends. You will meet your disciples in heaven, but your reunion will be attended by only a few people. However, if you raise up other disciples, once you are gone, they will continue to reach many more people and you will be part of a greater rejoicing in heaven as the multitude of believers gather together. In other words, you will have multiplied your efforts in a far greater way for the Kingdom of God. 


So many have yet to grasp the exciting potential that is within every disciple. Once we see it, it makes training disciples who make disciples so much more important than trying to achieve only results through our personal ministry. A good servant of God is one who reaches many souls. Proclaiming the gospel to those who have never heard it before is an important ministry, but the greatest servant of God is one who equips others to go and reach their own people with the gospel. Ministry that relies solely on us will end once we leave this earth. If we invest ourselves in preparing others to go and make disciples, then our ministry will have a much greater impact.


On Jesus’ last night, what did He impart to His disciples that was so important that He neglected all other ministry opportunities and, instead, spent these final hours with only a few? 


That is the context of John 13-17. These chapters reveal Jesus’ activities to us on this final night—the final hours of His ministry—and His final teachings to those who would continue in His work. 


Application: Are you investing your life in making disciples who will make disciples?