Love and Discipleship
Love and Discipleship
2 Corinthians 12: 15, "And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved."
Christ's command to all believers in Matthew 28 is to make disciples, teaching them to obey everything that He has commanded. This is a constant cycle. Just as you came to know Christ through another believer, be it a pastor, friend, parent, through the internet, etc., God wants to use you to do the same for others. But it doesn't just stop at seeing someone get saved, that's only half the job! Discipleship is key! The cycle of discipleship is so important and lacking in many churches and believer's lives today.
But discipleship can be very tough at times. Have you every poured time and love and energy and prayer into someone who seemingly didn't care? Have you ever taken on the task of discipleship and seen no fruit from it? Paul could have said, "I'm done with you Corinthians! All I've done is pour out my love and prayer and energy into you guys. But the more I love, the less I am loved by you!". He could have told them that he was done trying to help them and disciple them. But Paul knew that His work in the Lord was not vain (1 Cor. 15:58), and i'm sure he was not able to stop because of his great love for them (2 Cor. 11:28). He knew what God had called him to do no matter how the Corinthians decided to respond. Sometimes we may not see the fruit of our labor. It may come much later down road, or it may be happening behind the scenes and we just can't tell. Or it may that another will harvest the fruit after we're gone, as Jesus said to His disciples in John 4:38, "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labors."
The thing that sticks out to me more than the fact that Paul continued to love them and spend himself (literally to exhaust; to use up wholly) for them is that he did it gladly. "Very gladly" actually. He was blessed, happy, filled with joy to pour out all of his time, prayer, and energy for the sake of these believers. Is that your attitude? God sees the heart, and more important than the good work we do is the right motive behind it!
Lord help me to spend myself for the sake of others! Help me to disciple and pour my time, love, prayer, and energy into others! And help me to do it gladly, knowing that You did the same for me. "who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:2)