Rejection hurts. And unfortunately our Christianity increases the likelihood that we will encounter it more often. Part of the cost of “taking up our cross” and “following Jesus” is the harsh reality of “bearing the disgrace he bore” (Heb.13:13). As Jesus himself said: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (Jn.15:18). It is a vain hope to expect the favor of Christ and the accolades of everyone else at the same time. “Woe to you when all men speak well of you,” Jesus warned (Lk.6:26). Amid the pain of rejection, our challenge is to learn to value and cherish the approval of Christ more than the acceptance of those around us. But that, of course, is easier said than done – especially when the rejection comes from those we love. In the lyrics of his inspired song, David is resolute as he sings: “Though my father and mother forsake me, Yahweh will receive me” (Ps.27:10). While we can expect the pain, we can also anticipate the incomparable treasure of being embraced by the King of kings and Lord of lords!
You and I have a very important assignment. As followers of Jesus we have been commissioned by our Lord and Savior to a task of eternal proportions. He has called us to make disciples. This familiar passage from Matthew 28 involves three key components: “reaching” people for Christ, “teaching” people to be like Christ, and “training” people to serve Christ.
As a practical way to help you get started with this important assignment, we have picked out an excellent book. Wherever you are in the process of becoming a disciple, making disciples, or training to go, this book will encourage you and equip you for the task. It’s called Now That I Am Christian: What it Means to Follow Jesus, by C. Michael Patton.
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