OF ALL THE THINGS in which we could invest our lives, people and the Word of God are eternal. God invested Himself, through His Living Word, in us, and He has asked us to invest ourselves in others.
R. T. Williams says that the reproduction of the life of Christ on the canvas of everyday life is the finest of the fine arts. Transforming discipleship is the means by which God creatively and artistically develops the image of His Son in our lives. During His earthly life, Jesus mentored His disciples and thus provided a model for us to imitate as we seek to fulfill His commission to disciple the nations.
His call to the Twelve to “come learn” toward the beginning of His ministry and the commission to “make disciples” at the end of His ministry form the bookends of the discipleship process that Jesus modeled. His invitation to come learn preceded His commission to go make learners of all nations.
Without question, becoming a disciple is a prerequisite for making a disciple—the more committed we are to becoming the kind of disciples Jesus defined, the more capable we will be of reproducing disciples who will reflect His character. What a tremendous opportunity! We can experience transformation by the power of the Spirit, and then we can encourage the transformation of others by that same power.
Discipleship is indeed the fine art of cooperating with God’s purpose of forming the character of His Son in us. In the hands of the Almighty, what began as an ordinary canvas becomes a magnificent expression of the glory of God. Yes, my friends, when God paints a canvas it is fine art. Of course, it’s not just fine art—it’s divine art!
Mark L. Bailey