In today’s devotional I want to speak with you about the art of making love.

Now before you blush and delete this message, let me assure you that this is not going to be a how-to lesson on procreation. At least not in the way that is almost certainly in your mind at this point. So please read on.

When one thinks of the normal application of the term “making love” only one thing comes to mind. That, of course, is the purpose of language. To communicate one idea that clearly conveys the meaning of the speaker. I want to re-apply the term this morning to drive home a point.

Today’s verse is a straight-forward instruction:

I can almost picture you scratching your heads and saying, “The Bishop has truly lost his mind this morning! What can making disciples and making love POSSIBLY have in common??”

The process of making disciples must begin with those who already know Christ freely giving themselves to the deliberate advancement of His kingdom. They must build relationships and seek out opportunities to share the good news that people do not need to die in their sins, but there is a free gift available. Our job is to present the real situation both the deadly nature of sin and its absolute culmination in death AND the free offer of forgiveness full and free. Unless people truly understand the former they will never appreciate the latter. Simply put, followers of Jesus have to be messengers of Jesus’ offer of salvation.

Being willing to speak with others, be they friends, family or strangers, about their sin can be challenging. Being willing to do so is an incredible act of love. Some will listen, others will not. Our task is to present the problem and the ONLY solution in the best way we can, and leave the next steps up to the Holy Spirit. What’s next for the ones who listen?

The next step of the process of making disciples is to baptize those who have chosen to confess with their mouth that Jesus is their Lord and expressed their belief that He rose from the dead. Baptism is the sacrament where we are buried with Him into His death. A sacrament is an outward visible sign of an inward spiritual grace. In the sacrament of baptism we are buried in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too can walk in newness of life. There is an effectual tie between what the priest does to our body and what God does to our spirit.

But the process doesn’t end with either the profession of faith or baptism. It is not a case of “just say a prayer” or “dunked and done” – Jesus never made that offer. He said we were to go and make disciples of all nations. Then, like any good rabbi, He explained precisely how they ought to do that. The next part of His command was to baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus wasn’t finished. The final part of making disciples, according to Christ Himself, is teaching them to obey all that He commanded.


Making a disciple is building a relationship between the one being discipled and Jesus Christ Himself. That process demands change in the disciple. Maturity always brings change. Living things grow and mature, and their growth and maturity are intended to open doors of opportunity for the ones who have grown and learn that are not open to the ones who have not yet reached that place. We feed our infants with the expectation that they will learn to feed themselves. We wipe their bottoms with the same goal. We encourage them as they learn to crawl, stand and walk in the hopes that they will learn to run the race that God has placed before them.

Growing up well, learning well, embracing what we are taught and allowing it to form us and create the best possible disciple — THAT is the goal. So the discipler teaches the disciple to obey what Christ has commanded. Relationships we cherish ALWAYS require us to choose to do the things that will strengthen them over the things that will destroy them.

Making a disciple is the process of teaching them to LIVE the LOVE of CHRIST. God showed His love for us in that, even while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He showed His love, and we have received it. We love because He loved first. And when we obey His command, we live out His love. His command is that we are to love one another just as He has loved us. He came. He shared the message of grace and forgiveness. He taught those who chose to follow Him to obey. Then He sent them out to do the same.


Disciples might best be described as people who are practicing being living expressions of the love of Jesus Christ.

Disciples are LOVE. Specifically, they are the love of Christ. That love might be expressed in feeding and clothing the poor, helping the helpless, caring for the hurting, visiting the ill or the lonely. It has limitless expressions because we serve a limitless God of limitless love.

Disciples are LOVING EXPRESSIONS of the Kingdom. As such they must obey the King. They are compelled to advance His Kingdom.

MAKING DISCIPLES comes full circle as the new disciples continue the ancient commission to GO and MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS.

Disciples are LOVE, loving expressions of God Himself. The very feet of Christ going to all nations. The very hands of Christ touching the hopeless and the hurting, rescuing the sinner. The very mouth of Christ offering salvation and new life, then teaching them to obey and sending them out to MAKE DISCIPLES.

Disciples are LOVE, disciples make disciples. Therefore making disciples is making love.

And, like the first thought that came to your mind as you read this devotional, in its highest form this act of lovemaking will result in a new life that will grow, mature, develop independent skills and eventually go and do the same.


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