I have a saying, “Discipleship is everything and everything is discipleship.” If we define discipleship as the process we undertake in order to become like Jesus, then it would sound more like this; “Following Jesus is everything and everything should be about following Jesus. To me, that’s sums up the whole of life. A religious leader tried to challenge me once on this. He had obviously been thinking of his retort for some time when he approached me with, “Ok, I got one for you, a funeral. How does that have anything to do with discipleship?” I immediately replied, “Everything man! That’s the graduation ceremony, baby!” Death (or the day of Christ’s return) is the day our discipleship will be completed and we will be perfectly conformed to the image of Christ. It is the crescendo of our existence and reveals the glory of God in us.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1.6)
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; (Rom 8.28-29)
Today, I greave the passing of our friend and fellow disciple-maker, Steve Smith. But I’m also celebrating the fact that he has graduated! He is with Jesus, perfectly conformed to the image of God, having become everything he was meant to be. We will miss Steve and yet we keep our hands to the plow in anticipation of our own transformation completed and unwavering obedience to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please pray for Steve’s wife Laura, and three grown sons for comfort and peace in the days to come.