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I have always been a keen naturalist (in context, an observer of God’s created flora and fauna). It is how God has wired me. Being out in, watching, photographing, studying, and pondering God’s Creation are some of my favorite things to do. And I think it is so neat that God has embedded into the workings of his creation innumerable examples and illustrations that we can apply to the Christian life. One of these examples hit me about a year ago when I was considering the importance of making disciples for Jesus.
I thought to myself, “What is the most important job of every creature in the world—from the smallest microscopic organism to the mighty blue whale?” In Genesis 1, we see that God commanded all of life to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” Reproduction is one of the most important jobs! Reproduction is crucial in seeing the continuation of any and every living thing on this planet. If an organism does not reproduce itself, then the species will die out. Reproduction therefore is paramount and requires a considerable amount of energy and focus to ensure that there are offspring to continue.
Hudson teaching Tanggucina her numbers.
So how does this example from creation relate to the Christian life, specifically to making disciples? It is simple. We as followers of Christ must reproduce ourselves if Christianity will continue into the future. Reproducing ourselves means that we reach out to and teach others so that they have an opportunity to believe on Jesus. And as people come to faith in Christ, we help them and continue to teach them until they become mature in their faith. This is how we make disciples (which literally means “followers”), and this is by far the most important job for believers in Christ. Just as each organism is instinctively intentional in reproducing itself, we as Christians must also put a lot of time, energy, finances, and so on into seeing others come to Christ.
Do you remember the final command of the Lord Jesus to his disciples? The final and most important thing that he commanded them was “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20a). This command was given to Jesus’ disciples, but this command is also for us today.
Jesus told his disciples that since he had been given all authority he was sending them. He also told them that he would always be with them even to the very end of the age. If the disciples had not been faithful to Jesus’ command, then the good news would have never spread to our countries. But the gospel has spread to us, and we now have the great privilege and responsibility to reproduce ourselves and see others come to know the true peace that comes only from knowing the Savior.
May God help us to ponder this great illustration that he has given us in his creation, and let us pray to see how God wants to use each and every one of us to reproduce—to reach out and reach one.
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