More than a year ago, Feast Greenhills had an attendee that was a Muslim. He was a teenager who kept on coming back every Sunday.
Somebody came up to me and asked me if we’re okay with that, and I said, “YES.”
This man asked me, “how do we convert him?”
I said “NO we don’t have to convert him, we only have to do one thing, and that’s to love him.”
God’s church should be about love and acceptance, and that’s what we are called to do, regardless of who. We are called to embrace all sinners and all types of human beings.
The only people who are not welcome are “perfect people.”
What is discipleship?
1. Discipleship should not have an agenda
Jesus discipled the sinner Zaccheus by being friends with him, and eating at his house. He didn’t go up to him and say that he was bad and had to change. No, Jesus didn’t do that.
I’ve met a lot of Christians who want to disciple people but don’t care about the relationship.
When you meet with people to disciple them or bring them to Jesus, you should respect their beliefs and you should not think that there’s something wrong with that person.
Discipleship is a 24/7 thing! It’s not restricted to when you meet with people for coffee in order to give them a litany of why they should change.
Discipleship is a lifestyle! It shows that you are a person struggling to be better. A person who wants to share the goodness of God’s love to others by being Jesus to them.
Stop trying to CHANGE people. Start giving unconditional love to them.
2. Discipleship is not perfect
Jesus discipled everyone he meets. Guess what? Some of the people he loved, served, and cared for turned their backs on him.
I’ve had coffee with hundreds of people, and I’ve listened to a thousand problems. I’ve helped a multitude of people already and most of them just “come and go,”
That’s how life is, nothing is for certain.
Here’s an analogy: just because you studied in UP, Ateneo, and La Salle, it doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically succeed. Right?
Yes, you should disciple people with relationship, care, and love, but if people don’t decide to accept God in their life, well, that’s okay.
What’s important is the love that you shared. You planted God’s seed in your friend’s heart.
3. Discipleship is love, period
I’ll be direct with you, discipleship is all about love.
It’s not about being perfect or changing people.
It’s about being the best Jesus-follower you can be, and doing your best to love the people you encounter.
Love people with the same way God loves you, that is the true secret of discipleship.
As a ministry leader, I have made a covenant to never give up on people because God will never give up on me. It’s not my job to change lives, my job is to love God’s people and if they change, that’s great. If they don’t change, that’s okay too.
Love Those Who Need It
A few years ago, my brother and I were starving because there was no cooked food at home. We went out to buy take outsiopao and siomai from Kowloon House.
As I was talking to the cashier, I noticed at the corner of my eye a shadowy figure.
Kinabahan pa ako kasi akala ko multo.
I looked harder, and there was an old homeless man, probably in his 70’s. He was skinny, it seemed like there were no nutrients in his body, and he wasn’t just lying down to rest but because he had no more energy.
My heart bled for him, and without thinking twice, I got my wallet and ordered another siopao. When the order came, I knelt down to him, talked to him, and said, “manong kain po kayo.”
Friends, I saw the tears in his eyes, he was there half-naked and just waiting to die. I put the food in his hands and he gathered all his strength and whispered to my ear, “hijo, pwede tubig din?” Sabi ko ay oo nga no? Baka mabilaukan si manong. I got a drink too and gave it to him.
I went to him, smiled and prayed over him. I drove home crying not because of pity, but because I felt the Grace of God at that moment. I felt God’s hand with us during that sacrifice of love.
Today, I don’t know if he’s still alive or not, but what I’m happy about is at least for a moment in time, when he was down to nothing, God was able to send someone to comfort him.
I was only able to do that because I allow God to be the King over my life.
God is calling you to love the people around you even if you are hurting, to give even if you have nothing to give, to forgive even if your heart is raging with anger.
Discipleship is love. Love everyone you encounter, nothing more and nothing less.
The Best Is Yet To Come,