Practices That Transform Lives

What is the goal of discipleship? Some may say that it is to help others become more like Christ. Others might add that the goal is multiplication. But what does the Bible teach?

According to what we see in the Apostle Paul’s letters, discipleship involves helping people be formed, conformed, and transformed in Christ (Galatians 4:19; Romans 8:29; Romans 12:1-2). The focus of this blog is on that third goal of discipleship: to be transformed. Discipleship should be transformative. In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul said we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. 

Let’s look at what Luke 8 says about practices that transform lives. In the first part of the chapter, we see how the 12 disciples were with Jesus as He proclaimed the kingdom of God in various cities. Also with them were several women who were healed by Jesus. Luke notes that they contributed by supporting them out of their private means (Luke 8:1-3). This shows us how important it is to work as a team as we seek to help others come to know Christ

We also see in this passage how the crowds gathered around Jesus, and he shared with them the parable of the Sower. In this parable, some of the seeds fell beside the road where birds ate it. Some fell on rocky soil that withered away without moisture. Some fell among thorns that choked it out. Some fell into good soil and produced a crop 100 times as great.

Jesus then explained that the seeds are the word of God. Seed beside the road heard and the devil removed the word from their heart so they couldn’t believe and be saved. Seed on rocky soil received the word with joy without firm root, they fell away during temptation. Seed that fell among thorns was choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of this life, without mature fruit. Seeds in good soil heard the word with a good heart and bore fruit (Luke 8:4-15).

Like Jesus did with this parable, to be transformative in our discipleship, we need to paint a compelling picture with stories that will help open minds. In this process, ask questions to know how to impart God’s word at the point of need in a person’s life. Biblical truth will bear fruit in the form of spiritual maturity. 

Jesus then said that no one covers a lamp, but puts it on a lampstand so people can see the light (Luke 8:16-21). In our efforts to make disciples, we must remember to model obedience so others see our lives in Christ and desire that for themselves as well

Later in Luke 8, we see a woman with a hemorrhage for 12 years couldn’t be healed by anyone. She touched the fringe of Jesus’ cloak, and her hemorrhage stopped immediately. After telling people why she touched Him and how she been healed immediately, He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace” (Luke 8:40-48). It’s interesting that oftentimes people must become desperate before they’re ready to trust Christ.

This teaches us that we need to discern when people are ready to hear the gospel. The hearts of people are more open when going through trials or life changes. So, help people trust Christ by praying for special healing or supernatural intervention at the point of their need. Which of these practices that transform lives will you incorporate in your ministry today?