In continuation of the theme of recent posts on loving the church, today I want us to be reminded that love fuels discipleship. Discipleship, or helping one another follow Jesus, takes time and requires sacrifice. If we are going to do something costly, such as discipleship, love will be the necessary motivator and sustainer. In his book, Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus, Mark Dever makes this point from the beginning. Consider the following statements. First, Dever makes clear that our love for one another is rooted in God’s love for us displayed in Christ.
The motive for discipling others begins in the love of God and nothing less. He has loved us in Christ, and so we love him. And we do this in part by loving those he has placed around us. (See Mark 12:30-31; 1 John 4:19-21) (pg. 16)
He then points out that the call for us to love God and others (Mk. 12:30-31), is fulfilled in discipleship.
Discipling others—doing deliberate spiritual good to help them follow Christ—demonstrates this love for God and others as well as anything. (pg. 17)
The following statements further explain his point.
Being a disciple of Jesus means orienting our lives toward others, just as Jesus did. It means laboring for the sake of others. This love for others is at the heart of disicpling. We set our sights on serving others for Christ’s sake, just as Christ came into the world not be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). (pg. 27, emphasis mine)
The discipling life is an others-oriented life. It labors in the power of God to proclaim Christ and present others mature in Christ. That is the pattern we see in the Bible. (pg. 28, emphasis mine)