Does God have a “Plan B” for our lives?
If “Plan A” was a sinless life lived in the very presence of God (Genesis 1 and 2), was Jesus then “Plan B?” Or, was the entire process leading up to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection “Plan A” all along?
I’m not going to dwell too much on that because it hurts my brain to think about it. Nevertheless, I heard a thought-provoking message recently that suggested Jesus and all He went through was the forethought of God and not an afterthought of His sovereign plan for our lives. (I’ll spare the whole predestination discussion because I still can’t get my mind around that).
a personal follower of Jesus during his life, esp. one of the twelve Apostles.
• a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosophy : a disciple of Rousseau.
verb [ trans. ]
guide (someone) in becoming a follower of Jesus or another leader : the new believer was discipled by a missionary.
discipleship |-, sh ip| noun
discipular |-,sipyələr| adjective
ORIGIN Old English , from Latin discipulus ‘learner,’ from discere ‘learn’ ; reinforced by Old French deciple.
In his sermon titled: “Plan A — To Make Disciples,” Brandon Price, the youth pastor at Tulare First Baptist Church in California, suggests that the gospel message, culminating in Matthew 28 with Jesus’ commission to make disciples of all nations, was in itself the crux of God’s master plan for mankind. The previous three years Jesus had spent with the 12 disciples was the template for what his followers would later replicate as they themselves went out and made new followers of Christ throughout the known world. So, 2,000-odd years later our mandate isn’t any different.
Like the original disciples, we are to simply:
- Share God’s Word — which implies that we know it ourselves
- Show God’s Word — be willing to demonstrate and obey it
- Teach God’s Word — know it well enough
- Serve the world — Love others more than ourselves
All of this implies that we are not merely students of God, but that we are immersed in God’s Word by continually reading and hearing it. God’s instructions to Joshua roughly 1,400 years before the birth of Christ could be seen as a precursor to Christ’s command in Matthew 28.
Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. ~ Joshua 1:7-8 NLT
In order to be a disciple of Christ, one must follow the example laid out in Joshua: study the word, meditate upon the word and obey the word. John 1 tells us who and what the word is; it’s not merely text on a page, but the living, breathing God of the universe.
Once we get that down, the example in Acts chapter 4 becomes clearer. Here we see Peter and John before the religious council, defending their previous actions in the city to speak about the Christ they walked with and watched die. In fact they couldn’t avoid speaking out what they witnessed if they wanted to!
As disciples of Christ, we too have experienced God and seen things that we cannot otherwise explain but to say that it was God working through us or through other Christians. Therefore, our response should be like that of Peter and John, who in Acts 4:20 told the religious leaders of the day: “We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”