Conversation Conversations

Week 30 — Discipleship and Ministry

"After this, the Lord appointed a further seventy-two and sent them in pairs before Him to every town and place He intended to visit." —Luke 10:1

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"Whoever wishes to be My follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in My steps. Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will save it." —Lk 9:23-24


Master: Do you actually want to become My follower, My disciple? You'll have to go against your human wishes. At least once a day, you'll have to choose to suffer and die to self, although you could have avoided this cross. You must love Me greatly to follow Me, even to Calvary.
Disciple: Jesus, where You are is where I want to be (Jn 14:3). May my relationship with You be stronger than my poor self-image and my preoccupation with self.


"Serve the Lord with gladness" (Ps 100:1).


"When you have done all you have been commanded to do, say, 'We are useless servants. We have done no more than our duty.' " —Lk 17:10


Master: The reward you get working for Me is the privilege to work for Me. Being My disciple is its own reward. Doing the will of My father is My food (Jn 4:34). It must be the same for you. To serve Me for a day is better than a thousand elsewhere (Ps 84:11).
Disciple: Jesus, sometimes I think You owe me something. If I died now, if You never did anything else for me, I would be greatly "overpaid." I owe You everything. You owe me nothing. I'm sorry for my attitude.


Come to serve and not be served (Mt 20:28).


"If anyone comes to Me without turning his back on his father and mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and sisters, indeed his very self, he cannot be My follower. Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple." —Lk 14:26-27


Master: To be My disciple is a full-time job. I don't mean 40 hours a week but 24 hours a day. You never get off work. You want to work for Me to be with Me. Everything is secondary to following Me. Zeal for My house and ministry in My name will consume you (Jn 2:17; Ps 69:10).
Disciple: "Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace." Consume me (Heb 12:29).


Serve as a candle serves.


"At one point during those days, Peter stood up in the center of the brothers; there must have been a hundred and twenty gathered together." —Acts 1:15


Master: My disciples never did "get it together" until they accepted the Holy Spirit. Only after Pentecost could they follow Me without turning back (Lk 9:62). The Holy Spirit confirms you and makes you faithful.
Disciple: Jesus, not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit (Zec 4:6). I will run and not grow weary, walk and not faint (Is 40:31). I will be Your disciple even at the foot of the cross.


Serve with the gifts of the Spirit.


"This is how all will know you for My disciples: your love for one another." —Jn 13:35


Master: love. They love by My power, unconditionally.
Disciple: Jesus, I begin to see why You washed the disciples' feet and told us to follow Your example (Jn 13:14-15) by laying down our lives for our brothers and sisters (1 Jn 3:16).


Serve the poor, the starving, and the refugees.


"Then you will lead a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him in every way. You will multiply good works of every sort and grow in the knowledge of God." —Col 1:10


Master: When you choose the better part, sit at My feet and listen to Me (Lk 10:39), then I give you vision, Christian character, and a multiplication of good works—a ministry explosion. A few of My disciples can take over the whole world.
Disciple: Jesus, the worldly are taking so much initiative. May the other-worldly take even more initiative (Lk 16:8). As evil increases, may grace increase all the more (Rm 5:20).


Serve with ever-increasing intensity.


"Seeing His mother there with the disciple whom He loved, Jesus said to His mother, 'Woman, there is your son.' In turn He said to the disciple, 'There is your mother.' From that hour onward, the disciple took her into his care." —Jn 19:26-27


Master: I am sending people to disciple you. They will teach you by word and work to follow Me unreservedly. As I hung on the cross, living the last moments of My life, I gave you Mary to mother and disciple you. You need her because I have decided to work through her.
Disciple: Jesus, thank You for mother Mary, my parents, pastor, and Christian friends. Thank You for this cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1).


Serve as Mary taught you.

Excerpts from Scripture are taken from The New American Bible, copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.

Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, July 13, 1995.

Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, July 25, 1995.

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