If I had a complaint against the Bible and I don’t, but if I did, it would because of all the gaps. Have you ever noticed how long there is between some verses? For example, in Gen. 16:16 Abraham is 86 years old and in the next verse he is 99 -a 13 year span that we know nothing about. What about Joseph, who was in prison for many, many years, but his time there, is covered in just a few verses? Judges and Kings fly by covering centuries of time, yet we are often given just a glimpse. Entire lives are sometimes given in a verse or two.
What we forget (at least I do) sometimes is that the Bible is full of real people with real lives. Sometimes we are given detail into their lives and other times not. Even those we think we know a great deal about, we really don’t. Moses’ life spans 120 years and we only see snippets of it. Abraham, David, even Jesus, we are given just a glimpse. Just the highlights. What I wonder about is all the time we don’t know about. What were they doing?
The Bible is full of many heroes. Great leaders, mighty men of war, women who saved entire nations, shepherd boys that killed giants. Wonderful preachers speaking to huge crowds and mighty evangelists. Then there is everyone else. The normal folks. Millions of them. What were they doing during their time? The Bible is populated with multitudes of unknowns, at least to us.
One of my favorite Bible characters is Philip. We read a bit about him in Acts 6-8. He served as a deacon waiting on tables during the pot lucks. When persecution began at the hands of Saul, Philip leaves and heads down to Samaria. He faithfully shares his faith and a mini revival breaks out. God says to leave so he heads towards Gaza. He shares his faith with a guy riding along in a chariot and then disappears from the narrative for many, many years. We do not hear about him again until chapter 21 where he hosts Luke and Paul, and it is stated, that he had four grown daughters who prophesied. I would love to know Philip’s parenting methods. What did Phil do for all those years? What type of husband was he? How did he spend his days?
In the Scriptures we are only given a glimpse of the lives people lived. We often see the mountain top experiences of our hero’s and rarely the day to day routines. I know they had them. Moses in the desert, Abraham too, even Noah builds the Ark for about a century. Every day, they got up, when about their business and then went to bed. So routine. So mundane. So like us.
The truth for most of us is that our life is lived between the mountain top experiences. I like the mountains but one cannot live upon the peaks since there is little air, no vegetation and almost no life. We live in the valley. We work, live and die in real life. The same is true with our calling to make disciples.
Our discipleship takes place where we live day by day. We are called to make disciples and the vast majority of the time this will take place in the mundane, the valley, the every day. We may visit the mountains, we may breathe heavenly air for a minute or ten, but our lives are lived out in the ordinary.
God did not, nor cannot make a mistake and He has placed right around us those that we can impact. We are to invest in the lives of those closest to us. We begin discipleship at home. If we hope to have a generational impact it starts here. All of us, if the Lord tarries, are going to die. What will be remembered and by whom? What will those who know us the best say about us when we leave this earth? It should matter to us. It greatly matters to those around us.
Studies show that few in the nursing homes regret not working more or spending more money on entertainment. The primary regret is that they missed the opportunity to invest in their family. Will we? Most of us live ordinary lives with an extraordinary calling – to invest in the lives of those around us. Will we take up the command to make disciples beginning with those at hand? If we will, we will have fruit that lasts for generations.
Want to know where to begin discipleship at home? It’s not hard. Try reading together as a family, turn off the TV, computer and smart phones and pick up a book, okay, use an eBook or Kindle, but read together and then just have some face-to-face time discussing what you read. Bring what the Lord has shown you into the discussion and you will make a lasting impact.
Learn to live your day to day life in the presence of the Lord. Our Christianity should make a difference in how we live our lives. Our family should be the first and primary ones impacted by our walk with the Lord. If they are not, then perhaps we need to reevaluate what we are doing and why.
God is not in a hurry. If you are reading this, then you still have time to change. Start today. Spend whatever time you have left on this planet to live for God’s glory, beginning at home. Perhaps that is what Philip did, and his kids turned out pretty well.