On a Friday morning last fall, a phrase from God echoed in my mind… "Who are your 12?"
As followers of Christ, we should be intentional about pouring our lives and faith into the lives of others so they can do the same with others still. Jesus modeled it. He commanded it. I invite you to ask the Lord to give you the names of 12 people you can invest in this year.
There is extraordinary joy and loving others towards Christ-likeness.
But isn’t this loving someone with an agenda? If we are honest, most love comes with an agenda. And most often it is a self-serving agenda. We love others because we want love in return. We love others because we want them to do something for us. We love others because we want them to like us (especially in parenting).
Wouldn't it be much wiser and more biblical to love others towards becoming more like Christ?
This was Paul's example in Colossians 1.
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
Imagine what it would look like if 10% of the world's professing Christians were intentional about loving others towards Christ-likeness? There would be a web of interconnectivity where people are being prayed for, served, loved, encouraged, inspired and instructed.
Jesus calls all of his people into a life of loving with intentionality when he says…
"As you go, make followers in all the nations..." (Matthew 28:19)
I suggest you include those who already follow Christ as well as those who haven't yet started. Every believer needs someone to pray for them, love them and stand beside them. This could include your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, someone in your small group, a relative in another state, a friend, etc.
Non-believers need this kind of love as well… Someone to pray for them, love them and stand beside them. As you practice this consistently, the more others will sense Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Here are practical ways to love your twelve…
When we are able to inspire others to identify their 12, the magic starts to happen. The numbers of people who are being loved with intentionality increases dramatically.
Can you let me know if you've identified your 12? I'd love to pray for you as you love them. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a note in the comment section below.