Confession: I am a grown man, and I love playing with Legos. One of the joys of fatherhood for me has been having those little bricks back in my life. I love that every box of Legos contains a set of instructions. If you follow those instructions, you can replicate whatever picture is on the box, whether it’s a sports car, speedboat, or spaceship. Not following the instructions can result in building something else entirely. You might make something that looks nothing like the picture on the box.
Now with Legos, making creative new objects is part of the experience. But the church is different. The church has been given instructions: the Bible. Our “picture on the box” is Jesus Christ, our perfect example. His final instruction in Matthew 28:19-20 is, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” But like Legos, if we are not faithful to follow the instructions in God’s Word carefully, we can build something that looks nothing like the picture on the box. The church can produce “Christians” that look very little like Jesus. Author C.S. Lewis summarized the purpose of the church in his book Mere Christianity. Lewis stated that the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, everything else is simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.
So we are to know God’s instructions (read the Bible) and make little Christs (make disciples). In light of this, I would challenge you now to consider joining me in reading through the Bible in 2019. Research by Lifeway suggests that while nine out of ten households in America own a Bible, 53 percent have read little to none of it. The plan I’m suggesting, which can be found at www.replicate.org/f260-bible-reading-plan, is a doable plan if you have never tried a Bible-reading plan. If you have read through the Bible before, this plan offers a slower pace to allow you to absorb what you are reading. A 10-year study on discipleship found that the spiritual discipline of reading the Bible impacts every other spiritual discipline positively. In other words, someone who regularly reads God’s Word is more likely to pray, to give, to serve, to share the gospel, etc. God’s Word transforms us. Need someone to hold you accountable to stay with the plan? Ask me about joining a small discipleship group to read through the Bible together, share what you’re learning, and grow together. The point is to get ourselves into the Word so the Word gets into us and we grow to become more like Christ! May the Lord build our church in 2019! And may we all grow to look more and more like Jesus, our “picture on the box.”