Do you enjoy walking? I definitely need to do it more and these days it does seem much more appealing than running! Research has proven that taking regular walks improves the heart, trims the waistline, can clear the mind, and simply leads to a healthier life? I can know this in my head all I want but unless I get out there and get walking, the knowledge, well it's useless.
There is another kind of walk that’s even more important...
It's called discipleship. As a believer has anyone ever asked you “How's your walk?” I’ll get back to the walking in a minute. Here at FSI we are striving to make this walk the core of our ministry in Grand Rapids. We talk a lot about discipleship through missions here. We take groups to Haiti, Guatemala, Detroit and elsewhere to serve those there, while also focusing on the discipleship of those who follow us to those places. Our time with with those we work with we pray directs them towards a life long walk with their Messiah Jesus. It is an important responsibility and the core of what we feel our calling is here but just what exactly does that mean or look like?
Often in today’s Christian culture we focus so much on beliefs. This is why we call christians believers. Yes beliefs are import and should be at the core. Discipleship, however is what comes next. It's the walk. The, “Lech Acharai” which is Hebrew for “walk after me”. Discipleship simply put is walking after Jesus. It’s what Jesus said to his first disciples Simon and Andrew in Mark 1:17, then later the others and yes to us. But it didn’t start there. It is why we were created. These same words are found in Genesis spoken to Adam and Eve who were created to be in the Garden tending to it but mostly they were created to “walk with God”. This walk however was lost, taken by sin. From then until Jesus came there were numerous attempts by man to work to get that walk back. It wasn’t until Jesus came to earth, and through his life, death and resurrection, re-established the opportunity to “lech acharai”, to walk behind him once again as intended from the beginning.
This is what the journey of discipleship is. Once we become a believer, the walk begins and never ends. Jesus chose 12 simple guys to follow Him, to walk after Him. He modeled the walk while on earth with them. They saw the way he loved, served, taught, the way he treated others, the way he stood his ground, and the way he willing gave his life. They would also see how much He would believe in them, pour into them and empower them to carry on his cause even in the midst of their failures. The Bible is full of stories of those who pursued this walk. And the more we dive into scripture and apply it to our walk the more we can become like Him. This walk changes us and not our waistline. It changes how we view and treat others. It changes how we become in tune to his voice and spirit daily. This walk is essential for our spiritual health and it's not a single mission trip or a church service and doesn’t happen over night. It is not a walk of perfection yet a walk after the one who makes us perfect. It is a constant journey of true fulfillment. This was His intention with the first 12 and it is His intention for us! I John 2:6 says, “ Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did” Discipleship.
So Jesus, knew that pouring deeply into this bunch of rag tags to modeling how to live, and by speaking life into them they would change the world. They then would seek to model Him to the world through their lives their writings and teachings. Today, the walk is the same us? Who are you walking after?
Paul was an amazing example of this. Not one of the original 12 but yes one that would grasp the walk. Look what he says in I Corinthians 1:11 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ”. You could say he simply is saying “walk after me as I walk after Christ”. Paul was striving in his life to make more disciples. Do you have a Paul in your life? Is there an opportunity to be a Paul to others?
I am so grateful for those who were “Paul” to me. Those who believed in me, who mentored me, who led me to walk with God. Even when my walk was shaky, the believed in me. So that is what were are all about here at FSI. We are simply trying to walk after God, intentionally in a community of young people who I believe can change the world! We are striving to have them follow us as we follow Christ.
No doubt I need to walk more and in more ways than one!
Striving to walk after HIM,
Upcoming/Current FSI Events for prayer and financial support:
Wrapping up fund drive for Solar Power Initiative for Damou Mission Haiti - A Huge thanks for the partnership with NorthPointe Christian Middle School to raise these funds!!!!
Continued Fundraising for ministry operation costs.
February 16 - Discipleship through Basketball in Detroit (We will be running a camp and 3 on 3 tourney at Mack Avenue Community Church) with NorthPointe Christian High School Basketball
Small Group Discipleship Group Meeting Weekly at Cornerstone University
March 30 - Discipleship through Soccer- Siena Heights and Cornerstone University Women’s Soccer will be working with kids in a Soccer Camp at Mack Sports, doing fellowship together and competing in a spring game in Detroit.
March 31- April 7 - Alissa will be leading a Physical Therapy Mission Trip with Pre- PT students from Cornerstone University to Hands of Grace Ministry in Guatemala. This will be an awesome time of encouragement for the Harrold’s of Hands of Grace, service through PT and discipleship as Alissa invest in the the team of students, many of who went to Haiti with Matt last summer.
April 27 - FSI Service Day with MACC Sports in Detroit as they kick off their spring sports ministries through soccer and flag football.
August 3-10 - Cornerstone Men’s Soccer to Jacmel Haiti and Damou Mission with Matt and FSI
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