At 5:20 AM, the front door opened quietly. I had just unlocked it for Shaun, one of the young men I have been discipling. For over eight years we have been making each other better. How? It has been through an intentional “iron sharpens iron” relationship. We have both grown. God has used Shaun in my life in ways that he will never fully appreciate. I believe the same thing has occurred in Shaun. He keeps coming back week after week. I guess that’s a good indicator?
Shaun and I know that we live in a fallen world. Most folks sense that something just isn’t working right around them and maybe within them. Conflict at home, deceit in the marketplace, corruption in government, terrorism around the world. The evidence of worldwide systemic dysfunction is undeniable. But fallen? What does that mean? Fallen from what?
Stories of God
The people Disciple Daily trains are learning how to teach twelve key stories from the Bible. It is the primary tool in our network partners disciple-making tool chest. What fun it was to listen as Shaun told the story of the fall (see below). This account is found in Genesis 3:1-24.
Adam and Eve lived in paradise. Theirs was a world unmarred by death and destruction. It is impossible to imagine a world like that. However, at one time it did exist! Then disaster struck. The first couple chose to grasp for that which humanity was never intended to possess. They thought they could be like God. One moment everything was perfect, unblemished in any way. In the blink of an eye, everything changed forever. Death entered the world and Adam and Eve were exiled from paradise. Sin started to infect everyone and everything. Eden was lost. Now, look where we are.
The Bible contains written accounts of actual historical events. Most of the world lives in denial of that fact. Even among those who profess belief in Jesus there are many who refuse to see the Bible as God’s Word. If they open it at all they view it as they would any other book. Perhaps they think, “Maybe there is some wisdom to be gained by reading it, at least some parts of it. But, could it all true? Impossible!” Along with Satan, they mockingly challenge Him (Genesis 3:1), “Did God really say?” With the first couple’s assent to Satan’s initial seductive suggestion, Eden is now no longer enjoyed by anyone. It is behind us, in humanity’s rear-view mirror. Now, the world is spinning out of control. Or is it?
On Monday mornings, Noemi (my wife) and I are at Grace House where we disciple a group of women participating in a nine-month, in-home, Bible-based transitional program. All of the Grace House ladies have faced serious personal consequences as the result of their own personal choices. They come to Grace House battered and broken. Along with their resident mentors and others who invest in their lives, we have had the great joy of watching God begin the restoration of the “years the locusts have eaten.” Noemi and I have now seen a number of these incredible women walk out of Grace House into the world that had been so devastating to them with confidence and courage. They are equipped to share the grand story of God to all they meet, including the families they love.
What is different about these women following their completion of the Grace House program? Like Shaun and the others that Disciple Daily trains around the world, most of the Grace House ladies are now rejecting the lies they once believed. This is what they now know:
God does not share His position or glory with anyone.
God says what He means.
The unfolding events of the biblical record provide a story of hope.
The Bible can be trusted.
In the end, God wins. Satan loses.
That’s the end of the story.
Restoring Eden Do yourself a favor. Read Genesis 1:1-2:3. Invest a little time right now to watch one of disciples we are working tell the Story of Creation. If you would like to learn how to teach the Stories of God to the disciples God wants you to train, please contact us directly. If you would like to know to know how to support the work of our global training network, click here.