by Gracie McKeand

The Timothy Network becomes a “teenager” this month (founded August 2005). Our work would not have survived these first thirteen years without the provision of God and people like the young mother pictured above. Gracie McKeand, and her husband Jeff, were among the first people stepping forward to participate in and support our efforts. They’ve been with us ever since, both as multiplying disciple makers and leaders. The McKeands have exemplified how intentional disciple making can become reproducible. Gracie’s honest reflections in the following section reveal the humility (and vulnerability) it takes to make disciples, however. The only expert and perfect disciple maker who ever lived is the One we follow – Jesus Christ. It’s a perfect mission, and his perfect will is accomplished with his power flowing through our flawed human nature. He promised to be with us (Matthew 28:20) and we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength! (Philippians 4:13) Persevere, Mike

Too often I question my value to God. I’m scatter brained, hot headed, impulsive, and undisciplined. How can I make a difference when I can’t even remember to make my bed everyday. These thoughts can easily leave me in a state of spiritual paralysis, and I know this is exactly where Satan wants me to be. But I read something in Proverbs (21:21) this morning that is a sweet golden nugget of hope for even the most scattered people like myself.

“Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.”

That’s it. One sentence. Yet this one glorious sentence frees me and brings strength back into my broken body. Jesus Christ is my source of righteousness and unfailing love. No other source will ever come close. It’s not about my failures. It’s about his perfection that makes me God’s choice. I’m right with God because I keep pursuing Jesus. Now I’m defined by joy, peace and love, rather than my mounting imperfections.

I just finished reading Mark this morning, and the theme of imperfect choice is played out over and over in the disciples. Jesus sought out each of his 12 disciples individually. They didn’t gain access to him through merit. In fact, all throughout the book, I can picture Jesus rubbing his forehead, while lovingly correcting and sometimes scolding his disciples. They were dense, selfish, and sinful men, who needed much guidance and grace from their teacher.

Even after witnessing hundreds of miracles, even witnessing Jesus raise someone from the dead, the completely rejected the resurrection of Jesus by witnesses. It wasn’t until Jesus walked into the room and announced who he was that they proclaimed, “wow, you’re alive!”

Jesus chose these men despite knowing their faults. These men had hearts centered on following Christ. Their failures as humans paled in comparison to their loyalty to their master, and this is why these men went on to do amazing things for God’s kingdom.

This brings me hope and so much joy! I am an imperfect choice to do God’s work, but he still wants me. I have life, rightness with God and honor because I choose to pursue the righteousness and unfailing love of Christ. No matter how ugly or broken I may be, this is the only truth that matters!

Gracie with Liangmei of China
Liangmei is not yet a disciple of Jesus, but she and Gracie begin studying the Bible together this week.