The summer of 1998 I had just completed my fund raising efforts to participate in a Christian ministry outreach to college students. I had been a Christian for many years serving the Lord through the counsel of my Christian leaders in Bible study, evangelism, and disciple-making. By every outward indication I was a model Christian. During my fund raising campaign I had also been working on completing a Bible Certificate Program through a well known Bible College.
While working through the curriculum we had to read significant portions of the Old Testament. During one of these readings at a desk in my bedroom I read Hosea 11:3-4 (WEB),
Yet I taught Ephraim to walk. I took them by his arms; but they didn't know that I healed them. I drew them with cords of a man, with ties of love; and I was to them like those who lift up the yoke on their necks; and I bent down to him and I fed him.
I was stunned.
I had read through the Bible many times before, but now this verse was speaking to me directly. It was the Lord who had taught me to walk and carried me safely to this very point using the cords of a man, the people in my life! I had been striving to attain a radical discipleship relationship with Christ while at the same time carrying a spirit of pride and independence into relationships with the very people God himself was using to help me! Oh proud foolish man, I thought to myself. God is demonstrating his amazing grace in the most amazing way possible in that He Himself has been at work through sinners in order to bring grace to me, a sinner. GLORY TO GOD!!
So please understand the Discipled by the Grace of Jesus Christ ministry. Do not imagine that I boast of discipleship directly by the grace of Jesus Christ. No. Instead, God has crushed the pride of this proud sinner by showing me his grace through the human kindness of Mennonites, Evangelicals, Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics, Independents, Bible believers, parents, special doctors, and believe it or not, even the unbelieving. Though all these people are sinners, nor can they be Christ in my life, Christ has none-the-less used human kindness to minister His grace to me, and... to you as well.
I responded by confessing my pride, thanking the Lord for showing me His grace through the people in my life, and asking the Lord to get me back onto the foundation of Christ. That was the beginning of Christ bringing down my idolatrous house of cards in order to re-establish my fellowship with Him and His people. Praise the Lord for His matchless wisdom.