Quality, Not Quantity

25 Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord. 1 This is the written account of Adam’s family line. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. (Genesis 4:25-5:3)
15 In Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.  (1 Corinthians 4:15-17)
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.  (1 Corinthians 11:1)
The account of Adam’s family tree repeats what we were told in Genesis 1, that the Lord created Adam and Eve in his own image. They were to fill the earth with humans who would reflect God’s image as they partnered with him. But there’s a vital principle of multiplication, which we are reminded of in this passage. What you are is what you multiply. The disciples that we make are little versions of ourselves. We are told that Seth was born in the likeness of Adam, not of God. He reflected the glory of God wherever his father did, and he shared his father’s deficiencies.

We see this pretty clearly in the different family trees of Cain and Seth. Cain’s descendants are listed for us in in Genesis 4. Descended from a self-assertive murderer, who cared little for partnership with God, the family tree of Cain is full of brawlers who build cities that bear their own names in order to bring glory to themselves. Seth’s descendants are listed for us in Genesis 5, but before the chapter begins we are told that they began to call on the name of the Lord. Adam imparted to Seth’s family all he knew about how to walk with God and how to partner with him to make our world a foretaste of heaven. It’s no coincidence that Seth’s family therefore includes people such as Enoch, the close friend of God, and Noah, the man who walked with God, who found favour with him and who was entrusted with the task of renewing the great partnership between God and humanity.

All of this raises an important question. Is what you are what God wants to multiply? He wants to fill the world with Jesus-followers, who live all-out for his own glory, not with churchgoers who live their lives with one foot in heaven and one foot in the world. The Church’s problem has never been too few Christians, but too many half-hearted ones. Ask the Lord to help you to focus on the depth of your own walk with him. Healthy multiplication is about quality, not quantity. It’s about our being able to say to people with the Apostle Paul: Imitate me as I imitate Christ!
1)   Which areas of your life do you think God really wants to multiply in others?

2)   Which areas of your life would it not be quite so good to multiply in others?

3)   How can you make some simple steps with God this week to become more and more the kind of disciple that he wants to fill the world with? We multiply more of what we are.
Father God, I thank you that I am a very different person from the one I was when you first saved me. Thank you for all of the ways in which you have made me the kind of disciple that you want to multiply. Help me to deal with the remaining areas which it would not be good to multiply in others. Help me to make many great disciples. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.

Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.

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