Disciples, It Takes One to Make One
If we’re going to participate in the Great Commission, which includes making disciples, then we need to start by being good disciples, ourselves.
Isn’t it amazing that the one, true, eternal God of the universe wants to have a close relationship with us? That’s why Jesus died on the cross, to reconcile us with God—those of us who repent and believe in the Gospel.
…You were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:12-13.
If we have a close walk with Jesus, then we will experience a productive life.
In John 15:5 & 8, Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
A close walk with Jesus leads to contentment and strength.
…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13.
A close walk with Jesus is the same as walking in the Spirit. Read this scripture and ask yourself if you would like to experience more of these fruits of the Spirit in your life.
…Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galations 5:16, 22-23.
That doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly for us—quite the opposite.
In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
God allows trials in our life to growth our faith. So that, one day, we will have a testimony of God’s faithfulness.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait on Him.” Lamentations 3:22-24.
What does this look like in real life? It might look like this: “When I became a Christian, I quit partying to follow Jesus. Since then, I’ve been praying that God would do x, y or z. Since He hasn’t answered my prayer… I’m questioning my faith. I’m disappointed and even angry at God. I’ve quit going to church. I don’t feel like praying or reading the Bible.” There are some good resources out there for someone dealing with this, such as these episodes of Family Life:
Disappointment with God: Philip Yancey: https://www.familylife.com/podcast/familylife-today/disappointment-with-god-philip-yancey/
“What Do I Do when I’m Angry with God?” Philip Yancey: https://www.familylife.com/podcast/familylife-today/what-do-i-do-when-im-angry-with-god-philip-yancey/
Jesus promises to be with us through every storm of life. This is actually the last line of the Great Commission, just before Jesus ascended to Heaven.
In Matthew 28:20, Jesus said, “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The eternal perspective: The Bible tells us that whatever suffering we endure in this life does not compare to the glory we will experience in Heaven, forever and ever.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18.
No one walks with Jesus perfectly. That’s why there’s the need to daily confess our sins and to commit to follow Jesus.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.
In Luke 9:23, Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Read the following 2 paragraphs.
The Bible tells us that Jesus created this world, and that it was good. But God gives us free will, and that's how sin entered the world--every single one of us is guilty. Now, there is brokenness everywhere. The Good News is that Jesus, because of His love for God, the Father (the greatest commandment), and His love for us (the second-greatest commandment), came to live among us. Jesus lived a perfect life (He obeyed God’s commands) and then He gave His life on the cross to pay the price for our sins (He did a good work, the best-ever). 3 days later, Jesus rose from the dead, and today, He sits at the right hand of God, the Father, in Heaven. In Mark 1:15, Jesus said, "Repent and believe the Good News!" (the steps to salvation).
We Pray, Lord, that You would help us to be like Jesus (our individual life's mission). Help us at the Summit Church to develop multiplying communities of fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ (the Summit’s Mission), both locally and all around the world (the Great Commission).
Now, re-read them, slowly, and identify 1. the Gospel, 2. the mission of the Summit Church, 3. the mission of the world-wide Church with a big C and 4. the components of discipleship.
The following are all components of discipleship:
The Bible, God’s Word
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
The Good News, the Gospel. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…”
Greatest Commandment: Love God; Love Others.
Matthew 22:37-40, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
We could talk for days about loving others, especially how it affects our relationships. But we must not forget to apply this to the poor and vulnerable among us. In the following verse, when you read “religion” think discipleship.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27.
Obedience John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”
Matthew 5:16, “…Let you light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.”
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
The Love Connection (to Good Works):
1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Salvation In Mark 1:15, Jesus said, "Repent and believe the Good News!"
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Becoming like Jesus. This is our life’s mission.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Service in a Local Church
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10.
Participation in the Great Commission. That's what this whole blog is about--every post!