God has been very faithful to me through his Word, and I have been continually refreshed and challenged this last couple months.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
When we have Scripture planted firmly in our hearts, God will often use that to deal with us. And deal with me he has. And the few words I have and the conversation that I hope to have through this article has been birthed out of my study from last week.
Discipleship does Disciple-Making
I’ve been going through the book of Acts and it has put on to my heart and into my mind, Discipleship and Disciple-making. Having read Acts and other things that have popped up, I came across an Article in Relevant Mag title: ‘We’re Called to Make Disciples, Not Converts‘. Within it, there is a striking compare contrast of sorts that hooked my attention; here’s part of that:
- Converts are believers who live like the world. Disciples are believers who live like Jesus.
- Converts are focused on their values, interests, worries, fears, priorities, and lifestyles. Disciples are focused on Jesus.
- Converts go to church. Disciples are the church.
- Converts are involved in the mission of Jesus. Disciples are committed to it.
- Converts cheer from the sidelines. Disciples are in the game.
- Converts hear the word of God. Disciples live it.
- Converts follow the rules. Disciples follow Jesus.
- Converts are all about believing. Disciples are all about being.
- Converts are comfortable. Disciples make sacrifices.
- Converts talk. Disciples make more disciples.
So let me ask you, have you seen one of these people in your life?
If you don’t mind, take a moment and think about how God used someone in your life, to build you up. I think it’s important to think on these sorts of characters and Godly role models. Another question: What do you think it takes to become a Disciple Maker?
Here are my few thoughts
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
Check out Luke 10:1-7.
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.
There are two big principles / two big ideas here that I think we need to catch.
- The first is that Jesus is telling us that the Harvest is ready but there aren’t many who are their to work with the harvest. And with what I imagine as a long pause, He then tells us to Go. Pray for others, but once you are off your knees, start walking; Jesus is sending you.
- Second is that there is a specific harvest. And we are to find the ones who have already been cultivated by the Holy Spirit. ‘Son of Peace’.
There are a lot of things going on in this passage that is worthy to note but are fairly specific to the seventy-two (72) that Jesus sent sending out. How the left with no money or extra clothes. How they went two by two. They weren’t to talk to anyone on the road. Lots of interesting things, but I just want to focus on the two points above. The first point in this article, and the second in a subsequent article.
Not a Job for Professionals
I’ve seen hundreds of people throughout my lifetime who have only done as much as sit on their hands and never tell anyone about their Life Change; their God. It’s the strangest thing. The mindset is that the Pastors, the Evangelists, the Big Timers, they talk to people and witness, but this is the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, if it were up to only the Spiritual Leaders, the church would be very small and not at all helpful. Christianity has historically flourished when it has had active members in it’s churches. It has flourished when regular Joes do the hard work of Evangelism.
What we need is for the Christian to actually take up the name of Christ. There are no super Christians, just Christians. And we all have the same base jobs.
Some people get confused about what they are allowed to do within the structure of a church. People think that there are more restrictions. They need to let the ‘professionals’ deal with the spiritual stuff. In reality, this just isn’t so. So much of the Bible was written for and read by people like us. Craftsmen. Business people. Sports fans. Regular guys and girls, who just so happen to know Jesus.
The Church Evangelizes not just the Pastor
This is a church wide principle for Christians to follow. We are supposed to be evangelizing. Not just inviting to church, although that can certainly be part of it. We are supposed to be encouraging each other to grow in Christian Maturity. We are all to pray for and serve other believers in every stage of life. We are to spread and grow the church.
What Jesus was saying in Luke 10 was, “Yes, pray for other people to join in on this mission, but you gotta get out there. Pray for people to join you in the mission. Life is much better when you are on a great team, not just watching a great team.” So, are you joining in?