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Posts Tagged ‘making disciples’

 

Romans 15:14

I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

Colossians 3:16

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

1 Timothy 4:13

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

In Matthew 28:19 Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. In verse 20, He tells us how. Jesus tells us to make disciples by teaching them to obey everything He has commanded us. Jesus, Himself made disciples by teaching others to obey God’s commands. He was the master teacher. He was the ultimate role model in how to teach and make disciples. Below I list five things that Jesus did in teaching and making disciples:

  1. Build Relationships– Jesus spent from one to three years teaching the disciples. They were together all the time. They traveled and did life together. In this time, Jesus came to know the disciples intimately and they came to know Him intimately. Jesus was building relationships with these disciples that He would later send out into the world to teach and multiply. Building relationships is important in the teaching relationship. In today’s world spending every moment with each other probably isn’t feasible, but if we are going to teach others what it means to obey and follow Jesus, we need to invest the time in building the relationship. It may take one to three years of spending quality time with someone to make a disciple that is ready to go out and make disciples of their own, but that time invested will never be wasted.
  2. Practiced Patience– I’m sure there were times when Jesus shook His head in frustration with the twelve. They didn’t always understand the parables and needed Jesus to break it down for them. They weren’t all educated. Some of them were blue collar fishermen who needed everything spelled out for them. Jesus did not yell at them and call them dummies. he was patient in His teaching and broke things down for them when needed. We need to be patient when we are teaching and making disciples. We all have different learning styles and we need to be willing to adapt our teaching style to the person we are teaching.
  3. Admonish in Love– Admonish means to reprimand, rebuke or scold. Jesus did occasionally have to reprimand the disciples. They didn’t always get things right and He had to set them straight, but He admonished them in love. He never made them feel bad about making mistakes or messing things up. Jesus corrected the disciples from a place of love, building them up instead of tearing them down. No one is perfect. Those that we teach or disciple WILL make mistakes. Be careful to admonish from a place of love. Make sure you are building up and not tearing down.
  4. Encouraged– Jesus was an encourager. When He confronted a person who was living in sin, He did not condemn, but encouraged them to sin no more. Jesus never made the disciples feel like they would never make it as a disciple. He encouraged them in their God-given purpose and sent them out believing in themselves. We will all stumble in our relationship with God. We will all stray from the path as we follow Jesus. We need to remember to encourage those we are teaching because we ourselves are imperfect. We all need to be encouraged, especially when we are learning something new. We need to send our students out believing in themselves and the message they are sent out to share.
  5. Equipped– Jesus made sure that the twelve were ready to be sent out to teach and make disciples of their own. He made sure they were prepared to answer the hard questions of being a disciple and following Jesus. Jesus made sure they were ready to give the Gospel message clearly so that others would understand. Jesus took the time making sure that the faith of the twelve was strong enough to handle the attacks of the enemy and those who opposed Jesus. He took the time to make sure that the twelve were ready to give an answer as to why they believed in Jesus. He sent them out prepared, ready to face whatever situations they encountered. We need to make sure that those we are teaching are equipped to answer the hard questions. We need to make sure that they are ready to share their own testimony of how Jesus has worked in their lives. We need to make sure that they are ready to share the Gospel message in a way that others will understand. Our students need to be sent out prepared to face whatever Satan throws at them, with a faith strong enough to face whatever they encounter.

Jesus told us to teach others to obey His commands. We are to teach new Christians how to be a disciple. Jesus gave us a blue print for teaching and discipling. There are those around us that we can be teaching right now. Our family members, co-workers, neighbors, and friends all need to know the Gospel message. We need to be ready to teach those around us how to follow Jesus and be disciples that glorify and multiply. It won’t always be easy. There will be challenging times that make you want to quit, but don’t give up! Remember that Jesus never gives up on us and He expects us to always follow His example.

 

 

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Our calling

 

Matthew 28:18-20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

Luke 19:10

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The Purpose

I have lived my life wondering what my “purpose in life” is. I know I’m not alone in this. I think it is something most of us wonder about. It seems to be that ever elusive question, “What is the purpose of life?” I have spent years chasing my tail, running after this and that wondering if “it” was my purpose, only to be left discouraged and frustrated in the end.

So, What is our purpose in life? Our one purpose as humans is to have a relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. God does not want any to perish but to repent (2 Peter 3:9) and accept Jesus as the ONE and ONLY Savior.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior and make the decision to live for Him, we are given one further purpose: to make disciples. We read in Luke 19:10 that Jesus came to seek and save the lost and we are here for the same reason. We are here to share the Gospel of Jesus, make disciples, and teach new disciples to obey everything that Jesus commanded us. This is it. This is our purpose.

The Call

We now know what our purpose is. Next, we need to figure out how we are going to live that out in our daily lives. That is our call. Some people are called to full-time ministry and some people are called to secular jobs. We are all called to different types of work based on our spiritual gifts and skills. God has a place for each one of us. He calls us to different jobs and places so that ALL people will have a chance to hear the Word and accept Jesus as their Savior.

There are many times when God calls us to minister to others from our pain. If we have struggled with grief, poverty, a divorce, etc. God can call us from our pain and use that pain to bring others to Him. We have to be willing to let Him. We have to be willing to step outside of ourselves and trust God to take our pain and transform hearts through our obedience.

I also believe that our calling changes, as the seasons in our life change. As we grow and mature in Jesus, He calls us to different jobs and different places. What we were called to in our twenties, may not be what we are called to in our forties. Life has a way of changing us. And then there are those who have felt for a lifetime that they are working outside of their calling. That would be me. Working menial jobs, knowing that I was called to full-time ministry. Why would God give me this burning desire in my heart and never open a door to full-time ministry? I believe He is molding my character. He is teaching me to bloom where I am planted. Even if you work at McDonalds for now, allow God to use you to make disciples of those around you. You may be waiting (patiently or impatiently) for God to open a door to full-time ministry, but be faithful where you are now. Share the Gospel of Jesus where you are now and I guarantee that God will open the door in HIS timing. I know how hard it is. I’m still waiting. I faithfully write this blog. I love writing this blog. This is probably the one thing that gets me through the days I have to work. I try to be patient and I use the time to grow ever closer to my loving God, because I trust that one day He will open a door to full-time ministry with single moms.

We have ONE purpose: to make disciples. If you are living out your God-given calling, that is AWESOME! If you are working a job that you are merely existing at, waiting for that door to open, don’t give up! If you know what your calling is and are just waiting for an open door, use this waiting time to prepare yourself. Do your research on the field. Dig into the Word and pray, pray, pray. Don’t forget to use this time to make disciples where you are. Even if we aren’t living in our calling, God expects us to bloom where we are planted and that includes making disciples where we are.

When I start a blog post, I am never really sure where it is going to go. I start writing what God puts on my heart and let Him take over. Usually, what comes out teaches me more than anything. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes, because I now get what God has been trying to tell me. In my obedience I gain wisdom. Don’t you love how that works! I hope that in some small way, I have helped you gain perspective on why God does what He does. If you have any questions on your God-given call or need prayer to get through the waiting period, I am always here. fill out the contact form on my contact page or leave me a comment below. Just know that God has NOT abandoned you in this waiting time. He is simply molding you into the vessel He can use for something bigger. Be obedient in this time and He WILL open the door to your heart’s desire.

 

 

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solid-rock

 

Continuing on with our study of biblical doctrines:

21. Man did not evolve, he was created- Acts 17:26, Genesis 1:26, Isaiah 45:12, Mark 10:6, Genesis 2:7

22. Adam and Eve were real people- Genesis 4:1, Genesis 3:20, 1 Timothy 2:13, 1 Corinthians 15:45, Genesis 2:7

23. Death entered the world because of Adam’s sin- Romans 5:12-15, 1 Corinthians 15:21

24. Sin separates us from God- Isaiah 59:2, Ezekiel 14:5, Romans 11:22, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23

25. Jesus died for ALL our sins- Romans 4:25, 1 Corinthians 15:3, 1 Peter 3:18, Romans 5:8, Romans 5:6

26. Jesus’s death was a substitution for us- 1 Peter 2:23-25, Mark 10:45, 1 Timothy 2:6, 1 John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21

27. Jesus rose from the dead in His physical body- Luke 24:38-39, John 20:19-20, Luke 24:41-43, John 20:27, John 2:19-21

28. Those that reject Jesus go to Hell forever- Matthew 25:46, Revelation 20:11-15, Matthew 13:41-43, Revelation 21:8, Matthew 13:49-50

29. Hell is a place of fiery punishment- Matthew 13:50, Mark 9:48, Revelation 14:10, Matthew 25:41, Revelation 20:15

30. You are saved by faith through grace, not by works- Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 11:6, Galatians 2:16, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:4-5

31. Salvation is a free gift of God- Romans 6:23, John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8, John 4:10, Romans 3:24

32. You must be born again- John 3:3, 1 Peter 1:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17

33. The saved will be raised from the dead at the rapture- 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

34. Jesus will visibly return to earth- Matthew 24:26-27, Matthew 24:30-31, Acts 1:11, Mark 13:26, Revelation 1:7

35. Jesus’ Second Coming will be to judge the nations- Matthew 25:32, Psalm 98:9, Isaiah 2:4, Revelation 19:11-16, Revelation 19:15-16

36. There will be a final judgment for all people- Romans 14:10-12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Peter 4:5, 2 Peter 3:7, Acts 10:42

37. The damned will be thrown into a lake of fire- Revelation 20:15

38. Satan will be cast into the lake of fire- Revelation 20:10

39.  There will be a new heaven and a new earth- 2 Peter 3:12-13, Revelation 21:1, Isaiah 66:22, Isaiah 65:17

40. The Bible is the true word of God- Proverbs 30:5, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 33:4, Psalm 18:30, Isaiah 40:8

 

These are the basic doctrines of the christian faith. Numbers 20-39, I found in Terry Goodwin’s book called, “The Disciple-Makers Handbook.” Number 40, I added on my own. As in part one, I tried to find 5 scriptures for every doctrine. This proved to be difficult in some cases. Again, I challenge you to do your own research and ask God to speak to your heart. If you study His word with an open heart, you will find the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).

If you would like to order Terry’s book on disciple-making, click here.

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solid-rock

 

There are basic Biblical doctrines that every christian needs to understand and BELIEVE in order to build a solid foundation to live out your christian life on. Without understanding these doctrines, you won’t know what christianity is all about. You won’t have that solid foundation that everything else you do as a christian is built on. You may practice christian disciplines, but without understanding the basic doctrines, you won’t know WHY you are practicing the disciplines. The basic Biblical doctrines give you the WHY and when you fully understand and BELIEVE the doctrines, then everything else you do as a christian makes sense. Below I have listed the basic doctrines we need to understand and BELIEVE to build a solid foundation as a christian:

  1. There is only ONE God- 1 Corinthians 8:6, 2 Samuel 7:22, 1 Kings 8:60, Isaiah 43:10-11, James 2:19
  2. The Trinity- John 10:30, Colossians 2:9, 1 John 5:7, John 1:1, John 1:14
  3. God IS love and loves ALL people- 1 John 4:16, John 3:16, 1 John 4:19, Romans 5:8, 1 John 3:1
  4. God knows ALL things- 1 John 3:20, Psalm 139:4, Psalm 44:21, Hebrews 4:13, Job 37:16
  5. God is all-powerful- Psalm 147:5, Jeremiah 32:17, Ephesians 1:19, Acts 26:8, Isaiah 43:13
  6. God is everywhere- Deuteronomy 31:8, Joshua 1:9, 2 Chronicles 16:9, Proverbs 15:3, Jeremiah 23:23-24
  7. God is sovereign- Psalm 135:6, Psalm 115:3, Psalm 29:10, Deuteronomy 10:14, Revelation 4:11
  8. God is a spirit- John 4:24, Colossians 1:15, Genesis 1:2, Psalm 139:7, Job 33:4
  9. God created ALL things- Isaiah 44:24, Colossians 1:16, John 1:3, Isaiah 42:5, Genesis 1:1
  10. God has ALWAYS been God- Genesis 21:33, Psalms 90:2, Revelation 1:8, Deuteronomy 33:27, 1 Timothy 1:17
  11. Jesus is God- John 1:1,2 & 14, Colossians 2:9, Isaiah 9:6, John 10:30, John 8:58
  12. Jesus became a man and was sinless- 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5, 1 Peter 1:19
  13. Jesus has two natures: divine and human- John 1:1,2 & 14, Colossians 2:9, John 20:28, Mark 15:39, John 10:28
  14. Jesus was born of a virgin- Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:34, Luke 1:27, Matthew 1:18
  15. Jesus is the ONLY way to God the Father- John 14:6, Acts 4:11-12, 1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 10:9, John 3:36
  16. The Holy Spirit is God- Matthew 28:19, Acts 5:3-4, 2 Corinthians 13:14, John 14:26, Acts 13:2
  17. The Holy Spirit is not a force; He is a person- John 16:12-14, Acts 13:2, John 14:26, Romans 5:5, Romans 8:26
  18. The church is the body of Christ- Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:24, Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 5:23, Ephesians 5:29-30
  19. The church is called to make disciples- Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 4:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:2, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8
  20. All people have sinned- Romans 3:23, 1 Kings 8:46, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:9, Psalm 53:3

 

This list of Biblical doctrines is the first twenty of forty found in a book written by Terry Goodwin called, “The Disciple-Makers Handbook.” Although, I could have come up with the list myself, it would have taken even longer than this did. I decided not to reinvent the wheel. I did however, decide to list 5 scriptures for every doctrine, instead of just one or two, as found in the book. This is not an exhaustive list of scriptures. For every doctrine listed, you can find many more verses than what I have listed. I encourage you to do your own research and let the Holy Spirit speak to you.

I wanted to mention that Dr. Terry Goodwin is the founder of Sun Ministries in Hyde Park, St. Louis, Missouri. There are approximately 8 missionaries with Sun Ministries who have started cottage industries to train those who face obstacles to employment. They also do so many other things for Hyde Park and I will write an in depth blog post at a later date. For now, to order the book on disciple-making, click here.

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Making Disciples

 

 

I have visited churches where the pastor will give a Hell-fire and brimstone sermon and then give an invitation for baptism. Not surprisingly, there have been 20 to 30 being baptized on those days. Did they really accept Jesus into their hearts? Did they really understand the meaning of following Jesus and the implication of baptism? Or were they scared into baptism to fill a quota?

I have seen church leaders that only care about the numbers: how many members their church has, how many baptisms they do every week, how many converts they have every week and how big their buildings are. The one thing that has bothered me, is the fact that once these baptisms are over, these people are left to struggle on their own. They go back to their lives and are left to find out for themselves what following Jesus really means. Most will give up and not darken the doorway of a church again. This has to change! Church leaders need to wake up and follow the example of Jesus, making disciples.

Jesus was all about building relationships. When Jesus called the disciples, He made the commitment to spend time teaching them, making sure that they were ready to be sent out on their own when the time came. Jesus was with the disciples 24/7 while training them to be disciples. Their training was the most important thing. He knew that in order for them to succeed in proclaiming the gospel He needed to build a relationship with each one and spend the time training them. He invested His time and resources in training these men.

Are we, as church leaders and Christians taking the time to disciple new converts? Are we willing to sacrifice our time and resources to invest in someones life, making sure that they really understand what it means to follow Jesus? Are we willing to follow through, even if it takes years before someone is ready to fly solo? If we want to follow the example of Jesus, we better be ready. We better be willing.

America has become the largest mission field in the world. Our churches are failing in the most basic of Christian principles: making disciples. We, as Christians, are failing this beautiful, awesome country because we refuse to invest in the lives of those around us. We are failing our country because we refuse to make disciples. There is an URGENCY!!! This is a call to ACTION!!!

GO OUT AND MAKE DISCIPLES!!! Right now and right where you are!!!

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prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray continually, 

Prayer is our line of communication with God. This verse tells us to pray continually, telling us to be in constant communication with God. God wants to have an open line of communication with us at every moment of our day. It doesn’t matter what we are dealing with, God is ALWAYS with us and wants us to share EVERYTHING with Him.

Jesus gave us the main components to prayer, when He gave us the Lord’s Prayer. Click here to read my blog post on the Lord’s Prayer. According to the Lord’s Prayer there are 5 main components to prayer:

1. Praise

2. Praying God’s will

3. Supplication

4. Confession (Asking forgiveness for our sins and forgiving others for sins done to us)

5. Praying for protection from evil and temptation

Below are a few other suggestions that might help in your prayer life:

  • Centering Prayer– Centering prayer is a way to empty your mind of every day distractions and really focus on God. Centering prayer helps us LISTEN to what God is saying to us.
  • The Daily Examen– The Daily Examen is an Ignatian exercise and is used to examine our daily activities and see where God is speaking to us. Is there any way we could have been a better example of Jesus? Were we impatient when we needed to be kind? The Daily Examen is a way for God to mold our character, as we pray for Him to reveal what we need to change.
  • Prayer Journaling– We can use prayer journaling with the Lord’s Prayer model and as a way to keep track of requests and answers to prayer. Writing out prayers can be helpful in emptying our hearts of worries and anxieties. Often, when I am done writing out everything on my heart, I feel at peace. I know that God is working in the situations involved.
  • Every Hour– Every hour, on the hour, say a prayer about a person, event, or situation that you have promised to pray about. You can also, take the opportunity to praise God and thank God for all that He has done in your life. Pray as the Holy Spirit leads. This is a great way to make sure we pray continually.

These are just a few ideas. The internet is full of different ways to enhance our prayer lives. I like to try different methods of prayer to enhance my communication with God. I have found that some things work and some don’t. I try to keep it simple. I don’t want to get to legalistic about my prayer life.

There are times when I can’t pray at all. There are times when words fail me and I can only whisper, “Don’t let me go, Jesus.” You will have times like this too. Don’t worry, God knows your heart and has sent the Holy Spirit to intercede for us.

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

I’m not an expert on prayer, but I do know that I could not live without that open communication with my Creator. I know that at any moment of the day, that I can praise Him or cry out to Him and He will hear me. I encourage you to go to God in prayer. He is waiting for you. If you have any suggestions or prayer methods that work for you, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

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