Tuesday, March 3, 2020

3 Points on Disciplemaking

3 Points on the “Personal-Ness” of Disciple-making

Jesus accomplished many things with His ‘in the flesh’ visit to Earth so many years ago.  God wanted to ensure that The Father’s Message was put out clearly AND that it would continue.  He would not let His message be left to uncertainty- so… in order to make sure it got through AND that it continued- He sent His Son.  A VERY PERSONAL touch to this whole thing….

So… I wanted to share 3 points on Disciple-making that I’ve observed in the Life of Jesus.  These things we must continue and apply in order to ensure generations after us will continue walking with Christ and reaching the generations after them.

            First of all, Disciplemaking is about PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.  When Jesus first recruited the disciples- Jesus recruited them to BE WITH HIM- not to a program or to a class- but to enter into a personal relationship with Him. 

Matt 4:19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

And again we see that similarly in

Mark 3:13-14 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve — designating them apostles-that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach. 

The ‘MUST’ about having a personal relationship in a discipleship relationship is because information alone will NOT be the driving force that brings about change in a person’s life.  Consider this… Every box of cigarettes has a warning that warns people about the dangers of nicotine addiction and the potential for cancer and emphysema- yet so many are continuing to smoke.  Even more recently we had a craze (that luckily only lasted for several months) where people where eating Tide pods!  On every pouch and every box of Tide pods- there are warning signs about not allowing children to have them and that if ingested- you should call the poison control center immediately.  So, information alone, will not cause someone to change how they are living.

Jesus was calling us to change our lives- to change how we think- to change to become people who walk with Him.  Jesus said:

 Matt 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Repent used here is the greek word metanoeo . Which means to think differently or to reconsider.

Jesus wanted us to do this and NOT continue in our worldly ways.  The way this happens is if we open ourselves and are willing to make close relationships with disciplemakers who can and will speak into our lives and insert the Word so that we can ‘reconsider’ how we are living and how we are thinking and choose a different course- a course that is characterized by Jesus living in us. 

            But also, if we are making the choice to be in disciplemaking relationships with others- it gives us the opportunity to be impacted by the models that disciplemakers can imprint into our lives.

Acts 4:18-20 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

Seeing Jesus’ boldness, seeing and experiencing Jesus teaching- for the disciples there was no escaping the power of His modeling to them. It is not a wonder, that although Jesus had left physically- they are continuing with the same work that Jesus had modeled in front of them.

This takes us to our Second Point- Disciplemaking is about Profound Impact.  The test of how much Jesus truly matters to us is not when we are making simple and superficial decisions- that is not what discipleship is about.  The Test to see if the roots of the Word are sinking in deeply into our lives because of Jesus’ influence on us through a disciplemaker- is seen through our Lordship decisions.  For the Believer- Jesus is the supreme rule and power and influence over our lives.  This doesn’t mean that we stop having our own emotions, thoughts, attitudes, dreams, etc.  But because the believer is submitting to the authority of Jesus- we ought to have a growing list of Lordship decisions in our lives where we are submitting our own thoughts, choices, and life decisions to the direction of our Lord.  Consider this…

Matt 4:21-22 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Ever thought to consider what Zebedee was thinking?  “Hey… where are you guys going?  There’s work to be done here!  Are you guys going to leave your old man here to handle all this work by himself?!”  Clearly, the bible DOESN’T show anything about this statement from Zebedee after James and John leave him to go along with Jesus.  But to not consider what is going on is to be naïve.  James and John were working in the family business with their father.  The probability of Zebedee’s expectation on them to continue with the family business after their father- probably pretty high.  But that is NOT what happened here.  They walked away from that.  And while in the Jewish culture- having the opportunity to study under the tutelage of a rabbi IS an opportunity that so many want- there is still the thought of leaving your family to pursue work with Jesus.  A tough decision that isn’t made lightly….  But for the Believer- there OUGHT TO BE demonstrated points where we are making these kind of decisions to meet God’s objectives and not our own.  If a person will build a track record in their life where they are CHOOSING to meet God’s objectives rather than their own- then God can use them mightily to affect everyone.  This brings us to our last point….

Disciplemaking is about Potential Impact for Generations.  Disciplemaking is not just a story about an individual- while it may start there- it ought to continue with the impact they have made on another person SO THAT this person would now impact another person for Christ.  Through this pattern of Discipling one person in such a way that they would then not only be able to disciple another- but that they would have the dedication to do it too- through this pattern of disciplemaking- we could reach the world for Christ.  This reminds me of a story told by John Crawford.  John Crawford was a WWII veteran and was reached by the Navigators.  He passed away several years ago- but before then he shared a story about Dawson Trotman- who started the Navigators ministry, had challenged him with making disciples.



Love that story…

John talks about how God can multiply our lives through Generation Discipleship- one person discipling another- and doing this in such a way- that this disciple not only has the know how- but now also has the commitment and dedication to Jesus Christ so that he now goes and disciples someone else too- That pattern continues today

Jesus started this pattern for us by discipling the 12 Disciples.  They in turn reached and discipled others…  and then during the next few more decades, the whole world had been reached for Christ.

What about us?  Wherever we are … whatever we may be doing… whatever circle we are in… God can use you to impact someone personally for Him… to Impact them profoundly to where they are making Life decisions that reflect a dedication to him… and to Impact generations of peoples who will impact other Generations as well. 

How do I start?

Start spending personal time in prayer and in the Word.

Find a mentor to disciple you…

Find someone you can begin to disciple…

The Quest begins…

Matt 28:18-20 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."

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