Category Archives: MAKE & TEACH DISCIPLES

CUT TO THE HEART: 121917

005-peter-john-arrested

In Acts 5, it tells the story of what happened after Pentecost in Jerusalem.  It says, beginning in v12, “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; . . . And believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so much that they brought the sick into the streets, and . . . they were healed every one.

Then the high priest rose up, and put them in prison. But the angel of the Lord opened the prison doors at night and let them out, and said, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught.  But when the high priest figured out what happened, he sent soldiers to the temple to get them.  And they brought them before the council: and the high priest asked them, “Didn’t we tell you that you not to teach about Jesus? Look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”

Then Peter answered and said, “We ought to obey God rather than men. God raised up Jesus, whom you crucified. Continue reading

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IF IT’S GOOD FOR PAUL AND SILAS, IS IT GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME? 110615

Two young girls having conversation in the park

You’ve heard that old song, “If it’s good for Paul and Silas, it’s good enough for me.”  There’s lot of stuff from “the good ole days” that IS good enough for me.  I mean not from ‘their’ era, but from the days of my youth.  Good ole Gospel singing.  Billy Graham preaching.  Maybe even a tent revival with preachers speaking the truth of God, and the people truly rising to the occasion and meeting the Spirit with their hearts.  It’s been a long time since I experienced the movement of the Spirit like that.

But as it applies to ‘making disciples’, what I experienced when I was young fell short of what I now perceive as God’s will for our lives as disciples of Jesus.  Even now-a-days I find much of the teaching in churches about discipleship is pretty dry and academic.  I hear about programs for college kids where they spend the summers working at jobs and spending all their ‘free’ time walking the beaches talking to people about Jesus.  High intensity training in making disciples. In six to eight weeks each kid gets to talk to several hundred (200-300) people.  People are getting saved, making a commitment to Jesus.  Their lives are being transformed;  the kids (the evangelists) as much as their contacts.  No matter what they do for God in the future, it changes their whole perspective on what it means to “follow” Jesus.  Continue reading

TEACHING THEM WHAT? 110515

Teacher talking with students in the clasroomOK, In Matt. 28:18-20, Jesus says, “I have all authority, so go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them .  .  .  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. .  .  . and [know this] I am with you always, even unto the end of the world [age].”  What does in mean, “all things”?  Some folks would say those things are particular things, like ‘love God with all your heart’, ‘love your neighbor as yourself’, ‘seek first the kingdom of God . . .’, ‘don’t resist evil’; ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart’; ‘rejoice evermore’.

If we really want to ‘make disciples’ maybe we should teach an attitude of surrender; of surrendering ourselves to Jesus; like it says in Luke 9:23, “If anyone wants to be My disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [meaning “die to yourself”](see Galatians 2:20), daily, and follow Me.”  To have the attitude in your heart that comes from Jesus, that says, “I’m not touched by things in this world, because Jesus has put His Spirit in my heart.”  So you get to the point where you really don’t care what happens to you and your stuff, because you’re thinking about Jesus and helping others come to a personal relationship with Him.   That’s something really worth teaching and worth learning.

Like Paul said in Romans 5:3-5, “And not only that, but we also [rejoice] in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces [endurance]; 4 and [endurance], character; and character, hope. 5 Now [this] hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  When you get that attitude in your heart, then observing all the things Jesus commanded becomes possible.

MAKING DISCIPLES, HOW DO YOU DO IT? 110315

Teenager having daily devotional at home. Christian lifestyle. Peace and love while prayingIf you’re going to make a disciple, presumably you’re going to teach ’em something.  So what are you thinking about teaching them?  I’m of the opinion that if you want to have a lasting effect on someone, the best thing you can do is change their behavior; more to the point, you create some new habit that will stay with them for a long time, like having a quiet time: reading the Bible and some devotional and then talking and listening to God for a few minutes early in the morning each day.  If you don’t do anything but that, and it sticks, it’ll have a profound effect on their lives forever after.

But let me tell you.  It’s not easy to get people started on a new habit, even if it’s short; even if it gives them a whole new outlook on life; even if it changes their hearts and eventually changes their lives.  I’ve talked to my kids (I have four) about this subject on repeated occasions, and so far two have really gotten it.  I’m still waiting, and hoping, and praying that they will get it and keep it forever.  But it just doesn’t work to brow-beat them about it.  Some days I think repetition is the key.  On a good day, maybe they’ll say “Yes, I’ll do it.”  But it’s easy to fall off the wagon, even when you’ve been doing it for a long time.  I know that from experience, so I’m pretty unjudgmental about how, where, and when they have a quiet time.  The really great thing is, God is working! He’s moving in their lives, even when I’m not looking.

 

ARE YOU A DISCIPLE-OR? 110215

Father playing chess with sonSo we’ve been talking about “making disciples” for Jesus, as in Matt. 28: 18-20, when Jesus said, “All power is given to Me, in heaven and in earth, so Go and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and [know this], I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  I am satisfied that ‘making disciples’ is the duty of every practicing Christian. You know, “practicing Christian” means a person who has a personal relationship with God through Jesus, and they have the Spirit of the Living God residing in their own personal hearts and bodies.  (As in 1 Corinthians 6:19: “Don’t you know that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit?”)  Earlier, we have defined “practicing Christian” as one who talks to and listens to God during her daily quiet time; and as one who meets with other brothers or sisters weekly to tell each other what God is doing in their lives.

So if practicing Christians make disciples, how do they do it?  Well, that’s a pretty big subject; we probably can’t cover it in 300-400 words; but at least we could talk about how to begin.  Continue reading

KBMT FOR JESUS #1.2TIM2:2.103115

Business concept image of a businessman pointing Coaching icon on virtual screen over blue backgroundThe word ‘disciple’ as used in the Bible, means ‘follower’ or ‘one who is taught’, that is ‘a student’.  But it’s more than a student, because these people devoted all their time and energy to the process.  They lived with their teacher.  In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul says  to Timothy, “You have learned many things from me, on many occasions, so teach those things to trustworthy people who will be able to teach others also.” These relationships are the process for making disciples.  In Matt. 28:18-20, Jesus says, “Go make disciples .  .  .”; and He had already started the process, with His first twelve disciples, (later known as apostles).  He taught them, and other followers, for three years.  Later He commissioned Paul as one of His disciples, in a dark room in Damascus.

Paul knew Jesus, and Jesus (by His Spirit) taught Paul to be a disciple, to make disciples, and to teach others to make disciples. Timothy knew Paul, and Paul taught Timothy . . . Trustworthy people knew Timothy, and Timothy taught them . . . Others knew those trustworthy people, and those trustworthy people taught them . . . and those ‘Others’ taught still others, right down to today.

I’m convinced that every person who has made a commitment to Jesus should be moving up this continuum of Know a disciple, Be a disciple, Make disciples and Teach others to make disciples for Jesus, from the time we first come to know Jesus until we meet Him in heaven.  We are able to do this because Jesus has empowered us BY HIS SPIRIT within us. This is the primary means God uses to change the world, by changing people from the inside out, and sending them into the world as his ambassadors.

So where are you in this process of making disciples?  You may be like me.  I’m old, and I just recently figured out I was supposed to be making disciples.  Or you may be ‘just a kid’ who is truly excited about the fact that the Spirit is moving in your life.  But no matter when you come to the revelation that you belong to Jesus and He belongs to you, right then you begin to see and develop discipleship relationships with the people God puts in your life, whether you’re intending to or not.  This is truly a Spiritual adventure!

You’ve heard the term ‘mentor’; in this case a disciple is someone who continues to learn from Jesus while she is spending time teaching others; someone who not only teaches you facts, but also shows you (demonstrates) how to live.  That’s who a disciple is and that’s what a disciple does.  Only difference is they are doing it, not just for the student (or for the teacher), but even more, they’re doing it for Jesus, by His Power that works within them.