On mission

Matthew 28:20  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus didn’t call us to make converts, He called us to make disciples.  This means the work doesn’t end when a person puts their faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.  The next step for us is to teach them all that He taught.  They must know His ways.

What is teaching?  Not all of us are cut out to tutor someone on the Bible, so surely we’re off the hook; right?  Not quite.  Teaching someone what they need to know about following Christ begins with modeling it.  Making a disciples begins with living like one.  We teach through our lives, and then we teach what’s on paper.  They both happen.

We don’t have to be theological geniuses to mentor someone.  There are steps to understanding the Bible, and we only need to get the new believer started on learning basic biblical truths, motivated by love for Jesus, and heading in the right direction of obedience.  Then, after they show that they are committed to growing, we let them branch out on their own, little by little, feeding themselves.  We can only teach what we know, so we have to be constantly learning too.


On mission

Matthew 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Why baptism?  What’s so important about water after conversion?  Jesus told His followers to go into all the nations to make disciples and then to baptize them. Why do you think this was so prioritized?

When we’re saved, we belief on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.  The Holy Spirit comes to reside inside us, and we’re made into a new creation.  But no one can see the Holy Spirit in us until we start bearing spiritual fruit.  For some of us, that isn’t right away.  It may not be obvious that we’ve become a Christian.  But baptism solves that problem.

Among the many, many reasons for baptism is the idea that this is a public proclamation of our faith in Jesus.  It’s been said that this is like putting on a wedding ring.  We’d still be married without a ring, but we make it known by wearing the ring.  Likewise, we’d be Christians without the baptism, but the act shows the world that we aren’t ashamed of our new life and it preaches a message of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

Baptism is the first step of obedience for a believer.  When making disciples, getting them to take the first step of obedience opens the door to many more acts of obeying.  There’s just something about that first decision to follow Jesus’ example that makes it all the more likely that they’ll continue in their walk of faith with great strength.


On mission

Matthew 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

How do we make disciples?  Most of us probably know how to make converts; we share the Gospel.  If someone responds to the Good News of Jesus Christ, there has been a rebirth.  A new Christian has been made.  But has a disciple been made?  How do we know?

A very well known disciple-maker has said that if a person is reading God’s Word daily, praying with his or her spouse, obeying God, and sharing his or her faith at every opportunity, you can be pretty sure you’ve made a disciple.  Discipleship is not simply about behaviors and disciplines, however.  The Fruit of the Spirit?  A disciple should be showing those characteristics.  It won’t all happen overnight, but you can tell when someone is growing more mature and when they’re not.  Sadly, most Christians today are not growing and not becoming more like Jesus.  They’re just sitting on the bench, waiting for Him to come back.

But what do we do to make disciples?  How do we get people off the bench?  The most essential element in disciple-making is relationship and time.  You’ve got to share one-on-one time with a person to make a disciple.  Classes and theological training are good, but caring for the person and talking to them directly has more impact.  Probably second most important is modeling discipleship.  You can’t make a disciple if you aren’t living as one.  Preach what you practice.  Encourage, love, pray with, study with, and be there for people and you will make disciples.


On mission

Matthew 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

It’s time to go.  It’s time to get up.  It’s time to follow the command of Jesus to go into all the nations and reach people for Him.  Does this sound like a tough challenge?  It’s God’s mission for every disciple.

The command to go should not be as intimidating as we sometimes make it out to be.  We fear God will call us to serve in a distant land like Africa or that we’ll face danger.  We might. But we also might be needed as missionaries to our communities in our homeland.  Going does not necessarily mean leaving.

Some have had limitations placed on them physically or otherwise that keep them from being mobile.  Then send.  If you can’t go yourself into the nations, then send others who will do the work of the harvest.  Senders are just as needed as goers (Romans 10:15).  So send!

Whether going or sending, we should have no fear.  God has made this our purpose and He won’t let us go out alone.  He will be with us all along the way (Matthew 28:20).  Anything we face is for the sake of the cause, for the name of Jesus to be made famous throughout the world.  For the salvation of many.

Will you go?


A disciple

Matthew 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them int the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Disciples make disciples.  It has to be so.  Jesus commanded it.  There is nowhere in Scripture where God indicates that salvation is the end of the road for a believer.  There is nowhere that we can even infer that faith is a private matter.  Jesus said to go out into all the nations and make disciples.  Those are pretty simple instructions to understand.  Go.  Make disciples.  Baptize.  Teach.  He wants us to reach the world for God’s glory.

In order to reach the entire world, we’ve got to multiply.  We’ve got to make disciples right here at home.  Training, relationships, conversations, coffee, crisis, sharing, caring…it’s all part of helping others to grow in their spiritual walk with Christ.  It’s not just the job of pastors and teachers to make disciples.  It’s a calling for all of us.  The Great Commission is for all believers.  Multiplication is necessary to the mission of the Church.

Will you go?  Will you make disciples?  Will you teach them?  Trust in God along the way and He’ll make sure you succeed.


A disciple

John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

A simple truth:  You cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ and not love other people.  Some think they can love God but not love people and this couldn’t be further from the truth.  God created people and He created them each with a purpose.  You are included in that.  You are to love those other people.

Jesus never asked His disciples to do anything that He wasn’t willing to do Himself.  He commanded that we love, but He also modeled love.  He showed love to the scum of society, the outcasts, the poor, the sinners.  The people that were rejected by society were loved by Christ.  And that’s our example to follow.  Loving the unlovely.  It’s not easy, but it’s required.  And so is loving other believers.

No subject is more talked about, sung about, portrayed in the arts, or philosophized than love.  Why?  Because God wired us for it.  He created us to love and be loved.  When we don’t have love, we’re not living the lives He intended for us.  This life only works if there’s love.  People can only know God if there is love.  It’s up to us to show it.


A disciple

Hebrews 5:8  Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered

A disciple obeys God every step of the way on the path laid out for his or her life.  God calls each of us to a purpose, but we have a choice to make when it comes to playing the role He has for us.  But how do we know what to obey?  How do we know that what we’re doing is really what God wants?

We can never truly know God’s will for us and what He would have us to do if we never know Him for who He is.  If we’re ignorant of God’s character we may think we’re acting on something He’d have us do, only to contradict His very nature by doing so.  Knowing God leads to knowing His will and it becomes that much more clear what to obey.

The Bible isn’t primarily a list of rules to follow and restrictions to keeps us from sinning.  Those things are contained within, but God’s Word is first and foremost God’s self-revelation to mankind.  He shows us who He is so we can understand what He wants.

Take this into consideration:  Jesus, the perfect Son of God, learned obedience through suffering.  Yes, Jesus learned obedience.  By walking in what God the Father sent Him to do, by suffering as a human, He learned what obedience was all about.  Sometimes it’s the same for us.  Sometimes we only really know God through experiencing Him in times of struggle.  If we abide in Him, He’ll reveal Himself to us and we can walk in obedience by knowing who He is.


A disciple

Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

There is supernatural power in the Gospel of Jesus Christ to do a work in the life of a person.  Yet sometimes Christians are fearful to share this power, opting instead to water down the Good News into something flowery and completely devoid of its power.  How can we do this when we know that one can only be saved through faith in Jesus?

So often we fear what people will think of us.  Maybe they’ll disrespect us.  Maybe they’ll persecute us or threaten us.  In some areas of the world, death may even be a consequence for sharing the Gospel.  But on the day of judgement, who will we stand before?  Men or God?

We have nothing to fear because the power is on God’s side, not on the world’s side.  On that day when we stand to give an account for what we did with our lives, it will be God we face, not the people who intimidated us.  So why not share the message that has the power for salvation?  Why not proclaim to the entire world how they can know God?

As disciples it’s our calling.