Do you consider yourself to be a disciple of Christ? Do you take joy in discipling others? “Discipleship is teaching biblical precepts, while modeling and guiding others toward living righteously as followers of Jesus.” Discipleship although difficult at times should be a humbling, joyful act of worship. God is working through you to create disciple makers! It is truly incredible what can happen when you believe, obey and take up the word of God and choose to go out and fish for men.
Relationship plays a key role in discipleship. In order to become a disciple and train other disciples you yourself must have a genuine relationship with God. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. Prayer is powerful! That is where you get to know the Father on a personal level. Anyone can learn about God, read the scripture but if you aren’t talking to Him you wont truly know Him. Just like becoming friends with someone on Facebook, you see the basics, how they look like, where they work, what they like to do, but you truly don’t know them until you start having a conversation with them, and there is so many layers to Jesus that we are continually having to uncover, which is amazing. When you have a relationship with Jesus it becomes easier to form relationships with people and build on it.
Take a look at your relationship with Christ, is it strong? Does it need some building? The great thing about Jesus is that He will always welcome us with open arms to every problem or situation we might have, and he always has a solution: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
How would you define your relationship with Christ?
How would you define your relationships with people?
Pray about uncovering a new layer to God, one that you haven’t seen.
Patience plays a prominent role when “fishing” for men. “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:25 Often times we want to see the fruits being produced immediately after they were planted however that is not quite how it works, every great thing takes time, effort and a lot of patience. Patience to endure the trials, the hiccups, the do-overs. We know that no one is perfect but we try to do our best to channel the perfection that is within Christ unto us, the error that I have often made is holding everyone else who may not know or feel what I have experienced onto a higher platform which can be good at times but can also be detrimental. When we don’t have the patience to endure, it is no longer just ourselves that we are harming but the person who chose to go through this with you, they see it in our face, they sense it in our hearts with that being said you also can’t expect that you will see the end “result” Battling with this is difficult, you can put so much time and effort into a person who may not be ready for you on your path but will be ready for someone else on their path, and that’s okay.
Moses endured a lot while freeing the Israelites, although the Israelites witnessed a multitude of blessings and miracles still, they chose to grumble, ignore Gods commands and not trust Him in the process. Can you imagine how FRUSTRATING that can be? Well let us be glad that our Father has the “patience of a sloth” – Pastor Lee. Moses however didn’t. When the Israelites began to get hungry God provided bread, Moses instructed the Israelites to not save any for the next morning: “however some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.” Exodus 16:20. Do you think Moses was justified in his anger? If yes, why? He wasn’t the one that provided it, God was patient why was Moses not? Our flesh wants us to lash out in the frustrating situations, we need to choose not to.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James 1:19
Pray about those people who you will encounter and see grow and the ones who will see growth in another season.
We can’t expect everyone to come to us, or even meet us in the middle WE must go out to THEM: “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.” Matthew 28:19-20. The word “go” means we are being sent, God doesn’t call us to sit around and wait for the next opportunity, but to go and take the gospel into the world.
Becoming a disciple means you must step out of your comfort zone and trust that Jesus will be right there with you, guiding you through. “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples” 1 Chronicles 16:24. God doesn’t put a limitation on who is allowed to know about the gospel and we shouldn’t either, everyone deserves to know the truth, love and forgiveness of God despite our differences. This is why I find the mission field so important, If you have a calling to reach the ends of the world for Christ, don’t be afraid, God always provides a way for His purpose to be fulfilled.
Now that we talked about going out into the world outside our walls, let’s think about what we can do here, within our community, family, friends, etc. There’s always going to be a need but that doesn’t mean we don’t try to help. Feed the hungry! Be a helpful hand to your family even when they seem impossible to “deal with” be a listening ear to your friends, all these things build relationships, which in turn build disciples. Just don’t do nothing.
When was the last time you served in your community?
Do you find it difficult to step out of your comfort zone?
If not, do you try to share the gospel as often as a funny post on Facebook is shared?
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:12-17.
There is no one like our God, He is loving, gracious to forgive, and wants nothing but the best for us, we need to know that within the depths for our hearts! How then can we be disciples if we don’t read, study and soak in the word of God? Our spiritual net is the living, breathing word of God, it is POWERFUL. “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11. We see here that the word will never not achieve its purpose, that’s great news! Never think for a second that you are not making a difference through Christ because believe me you are.
Not many people understand the depths of Gods love until they get into the word or are told of His miraculous deeds or experience it themselves. I say this because I was there once, entrapped in my sin I found it hard to believe that Jesus was on my side because how can God love me when I keep going against His will time after time? It was a truly awful feeling, until I was spiritually slapped in the face by scripture! A wake-up call that I needed; a heavy weight lifted off my shoulders, I could breathe! After that moment of realization, I was excited to tell of God’s love, something I never truly felt before. Now a day’s people are so accustomed to giving something out, or following a certain criteria in order to be loved, but that’s not the case with our Father.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
Reflect on Gods love for you, in your own thoughts how does that look like or feel like to you?
Cast your net, share the word and be confident in it.
Have you ever been fishing? If you haven’t, here’s some things you need (Unless you’re going noodling which in that case you just need a hand… google it.) a fishing net, bait, a good fishing spot and most importantly patience. “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4: 18-20.
What did Jesus mean when He said He was going to send them out to fish for people? Jesus first wanted Peter and Andrew to follow Him, then by following Christ they will in turn make disciples, showing everyone the saving grace God bestowed upon us. But just like a fisherman needs his equipment we too need some things.
Bait, we need something to attract people something they desire deeply, and that is love. Love encompasses everything. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16. This is why we tell of his reckless love, not just with our voices but with our actions because we all know actions speak louder than words ever will. As Christians we are called to LOVE as Christ loved, without judgement, without compensation. When people feel this new type of love, that they’ve never experienced before, they will be drawn into Jesus and His teachings.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Do you understand God’s love for you?
How do you show love?
I challenge you to find a verse in the bible that talks about love that you can live out, meditate on it throughout the week.
Tomorrow will talk about the next piece of equipment we need, our net. Stay tuned!
What comes to mind when you think of discipleship? Hold that thought and let’s see what the bible says about it. “Come follow me, Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him.” Here Jesus is talking to Peter and his brother Andrew, some of His first disciples however, Jesus wasn’t only speaking to Peter and Andrew but everyone whom would become a believer in Christ.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15.
We Live in a world full of hate, lust, envy, greed, addiction and everything else you can think of. People want more, they are looking for something to quench their thirst not just satisfy it for the moment, the problem is, they don’t know where to look. I was there once, I’m sure you were too. Do you remember the feelings and thoughts when you first heard about Jesus? Even if you grew up in the church and God was always a part of your life and a just a “thing” you believed in. I say that because I was once there but there came a moment of realization … “Wow I have a perfect Father who loves me endlessly despite my imperfections, never will fail me and forgives the unforgivable. EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW THIS” Don’t keep God to yourself, the phrase we said as kids applies here, “sharing is caring” Share the gospel. So through it people will leave their darkened understanding of the world to step into the light, to step into their hope and future. “To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” Acts 26:18
Have you shared the gospel?
If not, why?
It’s never too early or late to start.