It has been very challenging for me preparing the messages that God has been showing me. It is challenging in that it is bringing about changes in me that have been long past due. I have been challenged in the same way hearing these messages from other pastors and it has stirred me but when it came down to it, fully surrendering to the challenge was too hard so I was like most people. I prayed real hard for those that were out there on the front lines for Christ, and I gave what I could to support them. If I ever saw them I was sure to encourage them in what they were doing. You know, because some people go and others pray for, support, and encourage those that go. The problem is that is not what scripture tells us. Now these messages are coming through me so as I look to Christ for guidance to lead this church I have to allow the Holy Spirit to change me from the inside out.
Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples of all nations. We are all mandated to go and make disciples. This is not just the job of the pastor and leaders in the church; it is the responsibility of the church, all of us. Jesus is our greatest example of a disciple maker and if we are true followers of Christ then we must do what He did while He was here. So what did Jesus do while he was here to make disciples? In the book of Mark in the first chapter it says that Jesus was out evangelizing. Verse 14-15 says:
…Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” He said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
So as true disciples of Christ we are called to follow Jesus in the things He did. We see him here being an evangelist. He his calling people to repent and believe in God. While Jesus was out doing what the Father had him doing he found some others that he could make into disciples. In the next verses we see him call brothers Simon and Andrew.
Jesus said “Come, follow me… and I will make you fishers of men.”
Notice how Jesus said, "I will make you fishers of men." There would be a time of training. Simon, Andrew, and the rest of the twelve that Jesus called had to be trained as they followed Jesus. These men immediately began to follow Jesus, and Jesus discipled them to be what they were meant to be. This was a process that took 3 years while Jesus walked with them, spent time with them, and taught them scripture. So as followers of Christ we need to do the same thing. We must become disciples who make disciples. This requires us to spend time in scripture to know what is required of us. John 8:31-32 says this:
To the Jews who believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus also tells us in John 15 that we are to remain in Him and we will bear fruit. So hold to His teaching, from His word, and remain in Him and we will bear fruit. We will be disciples who make disciples. Jesus always remained in the Father while He was here on earth. He prayed always and only did what the Father told Him to do. Can we do that? This is where it becomes costly for us. Follow His teachings, remain in Him, bear fruit, and only do what the Fathers says to do? This is where Mark 8:34 comes in.
“If anyone would come after, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
This is where we need to be advised to read Luke 14:25-35. Next Sunday July 12, I will bring this message. If you were here last Sunday (6/28/15) I gave an introduction to this sermon. If you missed it you can hear it by clicking here or following the link on the home page. We are called to be disciples and there is a definite cost to us. We need to know this going in. This is the part that is very challenging to me. So, are we true disciples of Christ? We are called to be. Be here for part 2 of this message it is important to the future of our church.