Summary: And there are many things we can do to disciple the disciples. 1- Number the disciples 2- Strengthen the disciples 3- Charge the disciples
INTRO.- A disciple is a follower. And we’re all disciples of someone or of something.
ILL.- On April 25, 1994, the news section of Christianity Today, reported that some fans of Elvis Presley were actually revering the king of rock and roll as a god. Not surprising, is it? Pockets of semi-organized Elvis worship had taken hold in New York, Colorado, and Indiana. Worshipers raised their hands, spelled and then chanted Presley’s name, worked themselves into a fervor, and prayed to the deceased star.
A preacher in Denver said that Elvis worship was spreading. Followers believe Elvis watches over them. If someone reports seeing Presley, the high priests at the Church of the Risen Elvis in Denver hold Elvis worship services. They enshrined a look-alike doll of Elvis in an altar surrounded by candles and flowers.
Brothers and sisters, I think this is stretching worship and discipleship a bit too far! But in some ways, it’s no different today.
ILL.- It was Elvis and may still be for many but now it’s Hannah Montana. I read an article recently entitled, "Hannah Mania." Hannah Montana is Miley Cyrus, the 15 year old ’tween pop sensation,’ and also the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus. Of course, she’s far more popular than her daddy ever was!
She is so popular that her tickets have gone for as much as $2,500 each, out-selling the likes of Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles. What makes Cyrus such a huge star, who has seen record-breaking sellouts at major venues around the country? Dozens of fans wrote to a newspaper for the "I Like Hannah Montana" contest, to explain the character’s appeal.
Julie Heming, age 11, says Montana is a good role model, is down-to-earth, is religious and takes care of herself. Plus, her music is great. Parents and children often emphasize Cyrus’ work as a clean, wholesome and positive example for kids. (I hope she stays this way.)
Her great grandfather was a Pentecostal preacher. Her daddy, Billy Ray Cyrus was nominated in 5 categories at the Grammy Awards in 1993. He wore a shirt with the scripture "John 3:16" in reference to one of his favorites. He said, "I wanted to say thanks to God for my five nominations, because a year before, I’d been living in my car. I wanted to give credit where credit was due."
Thank the Lord for a good role model for young girls! But what makes Hannah Montana good? There can be only one answer and that’s the Lord. If we are good, if anyone is good, it’s because of God!
What about you? Are you a disciple of anything or anyone? Why, of course, you are. The most important discipleship of all is following Jesus in life no matter what else we do.
What’s the sign of a disciple of Jesus? You go to church. You got a church that believes in Jesus as the Christ. You may go to church every time the door is open. You get involved. You give. You serve. You pray. You witness. You evangelize. All these and perhaps more indicate you are disciple of Jesus.
Of course, some people just go to church occasionally, thinking that may qualify them to be a disciple.
ILL.- Someone said: "I go to church, so I am a Christian." But that’s like saying if you go to McDonald’s that makes you a Quarter Pounder.
ILL.- A little old Jewish lady was flying out of New York City on her way to Miami Beach. She looked at the businessman sitting next to her and asked him, "Excuse me sir, but are you Jewish?" The man responded politely, "No, ma’am, I’m not Jewish." After a little while she again asked him. "You’re really Jewish, aren’t you?" Again he responded, "No, ma’am, I am not Jewish."
Barely 10 minutes later, the little old lady asked him once more, "Are you sure you’re not Jewish?" To which, in exasperation and in a final effort to shut her up, he replied, "OK. Yes, ma’am, I am Jewish." "Funny," she says, looking puzzled. "You don’t look Jewish!"
If someone were to ask, "Are you a Christian?" and you responded "Yes, I am!" they might say, "Funny, you don’t look like a Christian."
Sometimes we don’t resemble a disciple of Jesus, BUT WE SHOULD! That is, our spirit, our attitude, our enthusiasm, our love, etc. should come from Christ. There should be a difference in us from other people because we’ve been with Jesus! We are His disciples and we should be interested in making more disciples. In our text we see what the apostles did to make disciples and to disciple the disciples.
PROP.- And there are many things we can do to disciple the disciples.
1- Number the disciples
2- Strengthen the disciples