Summary: There are 3 requirements for the person who sits near the exit door on a plane. (1) you must understand the instructions. (2) you must be able to pint people to the door. (3) you must be able to guide them through the door. Same for a disciple.
“Let me Show you the Door”
If you have ever flown in an airplane and I am sure most of us have, then you know that one of the things they do is have the flight attendants give a few basic instructions. I don’t really fly that often but I will admit that when I do I don’t pay much attention to what the flight attendants are saying. I’ve already heard it.
My brother’s wife is a flight attendant and works out of the airport in Memphis. You may have seen her if you watch Wheel of Fortune … she was on there about 2 months ago.. some of you mentioned that you saw her. She actually won the big prize for the night … about $50,000. I have asked my brother to consider becoming a tither to our church. But anyway she is a flight attendant.
I am told that when people are seated on the plane that the flight attendants are actually looking for responsible people to sit in certain places. If you are going to sit in an exit row there are actually 3 requirements and if you pay attention to what the flight attendant has to say it goes something like this….. If you are seated near an exit door you have 3 responsibilities. If for any reason you fell you cannot carry out these responsibilities then we ask that you move to another area. (1) you must be able to understand the instructions concerning the exit door. (2) you must be able to to physically open the door. (3) you must then be able to verbally guide someone through the door.
Those are the 3 requirements for that person. Now let me ask you a question this morning what are the requirements to be a disciple? Really the same thing. (1) you must understand the instructions. (2) you must be able to pint people to the door and (3) you must be able to verbally guide others through the door.
Most of us would say that we could definitely accomplish the first two. We understand the instructions (Bible) in fact as I heard someone say, it’s not the part in there I don’t understand that bothers me. It’s the part I do understand. It’s clear. It’s convicting. But some of us need to be reminded that we don’t follow instructions very well. We understand the instructions but we don’t always follow them. Most of us then can get the door open but all of us are not completely sure how we could actually convince someone to go with us on the journey.
But we must understand that to be a true disciple and to go deeper as a disciple in the Christian life, we MUST be able to do all 3. Now this is where the difficulty begins in going deeper in our faith. Doing all 3 is very hard for many of us because as I said a few weeks ago not all of us are natural born leaders are we? In fact I’m not sure anyone is. I believe it is something that we must learn. We are not born leaders. We become leaders. We are not born disciples. We have to be reborn actually. Now this brings me to the BIG TRUTH I want to convey to you today. Here it is.
A true disciple is a follower. A true disciple also has followers.
To go deep we must stay on the path no matter how difficult the path may be. AND we must always take someone else with us. Now let’s look at the path.
The apostle Paul begins with these words. V.3 “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path.” Now we all know what a stumbling block is. Paul was not the first to talk about them. Jesus, in speaking to the teachers of the law and the Pharisees said, “woe to you because you shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces.” (Ever had a door slammed in your face?) That’s what He’s describing. Then He says you yourselves do not enter nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
Jesus in His frustration at one point even said to Peter, “satan, get behind me. You are a stumbling block to me. Move back here because when you are here it causes me to stumble. You’re a problem on this path I ‘m traveling. Paul said you have to make up your mind NOT to be a stumbling block or obstacle in anyone’s path. Now back to v. 3, he gives us the reason we are not to do this. The reason not to put a stumbling block in anyone’s path..so that our ministry will not be discredited.
Paul was very careful about this even to the point that he said it is wrong to eat or drink anything that causes someone else to stumble. Don’t be a stumbling block. Because if you do your ministry will be discredited. Your testimony will be weakened and people will no longer follow you.