M3 – MOBILIZING Disciples 1/24/16
Acts 1:8 Sunday AM
A beggar boy had staked himself on a bridge in Rome w/ an old violin on which he played pitifully. The only people who gave money were those who felt sorry for him. One day a man came by who after listening asked the boy if he could hold the violin. Reluctantly, the boy surrendered his instrument. After the stranger tuned it, he began to play a beautiful melody. Suddenly, a crowd gathered to listen and began dropping money into the case. As the crowd grew, the money increased. When the man finished, he handed the boy his violin, along w/ the money in the case. Who was the stranger? It was the great Nicolo Paganini, the renowned Italian violinist!
Around the same time, a little beggar girl knocked on the door of Adelina Patti, the renowned Italian-Spanish opera singer looking for a handout. The great singer gave her no money but invited her momentarily into her home and asked her to sing. Puzzled, the girl fulfilled her request and sang. Patti detected a tiny spark of musical promise in the girl and invited her to return the following day where she began to giving the girl daily lessons. The great opera diva trained the girl for (7) yrs – when finally, she introduced her to the world in concert. For the rest of her life, the female urchin-turned-singer, trained by Adelina Patti, earned a large salary and blessed multitudes of people.
Of these stories – which account do you think most portrays Jesus concept of making disciples? Then why is it that we tend to default to the first method?
Chinese Proverb – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Discipling is teaching a man to follow Jesus so he can feed on God for himself. It’s leading a man to take responsibility for himself and for others.
The call of every Christian is to become broken bread and poured out wine to others until they are able to feed on God for themselves. O. Chambers
What is your picture of a disciple? In all likelihood your picture is of someone who has had a profound impact on your spiritual life? What do you think was Jesus’ picture? This might surprise you, but I think His picture was you and me. In considering His time and commission to His disciples – He viewed the 12 as His portrait. And now it is us.
We’ve been discussing the call of being a disciple and how we’re going to focus our church to help all of us to BE One – who MAKES One. In my preparation I found a clip from Francis Chan I’d like to share w/ you to start us off this AM.
Chan Video Clip from Verge
Jesus has called us individually/collectively to go into our world to make, mature, and mobilize disciples for Him. This is His heart for His followers – that we know Him and make Him known to others by investing the Jesus in us into others.
We need to be careful not to become communers and consumers in the faith. We have to exchange the cultural “Come and Hear” approach for God’s “Go and Tell” commission. We have to be vigilant to keep our focus on serving God instead of being served.
Make no mistake – the call of Jesus is clear – every Christ-follower is responsible to go into the world w/ the priority to be a disciple who makes disciples.
Salvation is free. The gift of God is eternal life. It isn’t cheap for it cost God His Son and the Son His life – but it is free. However, when we become believers we become disciples and that’ll cost everything we have. Our Lord was after disciples, not mere "joiners”. Vance Havner
This is the cost of fellowship – the Gospel is simple; but following is not so easy – b/c it cost us everything.
Jesus – Salvation is simple – Following can be hard
Church – Salvation is complex – following is simple
I want you to listen to Jesus in His own words:
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet lose or forfeit his soul?” Luke 9:23-25
Listen: Christianity is more than a decision to trust in Christ as Savior – it is a call to abiding fellowship. In the Gospels, Jesus invited men to follow Him, not just to believe on Him. Meaning Christianity is more than a moment-in-time conversion; it is a radical transformation of a person’s life which leads to new life in God. It is an unimaginable exchanging of lives – your life for His life. And this requires the surrender of your former way of life to a new life in the Spirit by grace through faith. In accepting this call to follow we’re becoming more than converts – we’re accepting the cost of surrender. Instead of embracing an escape from condemnation – we’re embracing a new life w/ God. Jesus taught us that it was inconceivable to have salvation w/out a commitment to follow Him. This is why Jesus so persistently challenged any would-be followers to count the cost as well as the rewards to follow Him.
If anyone comes to me and doesn’t hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever doesn’t carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:25-27
To be clear – Jesus wasn’t calling His followers to hate – but in comparison to their affection and devotion to Him – all other earthly relationships were to be a distant second. Which brings us back to the Great Commission.
The disciples went to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the H.S., and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Surely I am w/ you always, even to the end of the age.
• A disciple is AVAILABLE to God
• A disciple has AFFECTION for God
• A disciple abides under the AUTHORITY of God
• A disciple lives for the AGENDA of God
• A disciple waits on the ASSURANCE of God
Student Retreat – kids on a hike –group in front was always looking for direction after the fact. Group behind was always bemoaning the task. Group w/ enjoyed the journey w/ leader.
• An ability to HEAR and distinguish God’s voice
• An ability to rightly HANDLE God’s Word
• An understanding of your IDENTITY in Christ
As we’ve discussed, I believe the church has been called to help and not hinder in this faith journey. I believe we gather to spur one another along towards love and good deeds and that we scatter into the highways and byways of our lives where we live, work, and play to reproduce the Jesus in us into the lives of others through intentional, Spirit-led ministry – meaning we exist to make, mature, and mobilize disciples for the cause of Christ.
To MAKE a disciple requires helping people to connect w/ Christ in salvation and w/ a local church.
To MATURE a disciple requires helping people to grow by modeling/teaching them how to hear God’s voice, how to rightly divide God’s Word, and how to grow in intimacy in the reality of their faith.
Then, once a person comes to Christ and begins growing w/ Christ – God expects them to be mobilized for Him.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the H.S., and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
go – (aorist imp. part.) as you are going. Jesus is assuming motion. B/c of the amazing grace work of God in you, you will be compelled to continue the mission.
make disciples (matheteuo) aor. imp. It’s a command to do it now. W/ urgency follow Jesus by adhering to His example and instruction – reproducing what has been produced in you – meaning be a disciple who makes disciple.
Christ didn’t come to make us Christians; He came to make us disciples. Discipleship isn’t one of the church’s ministries or something the paid staff does? Discipling is who we – as the church – are at our very core. J D Greear
What does this mean? It means that if I’m a disciple of Christ, then I’ll be compelled to reproduce myself no matter what my church or other professing Christians are doing.
So then – what is my responsibility and what is the churches responsibility in this great commission:
My responsibility is to engage – to do it. To live Christ and invest Christ into others both personally and at the point of a person’s need as lead by the H.S.
And what is the church role? It is to encourage, equip, and expect me to be Jesus where I live, work, and play. The church helps me to discover who I am in Christ, how God has wired me for ministry, and a sense of direction where I can best make disciples.
The N.T. church was NEVER intended to be an institution where people came to volunteer for the good of the organization. The church always was intended to be a mission outpost for believers to gather to scatter into the world on mission for God. I believe that other than for a few, our priority ministry isn’t w/in the walls of the church but w/in the needs of people’s lives in the community. Yet the modern church often has made the building the destination – yet that’s not the intent of the God’s Commission. The church is a sending place – not the finish line.
But you will receive power when the H.S. comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The mark of a great church is not its SEATING capacity but its SENDING capacity. Mark Stachura
Primary and Secondary Ministry
Pastor/Elders/Deacon Church Family
P – disciple the church P – disciple the nations
S – disciple the nations S –disciple the church
This means that while I live and minister in the world, God’s primary call on my life is to help believers to engage the world on mission for God and not to hold you captive at the church running programs and attending events. My job is to disciple you so you can make disciples of the nations.
• I am to teach you how to be a Jesus follower
• I am to teach you how to make a disciple
• I am to help you to discover your ministry calling
• I am to inspire you to engage the world for Christ
• I am to hold you accountable and cheer you on
• I am to assist you in missional opportunities
What am I not to do:
• I am not to allow you to live in immaturity
• I am not to encourage you to be a consumer
• I am not to expect you to live oblivious to the call
• I am not to urge you to hide you light
• I am not to turn your focus inward to the church
My calling is to do everything w/in my responsibility under the leading of the H.S. to help you to fulfill your calling.
What does it mean to be mobilized to make disciples?
It means that you take ownership for yourself to follow Christ and to intentionally reproduce Christ in you into the lives of others. It means that you accept the call to actively be salt and light to the world around you.
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16
According to the Salt Institute, there are some 14k uses for salt. It can be used for melting ice, killing bugs, preserving meat, flavoring food, and even matching nylons by boiling them together in salt.
Salt is essential for human survival as it maintains fluid in your blood cells and assists in the utilization of nutrients throughout the body.
In antiquity salt was a commodity? Nations went to war over it. Rome used it to pay wages to soldiers – term salary.
Point: Salt is more than a seasoning; it adds value. But for salt to be effective, it must come into contact w/ another object. So when Jesus called His people to be salt, he wasn’t asking us to season fries; He was charging us w/ engaging the world to give value/purpose to the lives of others.
In a similar way – we’re called to be a light that pierces the dark world around us presenting the truth of God and the hope of Christ to everyone around us.
We have to do more than sit around and talk about it – we have to live it. Over the next week you will have a tremendous opportunity to investigate ways in which you can begin making disciples around us. (Explain Engage)
Every Christian is to be a disciple – and every disciple is called to make disciples. The Three D’s of disciple making: deliver them, develop them, and deploy them. Through the power of Christ we are delivered from sin; by the discipling process we are developed into mature believers; and finally God deploys us into the harvest field to reach others. Hull