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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making Disciples

Christians waste a lot of time trying to figure out where we belong, and what we’re supposed to be doing. I know I have. One of the reasons I love Oswald Chambers’ writing so much is because he was so gifted at condensing the vast down to the choicest nuggets. Jesus hasn’t asked you to do great things. He’s never asked you to save souls. That’s the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit.

How’s that for clarity of purpose?

What Jesus did ask (actually it’s a command) is that you “Go and make disciples.” A closer look at this statement revels at least two things.

First, there is action required. Jesus said, “Go…” Movement on our part is indicated. I found it interesting that in Acts chapter 1 verse 8, Jesus explains the disciple’s work: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the world.” They had marching orders. Once the Holy Spirit comes upon them, they are to go, and share, and make disciples.

Yet a couple of chapters later, even though the Holy Spirit had come and filled them with the power to witness, the disciples were still hanging out in Jerusalem. They haven’t gone anywhere! Pay special attention to the fact that this is when the persecution starts. What happened as a result of persecution? The disciples scattered like rats to all parts of the world. This is when they went and made disciples.

I love God’s nudges.

Second, you might notice that Jesus instructs us to “be witnesses to Him”—tell people about Him. People don’t need programs, more social events, or even fabulous churches. What people need is to know Christ—the Person He is. Helping people discover and nurture a vibrant relationship with Christ is the highest calling to which anyone can ascribe.

Third, you might notice the demographics that Jesus uses: Jerusalem, all Judea, Samaria, the world. To liken this statement to today’s world, He might say, “your hometown, your community, your state, your world.” In that order, please.

There are people in your immediate sphere who need Christ. No one can witness to them better than you. You’ve already got relationship, they already trust and know you. Tell them about Jesus, disciple them so that they grow stronger in their relationship with God. Then set your aims on your community, state, and finally world.

Jesus has positioned you exactly where you are to disciple those around you. Train, love, and correct them faithfully and with all your might. Rely on the Holy Spirit to open times of dialog and windows of opportunity. The Holy Spirit will empower you to instruct and teach not only with actions, but with words. Become a disciple-maker and leave the soul saving up to God. Witness, surely, but focus on discipling those around you who are already in the kingdom. It will reap eternal benefits.


A_Heart_Like_Mine said...

Debbie, your writing has grown to not only share your deepest insights, but the caliber of your technique equates with some of the best contemporary writers. And I can detect even a hint of Oswald In your voice. Great Posting and awesome thoughts. I love it. 8^)

Jane said...

Yes - that's what we are directed to do - and yes - by the Holy Spirit, He enables us to do it. We just obey! Good post!

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