Depraved Indifference

Depraved indifference is a legal term used in United States law.

Suppose a man had a child who was playing near a pool filled with water as he polished his newly purchased leather shoes.

All of a sudden, without notice, the child falls into the pool.

If the man continued to polish his shoes without regard for the life of the child, this man would be charged and found guilty of a crime known as depraved indifference.

Depraved means ‘as low as you can get’
Indifference means ‘you couldn’t care less’

“have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!”
– Charles Spurgeon

When Jesus commission his disciples to go and preach the Gospel, this was not a command that was limited to only those “gifted in speech” or “blessed with a spirit of boldness” as some might erroneously think.

His command was to everyone who identified them self as his follower.

For to identify yourself as a disciple of Christ – a ‘Christ-ian’ – and neglect the duty to which you were called, would be essentially on the same level as taking the name of the Lord in vain.

As with all things in life, we aren’t expected to just ‘know’ how to share our faith perfectly as soon as we confess Christ as Lord

It takes practice, even error at first, but it also gets better with time.

Soon you find yourself able to do so as tactfully, boldly, confidently and above all, according to the Scriptures, as the Apostle Paul and the early church did in the book of Acts

Connecting with others who share a love for Scriptural evangelism is also a good way to develop in this area

I mention “scriptural evangelism” because a lot of what purports itself as preaching the Gospel today is so far from the message of the early church that it’s comical

Telling people that “God has a plan for you”, though it contains some truth, is not preaching the Gospel

Telling people “God loves you”, though this is also true, is not preaching the Gospel

Be sure that the methods being employed to share your faith accord with the example found in the Scriptures. I encourage you to read the book of Acts for yourselves.

It’s also a good idea to always go out in groups of two or three. Evangelism is a skill that is not meant to be developed on your own.

It’s good the have someone who can lend constructive criticism who will also encourage you.

It would be an awful thing for you to labor long and hard for years, only to find that you labored in vain on the day that you stand before the Lord Jesus, because you were unwilling to labor according to the model He set forth for us to follow.

This video is a good start in the right direction if you’d like to learn how to share your faith with others

How to Share the Gospel in 3 1/2 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZaGvi_kGpY

Pray without ceasing and as with all things, commit every aspect of your evangelism to the Lord and allow His Spirit to direct you through it as you minister to others.

Above all things,

Trust JESUS!

 

 

Contact me via email if you’d like to connect to learn more about evangelism
mowla.raymond@gmail.com

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St Patrick, A Preacher of the Gospel to Ireland!

We know about the real St. Patrick (or Magnus Sucatus Patricius) because he wrote a record of his life called Confessions. As a young boy Patrick lived a comfortable life near an English coastal city where his father was a deacon in their church. But at the age of 16, his comfortable life unraveled. Irish pirates attacked his village, abducting Patrick and many of the household servants. After arriving in Ireland, Patrick was sold as a slave to a Druid tribal chieftain who forced Patrick to work with a herd of pigs.

In the midst of the squalor of pig filth, God began to transform Patrick’s heart. In his Confessions he wrote, “I was sixteen and knew not the true God, but in a strange land the Lord opened my unbelieving eyes, and I was converted.” Patrick became convinced that the kidnapping and homesickness were actually opportunities to know Christ better. “Anything that happens to me,” he wrote, “whether pleasant or distasteful, I ought to accept with [serenity] giving thanks to God … who never disappoints.” Knowing that this serenity didn’t come from his own strength, Patrick wrote, “Now I understand that it was the fervent Spirit praying within me.”

After serving as a slave for six years, Patrick escaped, boarded a boat, and found his way back home. At long last, he was on British soil, warmly embraced by his family and his community. In his own mind Patrick was done with Ireland for good. According to Patrick, “It is not in my nature to show divine mercy toward the very ones who once enslaved me.”

Once again, God would change Patrick’s heart. Partially through a dramatic dream, Patrick knew that God had called him to return to Ireland—not as a slave, but as a herald of the gospel. His family and friends were understandably horrified by his decision. “Many friends tried to stop my mission,” Patrick wrote. “They said, ‘Why does this fellow waste himself among dangerous enemies who don’t even know God?'”

Despite these objections, in A.D. 432 Patrick used his own money to purchase a boat and sail back to Ireland. Patrick spent the rest of his life preaching the gospel in Ireland, watching many people come to Christ. He also passionately defended the human rights of slaves. Besides hisConfession, his only other remaining written work is the Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus, a scathing protest sent to King Coroticus and his soldiers after they raided a village, slaughtering the men and selling the women into slavery.

For the rest of his life, Patrick would remain captivated by the grace of God. In his Confessionshe wrote:

And I am certain of this: I was a dumb stone lying squashed in the mud; the Mighty and Merciful God came, dug me out and set me on top of the wall. Therefore, I praise him and ought to render him something for his wonderful benefits to me both now and in eternity.

The shamrock was a teaching tool that St Patrick used to teach the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to Irish pagans.

Irish_clover

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. So complete was his trust in God, and the importance of his mission, he feared nothing – not even death.

Here is a poem written by St Patrick entitled “The Breastplate,” that conveys his faith and trust in God:

“Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

Trust JESUS,
(the Christ!)

Special thanks to preachingtoday.com

10 Signs That You Might Be Deceived

Scripture gives us many warnings not to be deceived nor deceive ourselves

Here are a few scriptural example’s of deceptions to beware of in your personal walk

May the Spirit of Truth seek out and bring to light any areas of your life where the enemy might be trying to deceive you.

If you are a hearer of the Word and not a doer of the Word

You might be deceived

If you say you have not sinned

You might be deceived

If you say that you are entirely sanctified

You might be deceived

If you think you’re something when you’re nothing

You might be deceived

If you think you’re wise when you’re foolish

You might be deceived

If you say or think you are religious, when your tongue is unbridled

You might be deceived

If you think you won’t reap what you’ve sown

You might be deceived

If you think you can go on sinning and inherit the Kingdom

You might be deceived

If you think that contact with bad company wont affect you

You might be deceived

This last one is probably the hardest one for most Christians to face…

But if you have the sort of idea that somehow Christians won’t see the big trouble; that somehow they’ll just be caught out of it all and be taken on the first bus to heaven before any trouble hits them

I believe you may be duped by a huge totally unscriptural deception

This last one is probably the one that will cause the most opposition because of the popularized idea in and out of the church, but I believe it truly is an unscriptural idea. And even if I am wrong regarding this last one, I’d rather be wrong my way, then to be wrong in any contrary way.

Nevertheless, in all things,

Trust JESUS!

Searching For A Vessel…

The Master was searching for a vessel to use
on the shelf there were many – which one would He choose?
Take me, cried the gold one, I’m shiny and bright,
I’m of great value and I do things just right.
My beauty and luster will outshine the rest
and for someone like You, Master, gold would be best!

The Master passed on with no word at all;
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall;
I’ll serve You, dear Master; I’ll pour out Your wine
And I’ll be at Your table whenever you dine,
My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true,
And my silver will always compliment You.

Unheeding the Master passed on to the brass,
It was wide mouthed and shallow, and polished like glass.
Here! Here! Cried the vessel, I know I will do,
Place me on Your table for all men to view.

Look at me, called the goblet of crystal so clear,
My transparency shows my contents so dear,
Though fragile am I, I will serve you with pride,
And I’m sure I’ll be happy in Your house to abide.

The Master came next to a vessel of wood,
Polished and carved, it solidly stood.
You may use me, dear Master, the wooden bowl said,
but I’d rather you used me for fruit, not the bread!

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

Ah! This is the vessel I’ve been hoping to find,
I will mend it and use it and make it all mine.
I need not a vessel with pride of its self;
Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf;
Not the one who displays his contents so proud;
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right;
But this plain earthen vessel filled with My power and might.

Then gently he lifted the vessel of clay.
Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly: “There’s work you must do,
Just pour out to others as I pour into you”

Anonymous

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:7-17

Trust JESUS!

What You Won’t Talk About at Church

Brain-Chemicals-and-Porn-Addiction

Facts:

The average age for first time viewers of pornography is 11 years old

More than 1 Billion pornographic websites are available on the Internet

1 in 4 online searches are for porn

20-30% of their traffic comes from children

Half of all Christian families report that pornography is a problem

30% of pastors have viewed pornography in the last 30 days

———–

Over a decade ago, Dr. Judith Reisman called porn an “erototoxin,” theorizing that the brain itself might be damaged while watching porn. She speculated that future brain studies would reveal that the surge of neurochemicals and hormones released when someone watches porn has measurably negative effects on the brain.

Recent studies are validating her theory about brain chemicals and porn addiction.

What Brain Scans Tell Us

Cambridge Neuropsychiatrist Valerie Voon was featured last year in the UK documentary Porn on the Brain. Her research demonstrates that the brains of habitual porn users show great similarity to the brains of alcoholics. A brain structure called the ventral striatum plays a significant role in the reward system of the brain—the pleasure pathways. It is the same part of the brain that “lights up” when an alcoholic sees a picture of a drink.

Dr. William Struthers, author of Wired for Intimacy, sounds a similar alarm, teaching that viewing pornography and masturbating actually weakens the region of our brain known as the cingulate cortex—the region that is responsible for moral and ethical decision making and willpower.

The Brain Chemicals of Sex

In The Porn Circuit, Sam Black describes the various hormones and neurotransmitters involved when someone views porn and how each ingredient in this neuro-cocktail contributes to the problem:

When having sex or watching porn, dopamine is released into a region of the brain responsible for emotion and learning, giving the viewer a sense of sharp focus and a sense of craving: “I have got to have this thing; this is what I need right now.” It supplies a great sense of pleasure. The next time the viewer gets the “itch” for more sexual pleasure, small packets of dopamine are released in the brain telling the user: “Remember where you got your fix last time. Go there to get it.”

Norepinephrine is also released, creating alertness and focus. It is the brain’s version of adrenaline. It tells the brain, “Something is about to happen, and we need to get ready for it.”

Sex or porn also trigger the release of oxytocin and vasopressin. These hormones help to lay down the long-term memories for the cells. They “bind” a person’s memories to the object that gave him or her the sexual pleasure.

The body releases endorphins, natural opiates that create a “high,” a wave of pleasure over the whole body.

After sexual release serotonin levels also change, bringing a sense of calm and relaxation.

This system works the way it is supposed to work when you’re having sex with your spouse. Together you can experience a high, an alertness of sexual pleasure, and the deep calm afterwards (norepinephrine, endorphins, and serotonin). With each sexual embrace you are emotionally bonding to this person (oxytocin and vasopressin). Over time a craving for sex is transformed into a desire for one another (dopamine).

But porn short-circuits the system.

How Porn Hijacks the Brain

Multiple problems happen when porn is used. First, instead of forming a deep connection to a person, your brain ends up “bonding” to a pornographic experience. Your brain remembers where the sexual high was experienced, and each time you desire sexual stimulation, you feel a sharp sense of focus: I’ve got to go back to the porn.

In addition, pornography gives the brain an unnatural high. In a recent TEDx talk, physiology teacher Gary Wilson explained that when men look at porn, they experience surge after surge of dopamine in the brain. The brain eventually fatigues, stopping the production of dopamine, leaving the viewer wanting more but unable to reach a level of satisfaction. As a result, everyday pleasures stop causing excitement and the viewer seeks out more novel, more intense pornography to get the same high as before.

This imbalance in the brain leads to many problems: impotence with your spouse, frequent masturbation with very little satisfaction, anxiety, fatigue, lack of motivation, inability to concentrate, and escalating tastes for more bizarre or novel porn.

Get Free from Porn

From a behavioral standpoint, change is possible. Men and women have broken free from the grip of pornography and reclaimed their sexuality. You can learn more in the free book, The Porn Circuit: Understanding Your Brain and Break Porn Habits in 90 Days.

Also check out accountability apps for your desktop and smart phone at:
http://www.covenanteyes.com/

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery
Galatians 5:1

Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed
James 5:16

Your Heavenly Father loves you and wants to help you to find freedom

I implore you,

Trust JESUS!

Special thanks to Josh McDowell
http://www.just1clickaway.org/

What is the Secret? What is the Laws of Attraction?

The Secret – http://www.thesecret.tv –also known as the “law of attraction,” is the idea that because of our connection with a “universal energy force,” our thoughts and feelings have the ability to manipulate this energy force to our liking.

According to “The Secret,” our thoughts and feelings attract a corresponding energy to ourselves. If our thoughts are negative, we attract negative things. If our feelings are positive, we attract positive things. The essential message of “The Secret” is that we all have the power to determine our own destiny. We can all create our own reality. Through fully and consistently applying the “law of attraction,” we can be who we want to be and have everything we want to have.

Is there any truth to “The Secret”?

Is there any validity to the Law of Attraction?

As with most other popular ideas, “The Secret” has a nugget of truth that is expanded to unbiblical and illogical extremes. For example, a thesis of the law of attraction is that our physical health is determined by our thoughts and feelings. It has been medically proven that stress and worry are harmful to the body, while joy and peace actually aid in the healing process. The Bible agrees, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones” (Proverbs 15:30). As David was struggling with the guilt of his unconfessed, evil actions, he declared, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Psalm 32:3). Our thoughts and feelings do have an impact on our physical well-being. However, this is due to how God designed our bodies…not because of our connection with a universal energy force and our negativity or positivity attracting negative or positive physical symptoms.

A second error in the “law of attraction” is its emphasis on money and wealth.

The Bible has much to say regarding wealth and the management of money and resources. Proverbs 13:11 exclaims,

“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
Proverbs 13:11

Similarly, Proverbs 17:16 proclaims,

“Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?”
Proverbs 17:16

Our financial success is determined by our decisions, our hard work, and our wise stewardship of what we have. No matter how positive our thoughts and how focused our mind is on wealth, if we have built mountains of debt, the bills will continue to come.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender
Proverbs 22:7

The only impact the secret of “positive thinking” can have on our financial situation is in motivating us to work harder and spend more wisely. The Secret—and its focus on achieving wealth—goes directly against the teachings of the Bible. Solomon, the wisest and richest man in the Bible, observed,

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless”
Ecclesiastes 5:10

Jesus, who possessed everything, warned us,

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”
Luke 12:15

First Timothy 6:10 could not say it more clearly,

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Timothy 6:10

With that said, the primary error of “The Secret” / law of attraction is its view, or lack thereof, of God.

In the law of attraction, God, if He even exists, is nothing more than a universal energy force that we manipulate by our thoughts and feelings. The law of attraction assumes a pantheistic (God is everything) view of God. The Secret denies the ideas of a personal God (with thoughts, feelings, and emotions) and a sovereign God (omnipotent and omniscient, perfectly in control of everything). The core message of “The Secret” is that we are in control of our own destiny.

God knows the truth of our lives to be very different, “…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest king of ancient Babylon and a prime candidate for someone who would know “The Secret,” declared in his own humility after being thoroughly educated and humbled by the truth of our Sovereign God,

“Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified Him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: ‘What have you done?’”
Daniel 4:34-35

According to the proponents of the law of attraction, we are all “incarnations of god.” We are all our own gods, able to create our own reality, able to control our own destiny. This lie is not a secret, and it is nothing new. Satan’s primary temptation has always been to obtain knowledge and thereby to become like God,

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…”
Genesis 3:5

Satan’s own fall from his heavenly abode and glory was from this same error,

“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’”
Isaiah 14:13-14

The message of “The Secret” is the same message that Satan used to tempt Adam and Eve into sin: “You do not need God…you can be God!”

And just as Satan will fail in his quest to be God,

And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever
Revelation 20:10

so too will all those who seek to be their own god will fail.

Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit
Isaiah 14:15

The true “secret” is that God is in control. God has a sovereign and perfect plan for us. The key is getting in tune with God, thereby understanding His heart and knowing His will. Rather than seeking after wealth, fame, power, and pleasure (in which there is nothing but emptiness), we are to seek a relationship with God, allowing Him to place His perfect desires in our heart and mind, conforming our feelings to His – and then granting us the desire of His, and our, hearts.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun”
Psalm 37:4-6

If you have a desire to discover the ‘true’ secret to a joyous and fulfilling life,

Trust JESUS!

Special thanks to gotquestions.org

Discipleship Defined

Biblical Basis for Discipleship

Then Jesus came to them and said, “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 and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20

Jesus’ Command

After Jesus’ resurrection, “all authority was entrusted to me” came to fruition. He is not waiting passively in heaven for His glorious arrival as king but already He is exercising His lordship. The literal translation is a command: “You disciple.” The word disciple translates as “to become a learner or pupil.” Grammatically, Matthew uses the aorist active imperative tense. This simply means an action that is absolutely required and occurring without end. It is surrounded by three participles (Go, Baptize, and Teach). The first participle ‘going/traveling’ is one of attendant circumstance. It is used to communicate an action that is equally as important as the finite verb ‘Disciple.’ In this respect, the verb is not dependent, and is best translated “Go and Make.” Therefore in Matthew’s mind, “Go” is understood as not only a non-negotiable but an assumed action that is always linked to the command ‘Disciple.”

(Baptizing) and (Teaching) are participles of means. Jesus is communicating how the action of the finite verb is accomplished. By using ‘Baptizing’ Jesus is describing the symbolic gesture of being initiated into His fold. The gospel is the catalyst for that initiation and thus the most relevant message that a person can receive in this life. The focus is witnessing, so the task of baptizing in this text is mainly evangelistic in nature.
‘Teaching’ refers to catechesis, which means the process of educating through a method of active questioning and response. By teaching what Jesus taught, the church becomes an extension of His ministry. In all, the command to disciple finds its fulfillment in evangelism and education. The discipleship characteristics as commanded by Jesus appear not only in this commission, but throughout the Gospels.

Jesus’ Model

Discipleship was Jesus’ method of winning the world to Himself. In fact, Jesus converted very few people in His earth ministry in a clear-cut way. He literally staked His whole ministry on twelve men. As popular as He was during His earthly ministry, Jesus did not focus on the momentary applause of men but quietly poured His life in those who would multiply. Jesus was not trying to impress the crowd, but usher in a kingdom. Christ expects His followers to be fruitful,6 but often we are not without external motivation and accountability.

Jesus knew that He would have to equip the saints to be able to lead the multitudes. This is what we need in our churches. It is safe to say that discipleship was foundational to Jesus’ ministry.

 

Early Church Model

Although not in a methodical plan as what we are accustomed to today, the apostles of the early church believed the command of Jesus was indeed serious. One clear example is the life that Paul modeled as shown most beautifully in the exhortation given in 2 Tim. 2:2. Paul understood it was important that Jesus sent him to do all that He had commanded. In the same way, he was sending Timothy. While being sent, Timothy is to continue the legacy by sending out faithful men out who would send others. This is what Jesus commanded Paul and this was his command to Timothy. The command is also extended to us today.
We have seen that Jesus calls His followers to reproduce the example of training disciples to continue the mission of actively teaching and sharing the gospel. There are practical examples of what this looks like through Jesus’ ministry and Paul’s relationship with Timothy to name a few. This will require long term investment but can create a deeply affecting ministry. So it appears that the call to discipleship is extended to the entire body of Christ and is no less relevant today than when it was first given.

Discipleship is an essential element of our Lord’s ministry and command to believers. It should be a significant component in the body of Christ both theoretically and practically.

 

What Is Discipleship?

Discipleship is a popular word, often used vaguely and ambiguously. It’s actually quite simple. Discipleship is the relationship between a teacher (discipler) and student (disciple). Many churches and Christian groups around the world do elements of discipleship, but rarely engage in holistic discipleship as modeled by Christ.

Discipleship is not fulfilled by any of the following items on their own:

  • Fellowship
  • Accountability
  • Evangelizing and making converts
  • Bible study
  • Training seminars
  • Listening to sermons
  • Hanging out with an older believer

 

Remember, these are elements of discipleship, not equivalents of discipleship. They are good and godly, but they lack the individual attention, growth and accountability that Jesus modeled.
By looking at Jesus’ ministry and the early church, we see that to holistic discipleship involves someone training their disciple in Word, Relationship, and Ministry.

 

Word

Teaching disciples to obey all that Christ commanded and modeled throughout the Scriptures.
Luke 11:28
Mark 4:14-20
2 Tim 3:16-17
John 5:38

Jesus clearly showed His disciples the importance and use of the Scriptures, both in His own personal devotion and in winning others to Himself. Learning and obeying Scripture is essential for one’s growth as a disciple of Christ. Mack Avenue Community Church expects its leaders to love God’s Word and to impart this love to their disciples.

 

Relationship

Building relationships that feature love, commitment, authenticity, vulnerability, accountability, and intentionality.
Matthew 9:9
John 1:43, 11:54
1 Thessalonians 2:8

Having called His men, Jesus made a practice of spending time with them. This was the essence of His training program—letting His disciples follow Him. Knowledge of Christ was gained by association before it was understood by explanation.8 He ate with His disciples, slept near them, and talked with them for most of His active ministry. Although there is no command to commit to such a level, it seems convincing that Jesus shows how important relationship development is to growing a disciple. If this does not happen, the disciple may feel like a project and not a person. The person should know he is loved, not only by Christ, but also by their discipler.

 

Ministry

Training disciples in service and evangelism. Service is any work done with the motivation to honor Jesus. This could be buying a cup of coffee for a coworker, or caring for those who have been marginalized by society and affected by injustice, making provisions for those who are hurting spiritually and physically. Evangelism is spreading the gospel by public preaching or personal witness.
Matthew 24:14
2 Corinthians 5:18-20

Jesus never asked anyone to do or be anything which first He had not demonstrated in His own life. His desire was to get the disciples into a vital experience with God. It is important that we realize that these early disciples really did not do much other than watch Jesus work for at least a year. However, the vision was kept before them by His activity. The model has been set for us. The mission of equipping us as believers to communicate our faith to the world was a huge component of discipleship in Jesus’ approach. Word, Relationship and Ministry work together to holistically model discipleship principles taught by Jesus. The goal of discipleship is to develop healthy believers that walk by faith, communicate their faith, and multiply their faith.

 

How to Choose a Disciple

Christ modeled the principle that selection of disciples is key to discipleship. He demonstrated that the multitudes could be won if they were just given Spirit-filled leaders to follow. We have to be discerning so that, like Paul following Jesus’ model, we will choose disciples who will not waste our time and but will be faithful stewards to what has been entrusted to them.
2 Timothy 2:2

 

We should look for three main qualities in a disciple:
1. Faithful. Confidence that what you are entrusting to the person will be in good hands.
2. Available. It is hard to train someone who is not around. Therefore, a potential disciple must show a willingness to be around you. He or she must model commitment.
3. Teachable. It is impossible to teach someone who thinks they know everything and are not receptive to instruction or rebuke. Just as Jesus modeled, we are not to waste the stewardship of our lives with know-it-alls.

 

When Choosing a Disciple:
1. Cast vision for the mandate of discipleship. This is done by teaching what it means to be discipled and helping them understand the expectations.
2. Make it clear that you are the leader of the group you are calling them to. You are their servant and leader.
3. Discuss with the person the requirements of being Faithful, Available, Teachable.
4. The person must be willing to eventually disciple others – to follow the vision.
5. The person must be willing adhere to your requirements i.e. One on One times, Bible Study time etc.

 

Application Questions
1. What are the primary components of discipleship?
2. Have you built conviction on the metrics of discipleship?
3. What could hinder a discipleship relationship from being God-honoring?
4. What traits are we supposed to look for in potential disciples?
A lot of what we have in Christendom today does not reflect obedience to any command given by our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, we have policies and practices that either hinder real discipleship, or are an exercise in futility that may be giving us a sense of accomplishment, but is an example of the work that will be burned up on the day we stand before the judgement seat of Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

I encourage leaders everywhere and those who profess Jesus as LORD, return to the Scriptures!

To make three disciples in your lifetime that are actually informed by the Word of truth, rather than three thousand acquaintances whose lives do not reflect their profession of faith as followers of Christ will prove itself as actual obedience to our Lord’s command.

 

Our Lord who spoke at one time and said:

Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?
Luke 6:46

Also said:

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”
Luke 11:28

Trust JESUS!

 

Special thanks to Discipleshipdefined.com