Search This Blog

Monday, June 11, 2007

random thoughts for today

Today I have been going through piles of papers trying to get ready for my year end visit with my homeschool facilitator (note to self, I really need to be more organized!). While shuffling through papers I came across this note I had written on a scrap piece of paper:

"Church became more valuable to me as I recognize the value of associating with others who put the search for God's truth and love in the forefront of their lives." ~M. Simms

I would have to say that I agree with this statement. I think that is why attending church and our weekly bible study has been important to me. It is so great to build relationships with those who have the same values and goals as I do. In this past year I have developed many great relationships with people I have been going to church with for years. What changed? I am not exactly sure it was any one thing, but I really like the change.

In our bible study we have spoken many times about making disciples as we are commanded in Matthew 28. And I have read about how one missionary does that at The M Blog. But I wonder, how do we make disciples? I have been meaning ask my minister his thoughts on this but I keep forgetting. I did do a search today and found this webpage and I think it does a good job of breaking it down. Here is what it says:

Making Disciples
Jesus' command for all believers is to make disciples. It is not optional.
MATTHEW 28:19-20 NKJ 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

Like Raising Children
Making disciples is much like assuming the responsibilities of being a parent:
Until they learn to feed themselves, you make sure they are fed.
You teach them how to feed themselves as soon as possible.
If they get into trouble, you help them -- even if it is inconvenient, because they are your top priority.
You train them to do what they need to do.
You teach them what you know.
You help protect them from danger.
Mostly, you must spend time with them because people learn best by example.
Your goal is to eventually reproduce yourself -- another believer who can also stand on their own and reproduce.
Who?1) Pray for God's direction. 2) Who do you have opportunity to help? 3) Find a way to hook up with them.
Disciples are those God is entrusting to you, that He may train them though you.
How?1) Pray for God's direction. 2) Love them till they ask you why. (Romans 13:9) 3) Take someone with you. 4) Lead by example -- not by command. 5) Keep Jesus central.
Training has not been accomplished until the desired action is being practiced.
LUKE 6:40 NKJ 40 "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.
Although we cannot remove the inevitable human influence, we must strive to make disciples of Jesus, and not just followers of ourselves. Train them to trust in, rely on, and follow Jesus Christ.

Made Disciples
JOHN 4:1 NKJ 1 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John
ACTS 14:21 NKJ 21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,

Let Jesus Build The Church
MATTHEW 16:18 NKJ 18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Beware of not seeing the trees (disciples) for seeing the forest (church). Jesus said He would build the church, but He told us to make disciples.
How do you plant a forest? You don't. You plant one tree at a time. Those trees then reproduce other trees and a forest develops.
Disciples cannot be mass-produced. Be faithful to help whoever God has given you opportunity to disciple, and Jesus will build His church.