(Johannesburg International Christian Church Women’s Mid-week Service , 16 March 2016)
Jesus commanded it in Matthew 28:18-20. It is God’s plan to grow His Church and it started with Jesus 2000 years ago.
There are many excellent examples (good and bad) in the Old and New Testaments of this special, God-ordained principle and relationship.
-Adam and Eve (failed to disciple / care!)(marriage)
-Samuel and Eli (good – Eli helped Sam to hear God’s voice)
-Elijah and Elisha (Good – see how Elijah cared for and raised
-Ruth and Naomi (Mother and daughter relationship)
-Samuel and Saul (bad example of independence and the consequences thereof)
-John and Jesus (Embracing their roles and working together in Ministry of truth)
-Jesus and Paul
-Paul and Timothy
Pr 18:24 “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Pr 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Some Discipling 101
How? ! 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” With patience and careful instruction
Know your role 1 Cor 12:18 “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, everyone of them just as he wanted it to be.” All parts in the body arranged as God designed it. Be content and at peace.
Role given to you by God – be faithful to it. 1 Corinthians 4:2 “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”
Have the heart of a caring mother – 1 Thessalonians 2:6-12 “We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. Instead, we were like young children among you.Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and
Always use Scripture not personal opinion / pep talks – Heb 2 Tim 3:16-17 .
Be a watch woman – Ezekiel 33:1-6 “The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ It’s not always easy!! But you’ve got to blow the whistle if you see your sister is in sin. Remaining quiet will hold dire consequences for you both spiritually.
An effective Discipling relationship will imitate John 15:16-17 “You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command-Love each other.”
Jesus is teaching (“Discipling”) his disciples in this scripture.
If we imitate Jesus’ heart we will teach the same on the principle
1) Fruit bearing 2) Loving each other 3) Keep the Great Commission ‘spiral’ going as taught in Matt 18:18-20.
The Great Commission commands us to 1) Go and make disciples of all nations 2) To baptise disciples 3) To teach everything (Everything!) and also in reply teach others! Everything – Every Day! Jesus then in turn promise that he will always be with us. As a disciple we a) have a lot to learn and b) In humility and in the authority of Jesus, a lot to teach! God also placed mentors/Discipling partners in our lives to teach us God’s way. It’s imperative we imitate our mentors. They are seasoned and well trained spiritual warriors, skilfully building God’s Kingdom. They imitate Christ. In turn, learning from their flesh and blood example, we will learn to skilfully build God’s Kingdom too. This is the way the first century church built.
8. Discipling helps to protect you from Satan 1 Pet 5:5-9 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” We have to guard our hearts against self righteousness and independence. Our hearts are deceitful (Jer 17:9) and we need each other or else we will die spiritually. We are each other’s keeper! The the lion will not necessarily attack a pride of zebras but single out the lone one who is straying from the group, who thinks the ‘grass is looking greener’ elsewhere. The zebra can independently wander over off / be aloof and wander off to feed his/her own tummy (needs) because he/she doesn’t trust the rest of the group/think the leader of the group is wise enough. This attitude is destructive not only for the zebra but also for the group and can also cause major divisions in the group if others start following him/her. Satan wants nothing more than to use disunity to stop the work of God’s church.
9. Confess your sins. Make time in your weekly “Discipling time” to confess your sins. James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
10. Be in daily contact Hebrews 10:23-25 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
God will place your Discipling partner in your life for a very specific reason.
Pray and ask God to show what it is you ought to learn from her. God will reveal it.
Satan is already hunting you. You are a disciple of Jesus Christ. You bother Him. Your faith is a threat. Dare we say that as a disciple you have a massive bullseye on your chest. Can you feel him lurking and luring you in with your thoughts of doubt / discouragement (remember the four 4 d’s: Discourage, Doubt, Distance from God and Destruction) Stand firm, resist him! Stay close to God and stay close to the disciples (the church).
Discipling was and still is Jesus’ way to build His church and this should be our way. Humility always triumphs!
Philippians 2:1-11 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God,did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himselfby becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest placeand gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.