Sunday, April 17, 2016

Go and Make Disciples

The sanctuary was filled with light as the congregation filtered in and filled the room with energy and warmth as people greeted one another. "Good morning," Pastor Brad said as he welcomed us.

Next Sunday there will be a Congregational/Semi-Annual meeting after the service.
Iron Sharpening Iron, a men's group led by Ted Sexton, is meeting at Clyde Iron Works at 9 a.m. till noon. Jeff Larson will be bringing a carload of men from here. He will be leaving from the church at 8:00 a.m.

The quartet led us in worship today. Chuck shared a story and a passage about God's light from I John 1:5-7, an apt intro for The Lighthouse. We all sang a pair of great hymns and then Susan Jessico brought a fishing pole ad some other gear this morning for a children's message. What do we need to catch fish? First, we need the right equipment, and then we need to go where the fish are. Finally, we have to be patient. She then shared the story of how Jesus called his first disciples, who happened to be fishermen. (Matthew 4:18-22) "Come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men."

The quartet then sang A Taste of Heaven as the offering was taken. This was followed a time of prayer.

Go and Make Disciples

When Jesus died and rose again, before He ascended, his last words to his disciples was, "Therefore, go into all the world and make disciples..."

The word "Go" here is more literally, "As you go." In other words, "As you do life, are you making disciples?"

What is a disciple? It's more than going to church, or having a fish sticker on the back of your car. A disciple is a learner, a follower, an adherent.

The original followers of Jesus were called disciples. They were not initially "Christians."  And these early disciples had an aim in their hearts. "Jesus, I want to be like You."

Making disciples is a way of life. When you are in the workplace, you look for opportunities to make disciples. Wherever you go, you are looking for opportunities to share Jesus.

In America, we are not making disciples very well. We live in a culture that tends to make us observers rather than participants in life.

There are a number of reasons we don't share Jesus and make disciples. Many people just don't feel ready. But you are called to make disciples. It's one of our most important life assignments.

Brad made the point that all of us who know Christ need to help others move further into the life of Christ. But he also brought out that we all benefit from a father-figure in our faith, a mentor, someone who can teach us more. We need humility to allow this, but it is essential to growth in Christ.

Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy. Paul was an example, and teacher. Paul himself wrote to the Corinthians to follow him as he followed Christ.

Brad had a message for parents, also. It's parents' responsibility to disciple their kids. It's not the church's job. We are role models, whether we like it or not. They will imitate what they see. Children will tend to imitate the world, and we're not supposed to be like the world. This is our calling, to be examples.

Our words can make a difference. Encourage. Speak truth in love. And you can let people wiser than you speak into your life and strengthen you.

Brad's final thought: If you're not making disciples, ask yourself if you are really a disciple of Jesus. Go... as you do life, make disciples as you go. 

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