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2. What is a Disciple?

Mark Howard

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Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

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Conference

Recorded

  • June 16, 2018
    2:00 PM
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Father in heaven I am so thankful for another day of life and more than that Lord the spiritual life that we have in Jesus Christ Father many of us sit here today with a knowledge of Christ and don't half appreciate it for what it is don't realize what it's like for so many don't know him don't know how to know him so Lord as we've come here to learn how to be your witnesses we pray the Holy Spirit that came across upon that early church would come upon us Lord and would give us an understanding on how to win souls for Jesus this is our prayer in his name and them now I want you to go with me to Matthew 28 some of the things covered this week I know are going to be they're going to be some things that are repetitive because I know there's a whole class on the Gospel commission so I'm not going to break down Matthew 28 but I do want to reference it and say a few things about it Matthew 28 verse 18 this is the most popular probably. Text but not the only text about the Great Commission Matthew 28 verse 18 says in Jesus spoke let's start with verse 16 then the 11 disciples went away into Galilee to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them and when they saw him they worshiped but some doubted and Jesus came and spoke to them saying All authority has been given to me and heaven on earth go there for and do what make disciples of all the nations baptizing him them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit 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 now there's so much I want to say but I'm not going to it will be said this week. The New King James says make disciples the King James Version says Go teach. And literally it means to teach a person what it means to be a disciple I say that because that comes and then baptism comes and then there's more teaching that comes and there are there are people in our church and in the 7 administers there saying you know while this teaching before baptism well because Jesus said to as should be a good reason but some people forgotten that but what he says there in and I like it it is specifically again in the New King James says Go make disciples teach them to be disciples and how many of you heard this before this this passage I mean I don't know most I don't know I really don't know many Christians who have heard Matthew 2820 go make disciples but I will tell you this there is a great misunderstanding as to what a disciple is and I want to just take a moment to look at that because this is the commission Incidentally this commission if you have read this in the book if you haven't read the book go teach all nations in desire of ages that encourage you to do that in that chapter is very clear that this commission was not given just to the 11 that were there present at the time but that this commission belongs to everyone who is a. Follower of Jesus Christ and so it's your commission it's my commission the Lord has commissioned us to make disciples Well you know if you're told to make something it's helpful to know what it is you're making and if you're not clear and I'm not clear on what a disciple is then how do we know that we're doing it and so I want to take a little time to smore ning in looking at what the Bible says a disciple is now I don't have a handout for this this is fine you've got to hand out it's your bible we're going to text here for the most part looking at different passages in Scripture about discipleship we are going to use a hand out for next class and you use many of you have that if you don't we'll get you one and you can follow along but we're going to start let me ask this question. Do you think there's a difference between a Christian in a disciple OK let me ask the follow up question should there be OK So so if if we're saying there isn't there shouldn't be them what is the difference that we see if we say if you are one who says you know I see a difference in a Christian a disciple What is the difference that you see OK so I kind of picked up that a Christian I'm sorry. A disciple is an active Christian Right that's a that's kind of worth but you know biblically there is no such distinction and I want you to see that in the book of Acts Acts Chapter 11 now there's a back story to this and I'm not giving you right now but I want you to notice that they're building up the church in Antioch and Barnabas is there with the church members they're having a lot of success there and so much so he wants to go get Paul in on the action and so in Acts chapter 11 verse 25 it says then Barnabas Acts chapter 11 verse 25 are you guys there. All right then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and talked a great many people and the who were 1st called in Antioch who were the disciples of the Christian who were the Christians the disciples and fact it's interesting here now some of you may know this but the Methodist church the Methodist the early Methodist did not call themselves the Methodists they were cold the Methodists by other people and it was a slur. Because they had a method for everything John Wesley had been convicted about the importance of holiness of living and so he was careful in his life because he wanted to honor God there's a got a method for everything you guys are a bunch of Methodists in the name stuck Well evidently this happened with the early church only they were called Christ Ians it says they were called Christians they didn't call themselves Christians why would you call somebody a Christian man all you ever talk about is Christ this and Christ that you're a bunch of Christ and Amen all that that would be why people called us Christians today and them so there's not a Biblical distinction between a Christian and a disciple So what is it to be a disciple let's look at some passages we're going to Luke Chapter 6 we're just going to look at a handful of disciple passages in the Bible now before we read in the 6 open your Bible to 6 we're going to look 640 before we read this. I want to step out of the realm of Christianity for a minute OK out of the realm of religion we're stepping out of religion so I don't want to religious answer OK So I mean by that I don't I'm not telling you to not be a Christian vermin and I'm saying I don't want to religiously answer for this question because the word disciple is not limited to Christianity what in the general sense does the word disciple mean when you think disciple what is a disciple. You pretty consistent there a follower a follower of somebody is there anything more to it why does a disciple follow somebody to learn what OK to learn of that person so they can watch. Be like them right OK Now that's an understanding that not just Christians have a disciple that you hear disciple and likely a Disciples a follower of somebody probably wanting to be like that person OK this is what you see in Luke Chapter 6 verse 40 the Bible says this Jesus is speaking here he says a disciple is not what above his teacher already is imply the teacher disciple really shit relationship you can have a disciple without a teacher has the disciples following the teacher the master a disciple I just lost my placement a disciple is not above his teacher but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher so right there the implication is a disciple and this just fits with a common understanding of disciple is somebody who wants to be like their teacher they're following somebody for the purpose of emulating that somebody of be coming like that somebody they want to learn their habits will learn their way is so that they can become like that OK this is what Jesus says about discipleship Now let's go to Luke Chapter 5 because we're in the Gospel of Luke and look at verse 9 Now this is I got to go a little bit give a little bit of backstory on this this is an interesting passage because. You understand that Jesus didn't start out with 12 disciples he called one here he called one there Jesus wasn't hindered when he didn't have 12 disciples He didn't say can it do any work I don't have any disciples there's a lesson in that from the master right because we go back our churches here are like me and I'm excited I'm on fire and I'm just going to tell you this I haven't told you this yet you're going to be on fire after this week I guarantee you it's not because anything we're doing is because the Spirit of God is the time we live in in this hour of history the Spirit of God as Mr Hart your Does going to be on fire disciple and you're going to be tempted to go back to your church and say. I can do anything I don't any helpers master didn't do that he didn't start with well he was out there workin the by money call me by money call him I was going to lay on your heart names of people in your congregation that you can call to help out in one of my churches here in Michigan I had. We started some training well I have to help a try to give you the short story here but I we started some training we were getting ready for an evangelistic series and so we want to go out and find interest in the communities who went knocking on doors and I did a little training and we go out knocking on doors and trying to find interest on Sabbath afternoon and initially I thought. I really don't want to overburden anybody. You know people don't like to come out I want to make it as easy as possible so I said let's do this will we'll. Come to church and then you know go home for lunch or whatever else and then we'll come back no no no how did I do that I had it to where. We come back at like 3 o'clock and maybe spend an hour away have you the problem is when people go home from church you know how this works they do they don't come back as lay activities and out of the and out of the good kind so right a hike to the Springs. Or the home before the bedsprings that it doesn't work with foam mattresses anymore I guess for dinner away from that but anyway to get him back is difficult and anyway in the in the kind they say this whole situation the Lord really impressed me I'll tell you what happened the story of Gideon came through my mind and I thought you know here's this in the story of getting communicated to me that you're trying to make this too easy and I don't need people who are looking for easy we saw winners. And that's just what came came to my mind in how that how it communicated to me because you know in the story of Gideon God calls this man Gideon to go out to battle and you know Gideon was hiding from the enemy and he was thrashing weed and what have you and of course God comes up to him and calls him what you mean we call him areas threshing we know hiding place noises mighty man of valor I'm going to say God God sees a mighty man and woman of valor and you guys today that's why you're here you know here because you look this summer instead think of me the something I need is the Lord brought you to this because he's going to take you to some other experience it's just absolutely incredible he saw him getting in the qualities you needed and he called you mighty mean about him going to have you go out and you're going to lead my armies right and so getting gathers all the people together 32000 of them what's interesting is if I have my figures arrives been a while since I've studied it I think the Midianites you can get by was give an exact number but you piece it together had somewhere around 135000 so when you're going to battle and you're not talking conventional weapons or sit in a room pushing buttons and missiles and stuff you're going out with swords and and spears and horses and chariots and you're 32000 against 135000 that's not good odds right I mean you got one guy for every foreign hand to hand combat that's not so great but Gideon's going to go anyway which is fantastic I mean he's ready knees are not going but he's going to go the Lord says you know what wards of the Gideon you get too many guys means of put yourself there for a minute you got what no I'm sort of or did I hear you right now you got too many guys tell everybody who is faint hearted I mean I begin is like that's me right I mean he's nervous somebody is nervous and be hard to go so. Remember how many left 22000 left and he was down 210000. You missed a step we tend to do that he cut he cut down the 10000 he's like OK Lord here we are and then whether the Lord say to you get so many guys no no no no the 322-2000 left we're down 210000 Yeah I know you've got too many guys words so I want everybody to go and put them in a test where they go by the waters of the river right and you're you going to get down get a drink the water some people they're going to drink on their feet like this others are going to get down on their hands and knees when they get on their hands and knees they're out of here they're not looking at their surroundings they're not ready for battle they go through the test and what's the end up with 300 people this story comes flashing in my mind the Lord said to me I can do more with 300 committed people and I can do with 32000 people who wanted easy and so I said OK So training is going to be for those who are interested and we're going to come to church here we're going to bring a bag lunch because we don't have fellowship meal every week we're going to bring a bag lunch so that we don't have to go anywhere and then we're going out and we're going to be here too and then we're going to come back after that we're going to spend time talking about the interest we had the experience we had a real 5 o'clock every step we had a good probably 25 of our folks came out for that one of the ladies she told me she said Pastor I've been in the church for 20 years warming if you. Just time for me to do something else I want the Lord to me and I'm I watched the Lord work and she ended up giving Bible studies baptizing her interests and stuff. It was thrilling. How Jesus didn't start with his 12 disciples and he would choose people and how God will take you back your church as you may see people like that member of mine who has been you might sit on nobody's interested Oh they're interested you've got people in your church this this membership when we begin to do something the reason she came is because she saw something happening. And if you go back and you just start working for the ward people will see something happen there will be somebody my Pastor Danny and I we joke about it sometimes as pastors because sometimes I hate to say it and I don't want to be critical of saints. But sometimes there are just some people who you wonder why they even come they don't act like they want to be there you know and but there are always people who do and so we have a saying you know when you're have you can tankers church members and be mad about this or that you mad because something have a there's always one there's always one when you find people disinterested in your dishearten there's always one the somebody in your congregation is somebody around the somebody who wants to know the truth is somebody wants to respond to it and there is there's always one more than one and in your church as you may feel as you get back you know some of you may be already have a lot going on that's great but if you don't there's always one and no one will become 2 of the 2 become for the 4 become 8 and onward in the Lord's going to move this thing this would happen in the early church so Jesus didn't begin with 12 and even his own disciples when they went to follow him they didn't start with him I mean they would come and go Peter was a fisherman he continued fishing he didn't he didn't and so what we're reading right here live chapter 5 he had not made his decision to follow Christ but in the chapter 5 there have we have this experience of the of the when Jesus goes out on the boat in fact Peter's been out all night you have to understand a little background Jesus has just been rejected by and large by the religious leaders in his. In his Judea ministry. And the disciples of course and originally they thought you know you've got John the Baptist there's a stir going there and then Jesus comes Behold the Lamb of God and they thought this was going to really take off but it didn't go the way they planned analogies is is they're trying one of the religious leaders want to kill him and they're thinking to themselves OK this isn't exactly going as planned and you have to understand they're in this they're on the fence still there you know Peter's fishing during the day and probably going out here and there with Jesus B. He hasn't committed to put in with them 100 percent and he's thinking about doing that well should I should I really and he's counting the cost of the counting of the cost when it comes to following Christ because it's not it's an all or nothing to follow so Peter was thinking about that and curse weighing that Al that see the at this point John the Baptist has been imprisoned before his death he's not been dead yet he's in prison OK let's see him I'm going to join Jesus' words for runners in prison the religious leaders are trying to kill him you know your spirit your doesn't look real bright here you understand what's going on but Peter thinks to himself at least I have fishing you know what I have to get stressed out about that I have a career I'm a fisherman I can still fall back on fishing of all spells I can go fishing so it goes out fishing in the Bible says spends all my fishing Incidentally that's when fisherman fish with nets because the fish can't see the nets in the dark water but they can see it in the light so you fish night but the Bible says He went all night and caught nothing so in the morning Jesus comes the crowds are pressing him he's by the water Peter cleaned out the nets with the other guys Jesus gets into the boat says Peter wanted to launch out a little bit what will any teach from Bow So the people come up to the shore but he doesn't get crowded in Preston he can teach the people and when he finishes teaching he turns to Peter says Now why don't we go out and catch some fish and Jesus knows what's been going on with Peter he knows what Peter is going on what's going on in his mind. I want you to notice here in Chapter 5 Verse one who kept 5 or so and so was the multitude pressed about him to hear the Word of God that he stood by the lake of Gennesaret and saw 2 boats standing by the lake but the fisherman had gone from them and were washing their nets then he got into one of the boats which was Simons and asked him to be put out a little from the land and he sat down and taught the multitude from the boat when he had stopped speaking he said to Simon launch out into the deep in let down your nets for a catch but Simon answered and said to him Master we have toiled all night in caught nothing with the saying why is he doing that yeah I mean you know it doesn't this story doesn't flushes out the Bible to flesh it out a lot here for us but it says he's he's like Lord I mean he argued with Jesus hey that's ground and I know you don't understand your carpenter I'm a fisherman OK let's get this straight you know would you know furniture you know whatever but I know fish were not going to catch any fish that's basically telling the Lord but evidently the Lord had enough persistence in his look or a stone or is added to the Peter gives in and says nevertheless at your word I will let down the net and when he had done this they caught a great number of fish in their net was breaking you redid it elsewhere in the Scriptures his Immediately the nets were full and the net was breaking so they signaled to their partners in the what other boat to come and help them and they came and filled both both so they both begin to you think the other boat and help out right we get 2 boats you know be enough no 2 boats couldn't hold all the fish they caught like that when he couldn't catch anything all night long now what all of a sudden comes in your mind are you thinking about fish now what is dawning on your mind oh I'm in the presence of somebody who is not just a carpenter he controls the forces of nature. And in that moment Peter got a glimpse of the glory of Christ is that glimpse we get that instills in us that desire to start being witnesses and in that moment the Bible says Peter falls on his knees verse 8 when Peter Simon Peter saw it he fell down at Jesus' knees saying Depart from me for I am a sinful man oh Lord for he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch a fish which they had taken and so also were James and John the sons of Zebedee who were partners with Simon and Jesus said to Simon Do not be afraid from now on you will catch me now what did you just do with the calling him to discipleship knows what it says in verse 11 so when they had brought their boats to land they did what they forsook all and followed him so they've been coming and going with Jesus they knew Jesus they'd been around Jesus but they had not committed with Jesus yet they not meaning they not they were not disciples until now what qualification of discipleship do we see here from this what do we learn that is a characteristic of a disciple. OK a willingness to forsake all to follow Christ you can't follow Christ and not forsake all and forsake all doesn't mean you get to live in a box somewhere but it means nothing else can be your focal point of attention you can't let something else draw you away you can't let something else be more important to you or the devil will always use it to draw you away the cause of Christ has to be paramount and when that point came for Peter you see that you're going to see this repeated I just saw you see it here and Peter in his buddies this is now in the 1st commit themselves to being disciples of Christ go a little further we finally by Matthew in verse $27.00 Bible says in verse $27.00 after these things he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the Tax Office and he said to him what. What the asking is calling him to be a disciple follow me so he left all rose up and was. So we see the same thing happen with Peter where he do he left all the force of all in fact if you go to is it Luke 14 Luke 14 for a minute look at verse 33 Bible says In Luke 14 verse 33 so likewise whoever of you who does not was forsake all that he has was now you're going to see this word cannot I want to really want to flesh it out you may have heard this before but this is an important word. And I like the illustration of her before that if you've if you've ever had one of those I guess you call me good English teacher it could get on your nerves but there's still a good in this teacher if if when you had that time in class where you would raise your hand and say Teacher Can I go to the bathroom if they were good English teacher what would they tell you they say something like this I don't know can you write because they know that you're using improper English you're not asking them what they can answer Well in fact and they answered you legitimately because if I'm asking can I I'm asking about ability and I got to know your ability you have to tell me can you and that's the prompt you to ask it the right way may I what am I asking when I'm asking may permission and I want you to be very clear on this Jesus does not say whoever does not for say Callie has may not be my disciple this is not a permission issue it's not like hey I'm not going to let you if you won't do this if you are not willing to proceed all you are on it you can't be as disciple because as I said that something else whatever it is will draw you away being a disciple of Christ means he becomes 1st in everything. We see that with Peter and James and John we see if we leave by Matthew they forsook all we come here Jesus makes the point if whoever does not for say call can't be my disciple we have a Barry clear example in Scripture of somebody who went the other way we call him the rich young ruler you remember he ran to see Jesus was that he ran in the Gospel of Mark and he said good teacher what must I do that I could enter into life and he said keep the commands he says which ones in Jesus name son is all I have done since my youth What do I lack yet and Jesus said Go sell all that you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and then come what me what was he asking him he called him to discipleship and what does the Bible tell us about that young ruler Bible says He turned away sorrowful because he had great possessions was unwilling to for say Call it wasn't it wasn't a little thing if you did you don't get Jesus saying the original I am just kidding about that all thing I mean a little bit you know it's OK you keep some of your riches now the week we can play around and say well this all mean all evidently does and again that doesn't mean you have to live in a box somewhere what that means is if God called any time God calls for anything from you and he would see that testimony and Sabbath morning of that believer in. It was was it North Korea. You know I mean that's just not we like the happy endings or is like this person tries to escape they're captured and executed but it's OK because when they gave all the crises evil I mean oh that's discipleship and the fact is when we give all to Christ we gain all the gain all because her persecutors Lord willing they'll be converted and saved but if not all they have is this life or she has eternity so Jesus you know the rich young ruler he went away sorrowful one of the qualifications of being disciple as is being willing to for say call and I want to see that another place in Luke Chapter 9. Now you've read this before I'm sure you've read it before if you've heard me teach on this before than you've heard what I'm about to say but this is something that I used to look at very differently than I do now not that it was it inherently wrong you see what I mean in a minute Luke Chapter 9 if we look at verse 23 and it's very interesting to me some of the things Jesus says that are really radical things in verse 23 it says then he said to. Them all if anyone desires to come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me No we the cross is such a generic term today in Christianity we don't think of it in Christ day it's the cross is just execution I mean Jesus himself had gone to the Cross via the cross of the electric chair take up a cross I mean you hear taking up a cross that means you That means somebody is execution and it just isn't the kind of language you used it's not the crowd pleasing sermon you want you know he said to them all Jesus didn't care about having big crowds and keeping them he often said things that thinned the crowd because he wanted those genuine disciples He says If anyone desires to come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me for ever desires to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it for what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and himself destroyed or lost it was Mark Finley he was it made this point I'd never thought of it you know because I think about I'm sure I think about this the way that many of us have thought about it when Jesus said deny yourself any was going to come after me you've got to deny himself what does that communicate right away was I mean you're going to follow Jesus was it mean in practical terms deny yourself what did it mean to you when you became a Christian changing your life how I got to stop drinking that stuff. I probably should be watching that stuff yes or no I mean it just in denying yourself I'm saying no to myself in the things that I've previously have said yes to so Mark Finley put it this way because see we're talking about being a disciple the very 1st thing he says if anyone will come after me follow me right remember we talk about a disciple somebody who follows the teacher to be like the teacher So whatever he's talking about coming after me is something he did I'm just following it and so finally ask this question what you know we look at denying yourself we say well that's you know that's basically giving up those bad things that come in the way of us in Christ so we can be say and so he asked this question what bad things to Jesus give up so he could be said and that's right what bad things that Jesus give up because I'm following him well that's kind of a stupid question Jesus didn't have bad things to give up did he give up anything and gave up everything everything want everything good so Jesus didn't give up bad things so he could be saved Jesus gave up good things so others could be said. Jesus gave up good things so others could be saved if anyone will come after me then to deny himself and take up his cross again what is what does that mean to take up the cross where is a cross taken in Jesus' day you don't find something the marketplace carrying a cross around with them I just got this old thing I'm just getting here those kumquats for sale I mean you're not carried across in the marketplace where you carry the cross was the only place that that would apply his hearers when they heard take up a cross that communicated what they're going to that place where that cross is put in there you're hung on the cross and who's crossed it he said no take up what your cross What does that mean his execution is it your purpose if you want to come after me you good night yourself and you've got to die what he said Take up your cross now again. This is discipleship I'm not doing something new I'm only doing what he already did because I'm following him where did Jesus take his cross to his death for what purpose Jesus took up his cross to lay down his life so others could be saved and put these together he denied himself good things others could be said he laid down even his life so others can be saved he said if you want to be my disciple you've got to be willing to do the same you've got to be willing even to give up good things all but Lord I know you want me to be a missionary in China but I'm going to college and I'm gonna plan to be going to medical school and everything is going well I'm in my 2nd year in are it and they mean appeal at some camp meeting and now I've got I've what I'm going to do are you willing to give up even good things that's discipleship That's Christianity so let me ask you a question Are we making disciples in the church today or are we making members are we ourselves disciples in the church today not one stone is going to be left upon another I told you we're just radically off from where this thing started you go to the early disciples every one but one was martyred and the only one who was martyred was John and it was because they didn't try We're told that they threw John in a vat of boiling oil but they couldn't boil how lujah What do you do with a guy you can't kill put on Pat most a lot of mine rock for the pay temples of the pagan gods oks is but I'm not working on Sabbath. Or what I'm going to do to him he gets a Sabbath off and I was in the spirit in the Lord's day and the Lord came to him and gave him that vision of Revelation but every one of them was willing to lay down their life it was a foregone conclusion Peter wouldn't even be crucified right side up he had to be crucified upside down because he wouldn't wouldn't allow himself to be honored like his master was but at the core of it at the core of it it's a willingness to lay down our lives for the salvation of others when a thing. That catchy Pathfinder tune let me now let me introduce one other thought and then we're going to take a break it's hard isn't it. Whom. Does a savior. OK. I got to kind of wait for that to be done. Now I want you to think about this for a minute this one of the text I want you to look at here in this context it's in Luke 19 again we're talking about discipleship we're talking about emulation we're talking about again a disciple wants to be like the Master how would we describe how would we define how would we sum up the life of Jesus Luke 19 and verse 10 and this is the end of the story as a key is and a verse that most of us are familiar with here Luke 19 verse 10 Jesus says For the Son of Man has come to. See can save that which was lost now let me just ask you this question is this not that this is the only one but is that if you were to summarize the whole of Jesus' life and ministry would this text be sufficient to do it in principle I mean there are details left out but is there anything that any time Jesus wasn't about seeking and saving the law even now is there any time of the day we're days like look I just need to go my feet up somewhere and read a good book and I'll get back to this it's ridiculous to say it isn't it I mean there is no time that either the song or the father or the Holy Spirit or the angel of God in heaven for that matter are interested in anything else it's fair it's just fascinating I mean I did it's overwhelming to think that we are so busy with so many things or I can go with us today because the whole universe with the whole universe to run is focused on one thing your salvation savation of others. OK so we could you know where's the other passage in Matthew where the Bible says Jesus says the Son of Man did not come to me to be ministered unto but to minister and to give his life as a ransom for many that's another good one of the text that we use but that's the sum and substance of Jesus' life right now as a disciple if I'm calling myself a follower of Jesus was sense to me for me not to be interested in witnessing like I'm a follower of Jesus oh yeah you want to go in to sing well I'm not into that I've given this example before there was a I don't watch a lot of a lot of sports been a while and it really was begin to basketball but there are some names I know like Michael Jordan most people know Michael Jordan if they weren't in a basketball this is great basketball player and in fact when I was in my early twenty's I guess it was Michael Michael Jordan was really big and and a lot of young kids in fact even had a song to be like Mike anybody remember the song to be like Mike if I could be like Mike. Out there. Yeah I want to be like Michael a math so but anyway you know kids want to be like Michael Jordan this great basketball hero now imagine now in him because of it of course the sports figures they get into their marketing of things that you had the air anybody anybody ever hear of an Air Jordan Nike shoe Air Jordan because it was Michael Jordan signature shoes so there are certain things that number 23 was a number for Chicago Bulls So you know you get these young kids and their want to be like Michael Jordan and they're getting the Nike Air is right and they're get the Air Jordans and and they're getting their jerseys with the 23 on em and you know other things to be like Mike I just want you to imagine for a minute some kid who wants to be like Mike and he's got his shoes and he's got his jersey you know so you can look like Mike and and and you know watches the games and as posters but he doesn't like basketball hates basketball hates it. Would that make any sense to have a personal hero whose whole substance of life is something you hate are you or you're just not interested in it you know I love my the wrong way basketball right basketball oh not interested in basketball what sense does it make for me to call myself a disciple of Jesus Christ if I am not interested in winning so none none but this is where we are we have our churches full of so-called disciples who are all I'm just not interested in that that's not my gift it's not my thing no I'm sorry that's impossible the wake up call for you is if that's where you are you're not a disciple of Jesus Christ according to scripture so we've got to come to terms with the reality of discipleship and then Ellen White says if we don't have that passion for souls in our heart me to pray for the spirit of service in ourselves this new this statement and share with you couple status and we're going to take a take a break and I apologise for not having these in front of you but I'm going to the references Christian service page 58 Ellen White says this It is evident that all the sermons that have been preached have not developed a large class of self-denying workers now what do you think she means by self-denying work or disciples she saying would preach and preach and preach but the preaching isn't doing it is not developing disciples we're not seeing the disciples in a church and she says this subject is to be considered as involving the most serious results our future for eternity is at stake the churches are withering up because they have failed to use their talents and diffusing light careful instructions should be given which will be as lessons from the Master that they may put their light to practical use. God is telling us we need more disciples in our churches the great commission that Jesus gave the great commission that needs to be carried forward is not nearly done especially if If what I just shared is disciples it was like wow and not thought about that as disciple but then how are we going to be making those kind of disciples if we don't even think about that and that's where church is today so let's know what this says in the book of cry subject lessons page 57 it says at the very outset of the Christian life when when is that what we say the very beginning when a person just becomes a Christian might even be before the baptism you know them baptized have it once a person is committed to Christ and they consider themselves a course at the very outset every believer how many Every believer should be taught its foundation principles these are the foundation principles of Christianity he should be taught that he is not merely to be saved by Christ's sacrifice but that he is to make the life of Christ his life and the character of Christ his character that all be taught that they are to bear burdens and deny natural inclination and inclination to the word incline means to lean it's your leanings what you lean towards what you like to do well you know how many times as a church don't raise your hands for this Has the church maybe done some kind of outreach project and you're just like yeah I really feel that today I think I'm just going to go home and you know that's what I want to do also you know that's natural for us sometimes to want to do one thing but we're to deny that to. Jesus man again by denying ourselves like he denied himself there to bear burdens and to deny natural inclination let them learn the blessedness of working for Christ following him in self-denial and enduring hardness is good soldiers let them learn to trust his love and to cast on him their cares let them taste the joy of winning souls for him in their love interest for the last they will lose sight of self as anybody here come to this start to come to this understanding this is only been recent for me I hate is it it's taken so much of my life to start to realize they just turn it up. Oh. All right. God help us. As a tailor go tell them a good look at the camera Terri next time you pull this OK anywhere. Yeah I have to go back to my spot yeah they lose sight of self you have come to the point in my life where I realize that focusing on self doesn't ever make you happy it makes you miserable like you know you think that if I just spend more to me time it will be ever heard this is a thing today now me time and or something my my niece had told me she just took a day for some I forget the word the phrase she used to put this kind of a thing now you going to have some time for yourself and I'm not I'm not knocking quiet time OK but what I'm saying is when you pursue always trying I think I'll be happy if I do this thing in this NG always making yourself happy I'm just beginning to learn that it doesn't make you happy. It's really in serving others and that's with the Lord the Lord always known this war doesn't tell us don't do this and do this instead because he's trying to mess our lives up we're Tell him on the one hand Lord please I want to be happy is like I'm trying to make you happy to keep tell me no you know. And so he says go do this deny yourself let them learn to trust his love and can't cast on him the cares let them taste of joy of winning souls for him in their love and interest for the last they will lose sight of self the pleasures of the world will lose their power to attract and it's burdens to dishearten the plow share of truth will do its work it will break up the fallow ground it will not merely cut off the tops of the thorns but would take them out by the roots out of our hearts. And so this work that the Lord has given us in this call to discipleship is not to something for him it's for us and it's going to bring us the joy that we say we want the more so wants to give us this media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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