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Logo of InVerse, 3rd Quarter 2020: Foundations of Discipleship

06-Process of Discipleship - Prepare

Israel Ramos Justin Kim Sebastien Braxton Jonathan Walter


Disinterestedly investing in relationships is Christlikeness.



  • August 3, 2020
    9:00 AM

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In the midst of this lockdown people are gardening for themselves at record numbers what does Jesus have to say about agriculture on this episode of unverse. Coming to you from Silver Spring Maryland welcome to enter the Bible based conversation on life. Contemporary. Talk. Now here's your host Justin within. Hey Guys welcome to in verse we're talking about this cycle ship for the last about 5654 weeks and we're going to continue talking about discipleship and if you want to follow along you can go to and verse Bible or Geno you there you see a 13 week of what we call a quarter full full of Bible studies we have the ones on Daniel and if you want to Romans in the future really great resource so put it in verse Bible dot org I want to say hi to my my 3 male friends here we have all male cast this episode going to be talking about this within the context of the gross cycle introduced that once we have a word of prayer and we read scripture and ask Israel can you pray for us to get this episode started. Father in heaven thank you that we have this great opportunity to gather together virtually We pray that your blessing would be with each one of us wherever we are and that you would guide our conversation as well in Jesus' name we pray for him and a man in Johnson let's go to Luke Chapter age Luke Chapter 8 and a verse 5 through 15 if you can read for us yes look a verse 5 a soul or went out to so his seat and as if so some fell by the white wayside and it was trampled down and the birds of the air devoured it some fell in rock in the soon as it sprang up and with it away because it lacked moisture and some fell among thorns and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it but others fell on good ground sprang up and you know that a crop 100 fold when he had said these things he cried he who has ears to hear let him hear then his disciples asked Him saying what does this parable mean and he said to you it is has been given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God but to the rest it is given in parables that seeing they may not see and hearing they may not understand not a parable is this the seed is the Word of God Those but away said other ones who hear then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts lest they should believe and be saved but the ones on the rock are those who when they hear receive the Word of joy and these have no roots who believe for a while and then time often Taishan fall away now the ones that fell among the thorns are those who when they have heard go out and are choked with cares riches and pleasures of life and bring no fruit to maturity but the ones that found the good ground of those who having heard the word with a noble and good heart keep it and bear fruit with patients. Great thanks Jonathan Sebastian Can you kind of give us overview take us on an airplane ride to where we've been and in kind of bring us up to speed if there's anyone who may be just watching this episode for the 1st time and where we are in this 13 weeks Eichman sure so we basically started off by just introducing the concept of the cycle ship from the Great Commission and then we looked at some of those fundamental areas of air prayer and feed read and then fitness and witness and so now we're kind of transitioning towards this aspect of now moving forward in discipleship and what is that process of how we actually implement but looking at how those components of prayer reading the Bible as well as witnessing are so interval to discipleship know what it involves Now we look at the Jesus was a soul winner he was someone who has revolved in invention lism and we talked about last week about how God wants us to be involved in witnessing and we're at Acts chapter and sometimes we think we've got to they take the person give us a one awesome crazy 2 2nd conversation and they're converted and we find someone who just dumped him in the water and now you're Christian and can move on so next person and we're realizing that if we do a careful reading of Jesus that that's not the case that God works from evil God works for the relationships and it's a natural thing and then he uses agriculture and I am right I read this once I can't confirm it but the one topic that Jesus talked about most. Was money very interesting yes wealth and and wages and whatnot and a 2nd topic was on agriculture and not that Jesus was involved in he was mindful of money in agriculture but he's talking about every day thing that every day people had and use them to teach spiritual things so let's look at Acts separate here in some insights I mean look in a very firm you know a look at what I say. It's Ok to add to the back. And it's I think. The foundational the foundational concept that emerges here is the importance of knowing the types of soil and how the soil acts the production of a certain crop and this is the very 1st thing that I think Jesus wants us to know that there even before we begin. The work of trying to develop and grow crops it's essential for us to know this type of soil is going to produce this type of crop. Why is this important Well we it's important for us to understand to and to try to understand human behavior so that when we do the work of soul winning when we do the work of discipleship we we can begin to see these tendencies will end up leading most like the kind of results and that's why Jesus gives us this kind of parable. Jonathan what is this soil preparation what is that in the human element in the in the witnessing evangelism component. Yeah you can a mentioned earlier that in the context of evangelism we often think of it as Ok you just preach and baptism you're done but the Jesus is trying to show us here that leading someone to Christ is a process it takes time you know takes sweat and blood and a lot of investment to us to get the the yield to hopefully get the yield that you're looking for so in this parable Jesus is just giving us. He's showing us that it's necessary to to so at the right time on the right soil so when it comes to soil preparation this is the the things we do to prepare If someone to hopefully open up their heart too to receiving that seat so before we can preach before we can share direct you know the bible studies in the Bible verses and and all the things they would like to share with them as soon as we meet them we need to take a step back and and and and prepare the experience for them so that they are not overwhelmed there it's important to understand this is a process and it will take some time but with God's help you will see beautiful results just like a lot of id emphasis on on process and time and Ezra. Yeah so it's interesting because you know you were mentioning in your in your opener about how you know covert 1000 has had everyone gardening certainly one of those people I I call myself the face farmer I know absolutely nothing about farming nothing about as much or more I don't people who do so the crazy thing is as soon as we knew that we couldn't go to work we decided to start of a family guarded. And immediately as soon as we started I thought to myself Man I need to get seeds planted I need to just put that seed in the ground as soon as possible so I borrowed a tiller from a friend we began to till the soil I began to outline my garden and I started. You know telling the ground ready to put in the seed Thankfully I made a phone call to a friend and I told him what my plans were and then they started asking me all types of questions about my soil do you know what kind of soil you have does your soil have you know high levels of this or high levels of that and I started kind of thinking like I don't know what in the world my soil what are you talking about what's mine is all complicated. So I had. This urge you don't like you know what it's too it's too difficult to plant a garden I just want to throw seed down and see what happened what ended up happening is if you told me Look you can actually end up doing all this hard work and in the end have 0 result and that's actually kind of happened I started planning potatoes for example that's the 1st the 1st crop I planted I planted these potatoes and. Tires into some some tires that you can look it up on You Tube And that's interesting Ok that's about on I can apply it really in the end because the principles of soil preparation you can potatoes entirely expect them to come out of these cowards are look at about that and I planted them and I receive instructions every were good right I thought we're going to have abundant you know a Peruvian paternal crop but what ended up happening is that because I wasn't aware of what was going on and the different cycles of planting across cane killed the potato plant and I've lost my 1st crop already even even though we put all that hard work into it so being aware of. What is coming in the future understanding of the overall. A picture of Agriculture and a farming at a school appropriation is essential for us that a successful works why because the fact that we work doesn't necessarily guarantee a result in crops so we connect with the Lord Jesus we have this burden to expand the kingdom of Jesus for to other people we want to be disciples for him we're copying what Jesus does and then maybe we narrow down some people there are some maybe our neighbors our friends siblings I don't know sick last May or workmates and we and we're praying for them so could it be that praying is one form of soil preparation Yeah we're praying for there that's a look in this and I think everyone would agree but are there any akin to practicals what are practical things that we can do to prepare the soil now next triggering a look at planting the actual seeds so giving them materials in ending engaging but how do we even get to the stage before that will go to where are the bench. Well I think just in one of the places we start is with just being available to people a lot of times you can't reach people that you're not with right you can be a missionary in you know Kenya or China if you're not in China and so a lot of times we're trying to do this distant socially distant evangelism which we may be required to in a pen Demick crisis but in general you want to come close to the people and so to meet building that relationship building that trust by saying I'm not here because I have an agenda because the agricultural paradigm like Israel just illustrated teaches us we can't be so focused on the harvest that we're unwilling to do the basic decision right now to prepare for that harvest I just went back times well before you get there it may seem messy and difficult like Israel said and you want to step back and say men this is too difficult because relationships are messy but that is the necessary preparation if you are so committed to having the harvest that you're looking and wanting to you are saying well while I think you know there are Christians who just want to baptize and that is a large criticism of Christians that you just want to baptize me just want to put me in some institutional kind of organized religion kind of thing you know but when we don't enter a relationship on an organic natural level and espousing love and and trust and use this authentic relationship the baptism just becomes a natural outgrowth of that it's not this and they end goal and then we just drop the person afterwards when after the break let's look at discuss actual practical things actual hands on How did Jesus do it and what we can do to win and prepare the souls of those that we want when for the Lord Jesus Christ Stay with us after the break. Has impressed been a blessing to you Do you have questions comments or feedback you'd like to leave us find us on social media by searching. On Facebook Twitter Instagram for you to while there join us like us comes up next I'll handle again as in 1st Bible Belt states and now back to the discussion. Hey welcome back well King at this concept this principle of preparation before we gauge the other in discipleship in our personal discipleship we need to be preparing hearts and I want to ask Jonathan in the support here wow how do we how do we get out let's get into the actual get real we can say hey we got to be personal We got to be real with them and be nice there are non christians in maybe people who are just genuinely nice or just nice all the time and they're not preparing the heart or for Christ how what's the difference and when how do we avoid just becoming too intentional in just you understand a tension that I'm drawing near. Yeah I mean 1st of all I think things have to be genuine and we talked about this in a previous episode when the love of Christ fills your heart you want to share and so yes we have to be personal and this means taking time away from our personal agendas and saying I'm I'm going to spend time on other people and so for example if start with your neighbors engage in conversation build relationships but then also make sure you are open to hearing their concerns of life and see how you can meet those needs they need to see that selfless compassion that comes from your heart towards them because you actually care for them but kindness alone as you said is not I mean business walking to business people are kind to you they're nice to you but when you are engaging with Gaunts way of reaching out it's not just about kindness it's also about leading them into principles of righteousness which means into the things of life that help somebody see God better so for example when we help people to be healthier in their lifestyle. That will help them to have a clearer mind that may be a better perception for what the Holy Spirit is trying to lead them to so help can be a wonderful tool to prepare the soil for later on receiving you know the Word of God because now they are there they have been opened up so to say to receive that message of the Bible talks so much about how and the what better way to get into the mind and heart of people who in this day and age where all suffering from some kind of health and we're all curious about how to be healthier. That makes an impact Sebastian you have a health ministry of sorts and how are you using that as a a wedge entering wedge so the speak for or are witnessing an evangelist. Right well I think when you look at Jesus's healing ministry was very clear and one of the things that I do is I work with companies to help improve the health of their employees while they're at work so I don't have to add an extra hour to their day or worry about where they're going to go for lunch but we try to provide the meal as well as the activity so that they can get some exercise and improve their health and I remember specifically going with a very short woman who was slightly overweight and she was one of the 1st people to sign up for the program and after we got into her routine after about 2 sessions she came back to me she said you know I I searched your name online and I saw that you do a program called inverse and I saw that you also have certain things online and I know that you're a Christian and so then she looks at me and she says I don't want you to just include fitness in my program I want you to include spirituality as well because she said I know that I'm not just in this health condition with type 2 diabetes and these other issues simply because of poor food and exercise choices but I'm also here because of spiritual issues going on in my life and so it was a clear opening that door of the knowledge and trust that she had in me that I was willing to help her on the health side automatically lead to the opening on the spiritual side I love it I love it I mean this is a very tangible opening of a spiritual conversation with a very clear objective without making the objective in itself the the all the all in all of things. Going to tie in there. And it's that's a powerful testimony by the way Sebastian. You know or what I what what I think about in reflecting on what Jonathan and what Sebastian are say and your question nice goodness and being nice to people and showing kindness all of this I consider this like water or like Sun or like air these are the things that nature naturally provides the world right. So the kindness of God shines on everyone like the sun falls on everything and run this could act this could actually produce this could actually produce. Fruit even in places that are not intended right so there's you can go to places all over the world where people did not intentionally plant a seed and yet something sprouted up and grew What is the difference between the Christians kindness and the kindness of another person that is not a christian Well the. The bottom line boils down to this when I plant my garden and I place the seed in there and I water it and I try to give it sunshine and exposure and so forth all of this is done because I intend something to happen I intend fruit to sprout but nevertheless even though I have invested all of this labor in there the Christian understands just like the farmer understand that unless a miracle takes place there will not be fruit in even though I've invested all of that effort into that garden and yes I need run yes I need water but ultimately as a Christian farmer understand I need God's blessing I need the miracle of life to sprout out from something that is dead and I think that this is the difference between the kindness of a Christian and the kindness of someone else the eyes of someone else is like the water falling upon a seed that may or may not spring up there is nothing that was done intentionally but the Christian to think Father I am watering the seed I am providing sunshine to the seed understanding that unless you do something I will not be able to reap a harvest and so I need you know my blessing to help. Russian you know I just in Israel's point is to me so powerful because it reminds me of an experience woman I met at a lecture at a university in South Africa who had lost her daughter through the apartheid issues present and one of the individuals that broken in raped and killed her daughter and when she arrived home she wasn't even aware of the situation the news cameras were already there and when I said Do you have any comment of what happened to your daughter and she looked directly in the camera and she said I want to know whoever did this I forgive you and so does God The crazy thing was after the guy got out of jail obviously nobody would hire him she took him into her own home and let him sleep in the very room where her daughter used to sleep and call him her son seem to mean Jesus says if you love those who love you what do you more than other people even sinners do that so that one of the other things to build off of Israel's point as a Christian is not only are we praying for a miracle but we're also willing to love the unloveable we're willing to serve the unsearchable we're willing to forgive the un forgivable and that is something that is not natural to the human heart that is a kindness that the world does not possess only Jesus inside the heart can make me love my enemies and pray for people persecute despitefully abuse. You know it comes to mind as you guys are talking is that we have these extremes. And there are some who in I appreciate Israel who present present provides a balance but we have as one extreme is like look I'm going to show kindness to all people just as God shows as rain and sun to all people we're gonna be kind to all people and if there is someone with a spiritual inclination want to know more I'm not going to reveal more to them I'm not going to evangelize to them and the more that they that they don't evangelize and witness to them it's kind of a sign of how genuine they are as that makes sense and then the other is I will only be kind to you if you promise to go to the next That's a baptism and what not if you show spiritual intro see and then compose compiling both of your your comments together what's the overall overall framework is that we should be kind to all and then should there be an opening we capitalize and we see how God yes us and that process and not just leading us also leading that person means reading all of us together and I think that holistic picture and that that overall bird's eye view really provides should provide balance for us and not get in the moment which is you see so so often you know Jonathan chime in here what are some some insight you don't see in this. One other thing that really is important I believe in the process of witnessing and preparing this all is to see people as human beings not to see them as you know the center and he even and the other or that person that is take time out of my schedule but to see them as a fellow human being Christ knows every human heart is close to he's trying to reach everyone and he's close to all of us and so we have to recognize that just because we might be Christians and have a very intentional relationship with Jesus that does not mean that Jesus is not also close and trying to reach another person so when we see other people as human beings in need of Christ just as much as we are it will help us to. Spent a quality time with people I mean Jesus ate with sinners right the ferrous is helping him but it's really it's a revelation of the Gospel that God cares and so I think yes we engage with people around us let us eat with sinners because we I mean we're not Jesus so we are sinners to let us fellowship with them see them as human beings the best the time not just with one but with as many as possible. And building that trust and as we help them I mean medical missionary work is a term that's used that's I mean of course as health ministry that is you know our health outreach our hospital systems but it's also a personal work that we can do I don't have to be a doctor to be a you know to be engaged in that kind of work because it really just means to help other people without expecting something back because this is then in the arm to Jesus extent to us by showing his love his care and yes we live in you know some of us live in a society that is very wealthy or has a riff you need a people all everyone has needs and so the more time we spend with people the better we will know what the hardest crying for and we will be able. To minister to them in that way so seeing people as people and helping them without expecting something back is a wonderful way to prepare the soil of the heart that we have been talking about your comments are very well appreciated I remember when I was in campus ministry I thought what can I do to meet the needs of the student and one of the greatest fruitful forms of ministry was meeting with them as as exactly as Johnson you mentioned I remember and just the time whether it was saying before just does you know here at least in an x. a seed is being spread for everyone I bought so many meals for so many students but not every single one responded exactly the same way some. Had no spiritual inclination whatsoever some did and then they last somehow seemed like they didn't at all and then they did somewhere there the entire time but just and eating and getting into a very organic just a regular conversation with them just opened up a lot of possibilities John and I don't think heard our viewers as well and of us here that when we do that work yes some people who will not respond we're going to talk about it later on in verse you're going to be Ok with that reality that's a paid it's Ok to to spend on will use other people to prepare their hearts as well yes exactly so just we we don't have to worry about the outcome let's love like jesus love and you very practically and let the outcome be with. A 32nd Sebastian you want to chime in here. I was just going to say one of the most important aspects I think is to come close to people and also be vulnerable that even though they will see us more spiritual to show that I needed Jesus too and to open them about not only our successes but our failures and I think that opens a lot of doors as well and breaks down a lot and the 6 of us here in verse even though we're on t.v. we're talking about spiritual things we're very very we got huge weaknesses and we're huge sinners and we need the grace of Jesus like all of you out there to help us in a Blessing of a conversation for you I know it's been for me and my 33 guy friends will have some more girls on next episode but join us here on in verse and go to hope cd or you slash in verse or in verse Bible Dorji Bible study God's will see you next week God bless you you've been listening to invest a Bible based conversation with caliber as well Dr Jonathan Watt to Sebastian Baxter he could occur just an. Investor is brought to you by the call to our television that changes along with this and more inspiring episode throughout the embers that help to our large the finest on social media. In verse 5 until next time this is enforced.


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