Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday morning epilogue

Here's a quick overview of Sundays' message about discipleship.  In that message, I described three "DNA" essentials for a true follower of Jesus - a disciple - along with the responsibilities that every disciple has to make other disciples.

A true disciple must experience the following:

1.    A life changing TURNING TO THE LORD

How does this happen?  God-sent messengers declare eternal truth to men and women who hearts are enabled to believe.  Through belief and surrender, salvation comes.  That salvation is not mere "decision" but a powerful, transforming, supernatural event as the Spirit of God makes us "born again". His Spirit inhabits us, empowering us to live for God by changing our desires and abilities. We KNOW we are saved because God begins a inward work of grace in us, remaking us into the image of His Son.

Hear His truth - the truth of the Gospel
Believe His word(s) - Accept his offer of salvation
Surrender to His authority - As Lord of your life
Receive His power - Via the Holy Spirit
Experience His grace - the work of God that changes us

2.    An intentional FAITHFULNESS TO THE LORD

This is the commitment that a true follower of Jesus makes to follow Him no matter what.  It is to abandon the old life and embrace the daily Lordship of Christ for a lifetime.  The discovery of God's will for my life is no mysterious journey then.  It is the searching of scriptures and the obedience to what I find.  It is a life of consistent, conscious obedience.  God wants faithfulness, which can only be measured over time and thru testing.

Discover His will
Do it
Duration is key

3.    A transformed PURPOSE IN THE LORD

In Christ, I now have a transformed purpose.  My life is not my own, but I have been bought with a price.  My aim now is to glorify God in all that I am and do.  My pleasure is no longer preeminent.  His is.  And I live for the fame of His name, not my own.

Live for His pleasure
Magnify His glory

How is this DNA passed on? 

1.     I must EMBODY Jesus (with integrity) in the world I live.

This requires more than IMITATION  It requires TRANSPOSING

A disciple maker must be authentic.  He must live the very words he teaches.  He must demonstrate integrity (sameness in private and in public).  This also means applying the teachings of Jesus in the key of my life and in the key of those I disciple.  It is taking the words of of God and intentionally, thoughtfully, living them out in my context.  

2.     I must connect with others intentionally and strategically.

In our busy world, disciple-making won't happen passively.  We must intentionally, prayerfully, seek out a person or a couple of people with whom we will download our lives into.  This will have to be planned, strategic, and consistent.


3.     I must convey a Biblical standard with clarity and simplicity.

Those gatherings then must be purposeful and focused on Christ and the teachings of the Word.  Mere friendship or even accountability is not enough.  Discipleship requires the careful, clear teaching of the Word and the sharing of truth and application.  

Discipleship is not subjective.  It is objective.  That object is Christ!

4.     I must help others APPLY TRUTH in everyday life.
TEACHING is not enough!

Ultimately, teaching though, is not enough.  Real discipleship requires DOING this word together and learning as we do.  Simple education/information doesn't change behavior.  Doing what the word says causes us to learn it in ways we could not otherwise.  It takes our Christianity from the theoretical to the actual.  

We must ACT our way into a new way of THINKING, not vice versa!

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