Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
'Not a spectator sport'
by Erik Momsen
Many churches are full of believers, but there are far fewer disciples. A believer holds to a collection of "facts' while a disciple imitates the life of a master. A disciple was chosen by a master (rabbi) to follow and do what the master did. It was the closest of relationships.
The term "disciple" is derived from the New Testament Greek word μαθἡτἡς (mathetes) meaning "a learner". This word appears 232 times in the four gospels and Acts. This was also the root word for our modern word "mathermatics". This also denoted a difficult road of study and understanding.
BE A DISCIPLE TO MAKE A DISCIPLE
The last words of Jesus continues to challenge and direct the church.
"Therefore, as you go, disciple all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19,20 ISV)
- As a disciple, your primary purpose is to disciple others.
- Do it "as you go" - in all walks of life.
- BUT you can't give what you do not have.
- If you are not following the Master closely you will not be able to make other disciples - this is why the church is in trouble.
HOW DO I KNOW I AM FOLLOWING AT THIS MOMENT?
The clearest definition of a disciple is given by Jesus:
"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34,35) (NRSV)
- The great commandment.
- Jesus says; "follow Me in the way you love".
- Love for fellow believer is the ultimate test.
- Your attitude towards all Christians will show you up!!!
The life of discipleship is the life of discipline:
Then he said to all of them, “If anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross every day, and follow me daily." (Luke 9:23)
- A disciple is not first in his own life - God and others come first.
- There will be suffering and sacrifice.
- The job of a disciple starts new every day.
STEPS FOR A DISCIPLE
ONE LORD of my life - He is a jealous God. (Exodus 20:5)
TWO RELATIONSHIPS of love with God and all humanity. (Matthew 22:37-40)
THREE COMMITMENTS deny self, take up Cross and Follow Him (Luke 9:23) (Luke 14:27)
FOUR DISCIPLINES of living in the Word, praying with faith, fellowship with believers, witness in the world.
FIVE MINISTRIES of teach/preaching, nurture, worship/intercession, evangelism, service.
Churches want to grow because it is nice to have a full building, enough money to do things and we feel we are successful. Growth is hard to come by because true growth only happens when real disciples make other real disciples.
It starts with you and me being real disciples of Jesus and others will catch it from us. Jesus was clear - "if you abide in me first, if you follow me first ... then you will bear fruit and catch fish."
He said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishermen of people!” ( Matthew 4:19)
Date Added: 2008-07-07
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