DiscipleshipMar 25, 2022
Years ago, I took part in a teaching series called Masterlife by James T. Avery. It was absolutely amazing in that it broke down what it means to be a disciple of Christ in a way that I never heard taught. In the most simple terms, a disciple is a disciplined follower of God’s Word.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 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.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
The content was applicable no matter the length of one’s walk with Christ or the call on their life. The Great Commission calls us all - every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ - to go out into all nations to seek and save the lost. We are to preach and teach in the name of Jesus until every corner of the earth has the opportunity to hear the Good News of our risen Savior. What I also consider to be good news is that not being called to the fivefold ministry (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher) does not render one insufficient for disciple-making.
Avery’s Masterlife series teaches the importance of abiding in Christ as we live in this world. (We are in it but not of it.) We are to pray in faith, fellowship with other believers, witness to the world, and minister to those in need - be those needs natural or spiritual. These are to be the foundational norms in the life of every believer. We are to be disciplined in these practices as we are discipling others.
From my perspective, the art (and heart) of discipleship is our ability to encourage people and help them understand God’s Word and its practical applications. We model prayer and worship to assist them in fostering an intimate connection with the Father. We operate as one Body with many members so that new converts understand the importance of doing life with those who are like-minded.
How can the Kingdom of God advance without discipleship? It simply cannot. Hence, the GREAT Commission. Without the intentional training of new believers, individual lives lack a solid foundation upon which to build their faith. Shaky individuals produce shaky congregations and shaky leaders. Jesus is the solid Rock on which we stand; we are in Him and He is in us. Discipleship strengthens those who have proclaimed Christ as their Lord and Savior to stand and walk by faith.
Joshua had Moses. Elisha had Elijah. Timothy had Paul. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, devote leaders served the next generation by training them to live for the Lord. God’s heart has not changed regarding this fundamental practice. Discipleship should be held in highest regard because the vitality of The Church depends on it.
For this reason, I say there is nothing more important than discipleship. It is love in motion, faith in action, and dedication to Kingdom advancement to the glory of God.
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