Awesome Truths About Being a Genuine Disciple
It has long been my quest to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and to encourage my fellow family members in the household of faith to participate more enthusiastically and with greater fervour in the outworking of the primary command of our Saviour and “Commander in Chief” to – “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – “Matthew 28: 18-20” Berean Standard Bible.
In this article, I want to try and encourage all who read it to pray that the Holy Spirit will take my poor expressions in text and transform them into shots of “spiritual adrenalin” and empower them with the “Dunamis” of the Holy Spirit so that the end result will be the expansion of the Kingdom of God and Jesus sitting upon the throne of many more children of God.
I’m going to tackle the following ideas and hope they will be interesting and likewise inspiring to you all:
- Embracing Genuine Authenticity – Jesus’ Call to Make Disciples, Not Just Be Disciples.
- Discipleship Is Simply Linked to Evangelism – Embodying Love’s Revolutionary Force.
- Maturity Takes Time and Is Not Linear – Harnessing the Power of Empowering Mentorship.
- Christian Maturity Was Never About You Anyway – Christian Maturity Emphasises More Than Personal Interests.
- Love in Action: The Compelling Force of Discipleship and The Irresistible Force That Propels Us Forward.
The items listed I believe are concepts relating to true Biblical discipleship that all church leaders and all of us as God’s children should once again emphasise and reclaim:
Embracing Genuine Authenticity – Jesus’ Call to Make Disciples, Not Just Be Disciples.
The way many Christians talk, you’d think Jesus told us to be disciples. The command He gave us was to make disciples. The Great Commission is, at its heart, an outward movement.
So, my encouragement is to not settle for simply being a disciple; but to also embrace the exhilarating mission of making disciples! Jesus didn’t just call us to follow Him; He commissioned us to embark on a transformative journey with others. Picture yourself as a fisherman, casting your net wide to draw people into the abundant life found in Christ.
The Great Commission in “Matthew 28:19-20” beckons us to embark on this thrilling adventure of disciple-making, where lives are forever changed. When we actively share our faith and invest in the growth of others, where there is a river of authenticity – remembering that we are told – “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” – “John 7:38” we not only fulfil Christ’s command but also become more aligned with His divine purpose for our lives.
Just like the early Christians experienced radical transformation through their acts of sharing, the act of making disciples empowers us to step into the fullness of whom Christ designed us to be. Could it be (I’m only asking) that in the act of making disciples, we actually become more of what Christ designed us to be? It was in the act of sharing the faith that thousands of early Christians were transformed into new creations.
I know personally I grow and learn most when I am helping others. It gives me a place to apply what I’m learning and to take the focus off myself and place it on Christ and others, where it belongs.
Discipleship Is Simply Linked to Evangelism – Embodying Love’s Revolutionary Force.
The thrust of all first-century discipleship was to share Christ with the world he loves and died for. They knew of a radical love that had been expressed at Calvary and was forever being outworked in their lives day by day. There was nothing that was more radical experienced before the time when they received salvation through the work of Jesus.
You Can’t Be A Disciple Without Being An Evangelist
And for sure, the opposite is true. You can’t be an evangelist without being a disciple. But somehow many people would rather be disciples without being evangelists.
Discipleship and Evangelism Go Hand in Hand
In the first-century church, discipleship and evangelism were inseparable. To be a disciple meant to share the love of Christ with the world. You can’t really be a disciple without being an evangelist, and vice versa. But you know what’s surprising? Many people today want to be disciples without actively sharing their faith. Let’s together change and adopt another mindset and embrace the joy of spreading the good news.
“Mark 16:15” – “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” In reality “Discipleship and Evangelism” are “Two Sides of the Same Coin.”
Use your imagination for a moment and imagine discipleship and evangelism as inseparable dance partners, gracefully moving in harmony to a symphony of love streaming to all. As true disciples, we are not called to keep the life-transforming message of Christ to ourselves but to share it boldly with a world desperate for hope. Like a lighthouse guiding lost ships to safe harbour, we become beacons of light, illuminating the path to salvation. “Mark 16:15” urges us to embrace our role as ambassadors of the Gospel, fearlessly proclaiming the good news to all creation. By intertwining discipleship and evangelism, we create a powerful synergy, igniting a spiritual revolution that sweeps across nations. Let’s embrace the exhilaration of sharing our faith, leading others into the transformative embrace of Jesus.
Maturity Takes Time and Is Not Linear – Harnessing the Power of Empowering Mentorship.
A Mark of an Authentic Disciple Includes Getting It Wrong – The Pursuit of Enduring Commitment.
A common criticism of churches that draw in large numbers of outsiders and newer believers is that these new followers of Christ get it wrong as often as they get it right. They might not realise that reincarnation isn’t biblical or struggle to understand the faith they’re stepping into.
Here’s a radical concept to get our minds around – “What if that’s a sign that their discipleship is authentic?” Also, let me say that any gathering of Gods people who grow without seeing year on year people coming to faith is plainly getting it wrong and need to look once again into the fundamental purpose of the Church – It’s not a club for the Born Again, but a refuge and nursery for those newly birthed into the family of Christ.
After all, Peter didn’t get it right most of the time when he was around Jesus. Many leaders in the early church needed correction. And even Paul would later confront Peter about his unwillingness to eat with Gentiles. And yet Christ chose to build the early church on Peter and Paul. We need to recognise that “Authentic Disciples” make mistakes and that’s okay.
Embracing Imperfections: Authentic discipleship is not about being flawless; it’s about recognising our combined weaknesses and growing from them. Look at Peter in the Bible. Despite his shortcomings, “Matthew 16:18.” Even Paul had his moments of correction and growth. Our journey as disciples will have its ups and downs, but it’s through our mistakes and lessons that we become stronger. So don’t be discouraged by imperfections – embrace them as opportunities for growth.
The early leaders of the church, including Paul, encountered their fair share of correction and growth. These examples teach us that our journey as disciples is paved with both triumphs and trials. Instead of being disheartened by our mistakes, let’s embrace them as catalysts for growth. Through Christ’s love and transformative work, our imperfections become the canvas upon which His grace is showcased, inspiring others to join the journey of authentic discipleship.
Again, as we “Embracing Imperfections, we are Unleashing Transformation” because “Authentic discipleship” is not about donning a mask of perfection but embracing our beautifully flawed humanity. Again, use your imagination and imagine a mosaic artwork, where broken pieces are artistically arranged to create a masterpiece. Our journey as disciples is like that intricate process of assembling shattered fragments into a breath-taking display of God’s redemptive power.
A Morally Messy Church Is…Inevitable – Grappling with the Unpreventable Moral Messiness of the Church.
There is a common and stinging criticism that is levelled (unfortunately by both Christian and Non-Christian) alike of churches that are reaching people and it is that many of their attendees don’t bear much resemblance to Jesus.
Sure, there are hypocrites in the Church just as there are outside of the Church – The main difference though is that those in the Church, for the most part, recognise that their lives don’t match up to the “plumbline of Christ and the Bible” whereas those outside of the Church don’t possess a plumbline that is untouched by personal bias and self-interest and Biblically speaking are inherently sinful.
New, immature Christians can and will be swayed by powerful personalities, They will still, be sexually active outside of marriage, they will still have questionable business practices, end up in broken families, and be too swayed by the culture. In addition, they will inevitably not know how to conduct themselves in worship, and doubt core doctrines like the resurrection – We and I’m talking about Christians have all been there. We have the “tee-shirt.”
If these issues remind you of why you so dislike growing churches or megachurches, just realise that every one of those problems was found in the church in Corinth. It struggled with every problem listed above and in my opinion every problem the growing church today struggles with. Yet! the last time I checked the church in Corinth was an authentic church Christ loved.
The fact that we may have these problems may actually be a sign we are making progress with the unchurched. We don’t we don’t want to leave them there, but when people really start engaging with Christ, tidy categories are hard to come by. In fact, the most morally ‘pure’ people of the first century (the Pharisees) were the very ones Jesus most often condemned. Go figure.
You see, I think that “Messy Churches Are Part of the Plan.”
The Messy Church: God’s Plan in Imperfect People.
No church is perfect, and that’s okay! Just like the church in Corinth, which faced numerous challenges “1 Corinthians”, our churches today also grapple with imperfections. So, instead of criticising, and bemoaning the messiness, let’s view it as an opportunity for God’s transformative work. Let’s unitedly focus on bringing people closer to God. Remembering, that it’s through His grace that transformation occurs. By embracing imperfections, we create an environment where brokenness can be healed, and lives can be changed.
Imagine once again the Church as a vibrant garden teeming with a diverse array of flowers. Some may bloom brilliantly while others struggle to find their footing. Imperfections are part of this awe-inspiring tapestry. Imperfect churches can become beacons of hope, drawing people into the redemptive embrace of Christ.
Maturity Takes Time and Is Not Linear – Harnessing the Power of Empowering Mentorship.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was such a thing as instant maturity in faith and in life? But sadly, the reality is that unfortunately, it never works that way. It’s both impracticable and un-imaginable that a 3-year-old in Christ will have the maturity of a 13-year-old or expect a 23-year-old to have the maturity of a 43-year-old in Christ – It doesn’t happen in the natural growth of human beings and likewise, it doesn’t happen in the Church of Jesus Christ. When we place expectations on people that they are just not able to bear, we crush or confuse them.
And yet we do that in the Church all the time. People grow and mature over time. And our progress isn’t always as linear progressions would make it.
Maturity Takes Time and Doesn’t Follow a Straight Line.
Expose new Christians to the love of God and community, to great teaching, great relationships, and solid accountability, and over time, many will grow into very different people than they were when they first came to Christ. Sure, it’s true that they may grow at different rates and in different measures, but I believe Jesus talked about that. Just don’t judge them after a few months or even a few years.
In “2 Peter 3:18” we read “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Spiritual maturity isn’t about reaching a certain milestone – it’s a lifelong journey of continual growth and deepening our relationship with God. And this journey of maturity and growth is in God’s hands
Our growth is like the growth of a towering oak tree, with its branches reaching toward or the unfolding Petals of a flower. Imagine a garden filled with exquisite flowers, each blooming at its own pace. Similarly, our journey of maturity in faith and life is a magnificent unfolding, like petals gradually revealing their vibrant colours. Growth is as diverse as the blossoms in a garden.
We need to nurture new Christians with the tender care of a gardener, surrounding them with the love of God and a supportive community. Provide them with nourishing teachings, cultivate deep and meaningful relationships, and offer steadfast accountability. Over time, we can watch as they transform into individuals completely different from when they first encountered Christ.
Christian Maturity Was Never About You Anyway – Christian Maturity Emphasises More Than Personal Interests.
Let me say at the outset of this particular section that “Christian maturity has never been about you or me anyway.” It is certainly not about how awesome we are compared to others, how smart we are, how righteous we are, or how holy we are, these are simply “by-products” of our “Unsaved Attributes” although it’s not possible to be “Righteous or Holy” in the Biblical sense outside of saving faith.
It’s all about Jesus and others – It’s never been about you or me.
It’s always been about Jesus and serving others. So, if need be, it’s time to let go of own greatness and self-righteousness and focus on loving and serving those around us. That’s where true maturity lies. True maturity lies in selfless love and service to others. It’s about shifting our focus from personal achievements to Christ and His mission. Letting His love and grace flow through us, impacting the lives of those around us.
This is what “Galatians 5:13-14” tells us – “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” reminds us that we’re called to freedom, but not to use it selfishly.”
Christ-Centred Maturity: Is Not About Us It’s about Transcending Self for a Greater Purpose
In the grand tapestry of Christian maturity, we are not the centrepiece; Jesus takes that honour. It’s not about comparing ourselves to others or showcasing our intelligence, righteousness, holiness. Instead, it’s about fixating our gaze on the radiant glory of Christ and extending His love to others.
Imagine again with me for a moment a dazzling sunrise that captivates our hearts, painting the world with hues of grace and compassion. As disciples, our journey is intricately woven with selfless devotion to Jesus and a profound concern for the well-being of others. Let’s release the burden of self-importance, and let Christ’s love flow through us, transforming lives and creating a profound impact.
Love in Action: The Compelling Force of Discipleship and The Irresistible Force That Propels Us Forward.
Love Compels Us. If we love the world, how can we ignore it? Jesus said the authentic mark of his followers is love. He defined the primary relationship between God and humanity as one of love. The truth he ushered in is inseparable from love.
Can you or me fathom loving the world and yet turning a blind eye to it? Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, proclaimed love as the defining characteristic of His followers. He unveiled a truth inseparable from love, revealing that the primary relationship between God and humanity is one of boundless affection.
Picture love as a powerful current that propels a boat toward its destination. Similarly, the motivation behind evangelism and discipleship is love. It is love that should permeate our discussions, actions, and relationships in both evangelism and discipleship. Let this love be a blazing fire within us, driving us to share the gospel and engage in discipleship with unwavering passion.
While this blog, article, conversation call it what you will may not exhaustively cover the vast realms of thought regarding discipleship and evangelism, in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee, may it serve as a catalyst for advancing the conversation in our churches. If we embrace a deeper understanding of discipleship, our churches and culture can be transformed by the power of love as we become agents of transformation. The primary motivation for evangelism and discipleship is the same; it is love.
Embarking on the Disciple-Maker’s Quest: Answering the Call of Love.
Dear fellow believers let’s gather together in the courtyard of our hearts, where the echoes of truth and love reverberate. It’s here that we hear the resounding voice of Jesus, calling us to embark on a transformative quest as disciples who make disciples.
Imagine yourself standing on a magnificent mountaintop, the wind carrying the sweet fragrance of purpose. The call of Jesus rings clear in our ears: “Go and make disciples of all nations” – “Matthew 28:19.” It is not a call to be mere spectators, but active participants in the grand tapestry of God’s kingdom.
Let’s heed His words, for within them lie the secrets of abundant life and eternal significance. As we journey through life, let’s cast wide our nets, drawing in lost souls yearning for the truth that sets them free. Just as the early Christians shared their faith fearlessly, let us do the same, guided by the fervent love burning within us.
We unitedly should be embracing the intertwining dance of discipleship and evangelism, like a symphony of grace and salvation. We should unitedly be the hands that reach out to the broken, the voice that whispers hope to the hopeless.
Sure, our path as disciples will be marked by imperfections and moments of growth. Yet, these very struggles serve as catalysts for transformation, reminding us of our desperate need for Christ’s redemptive touch. We should not fear the messiness of the journey, for it is through embracing our brokenness that His light shines brightest.
Like a majestic oak tree, rooted in the fertile soil of God’s love, we grow and mature over time. Let us be patient and extend grace to one another, celebrating each person’s unique progression. In the classroom of life, we are both students and teachers, learning and imparting wisdom as we walk hand in hand.
Again, imagine a fire burning within you, radiating with an irresistible warmth and passion. Let this fire ignite your heart, propelling you to share the good news, invest in the growth of others, and be the instrument of transformation.
Today, I invite you to respond to the call of Jesus. The time is now. The harvest is ripe. Will you answer the call? to wholeheartedly embrace the mission of making disciples. Together, let’s embark on this exhilarating journey of disciple-making, knowing that as we pour ourselves out for His kingdom, we will find our lives infused with purpose, joy, and an eternal impact.
Now, dear adventurers of discipleship, armed with these profound truths, venture forth into the vast expanse of possibility and reclaim the mantle of biblical discipleship with unwavering passion, unyielding dedication, and an unquenchable thirst for divine transformation! May your journey be filled with breath-taking vistas, untold wonders, and a resounding echo of eternal impact.
Personal Note: –
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
As we embark on this united journey of faith, I want to offer you additional resources that will enrich your walk with the Lord. Our YouTube channel, “Albert M. Martin Worldwide Christian Ministries,” is a treasure trove of insightful teachings, inspiring testimonies, and transformative messages. By subscribing to our channel at www.youtube.com/c/AlbertMMartinWWCM, you’ll gain access to a virtual sanctuary where the Word of God is illuminated and shared with passion and clarity.
But that’s not all. To ensure that you never miss a single encouraging video that can equip you further on your discipleship path, I urge you to visit our website at www.worldwidechristianministries.org. There, you can hit the notification bell, allowing you to stay up to date with our latest content, special events, and opportunities for spiritual growth.
Imagine having a wellspring of wisdom, accessible at your fingertips, whenever you need a dose of inspiration or guidance. Through the resources available on our YouTube channel and website, you’ll find teachings that delve deep into the Scriptures, testimonials that ignite your faith, and practical insights that empower you to live out your calling as a disciple-maker.
There is even an “On-Line Bible School” where you can with many other – “Free of Cost” become a student of Gods Word.
In this digital age, let us embrace these avenues of technology as tools for expanding our knowledge, deepening our understanding, and fostering a vibrant community of believers. Together, let us tap into the vast wealth of resources that await us, allowing them to nourish our souls and propel us forward in our shared pursuit of Christlikeness.