Devotional thoughts tagged as: 'discipleship'

Good News Cannot Be Contained

The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the City of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." And Nathaniel said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and See."
John 1:43-46

Jesus called Philip to be his disciple and Philip was so enthusiastic about Jesus that he ran to Nathaniel with the news that he had found the Messiah promised in the scriptures. The good news can not be contained. Our challenge in this text it seems is merely to share what Christ means to us and invite friends and neighbors to come and see for themselves.

Examining the Gospel of Matthew

The Gospel of Matthew contains five key teaching sections by Jesus.

  1. Matthew 5:1-7:27 — The Sermon on the Mount — given to a large crowd.
  2. Matthew 9:35 to 10:42 — Instructions to the Twelve disciples chosen by Jesus.
  3. Matthew 13:1-52 — Parables of the kingdom — given on a crowded beach.
  4. Matthew 18:1-35 — Instructions on community — given to the disciples.
  5. Matthew 24:1-25:46 — The Olivet Discourse, also given to the disciples.

Before and after each of these teaching sections there follows action sections by Jesus and his followers as they carry out God's Word. The Gospel of Matthew ends with what is called the Great Commission — Teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you. It seems the Gospel of Matthew is making a statement about Discipleship. Discipleship involves not only truth believed but truth applied.

Ask, knock, seek and receive

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8

Our personal relationship with Jesus requires us to be his hands, feet and eyes. Part of the challenge of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is to possess what I call "Mission Ambition."

When you have mission ambition realize there is a biblical step by step approach for each mission project selected.

You begin this process by asking God for guidance and help. Next you seek a group of interested people to help spread the word about what you are doing.

Last of all Mission Ambition is about knocking on doors and asking more people to help.

This is part of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Seek Out and Save the Lost

In John 17-18 Jesus asked God to sanctify us so we would be prepared to go out into the world, like the apostles. Sanctify means to be set apart and equipped for a special mission. That mission is to seek out and save the lost. Pray your church remembers to seek out and save the lost. Pray your church does not forget its mission, which God has given to them. Amen.

Insight into the Gospel of Matthew: Discipleship

Matthew presents a portrait of Jesus as the Christ, showing how the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus is tied together with his role as Messiah. However, what separates Matthew from the other Gospel writers, is the focus on the church, its way of life in response to the message of Jesus.

In chapter 10 of Matthew verses 26-42, the rewards and cost of discipleship are presented. Disciples are to proclaim openly the Kingdom of God. Those who bear witness will be vindicated before God. Those who deny Jesus will be denied by the father.

So great are the demands of being a disciple of Jesus, it will lead to conflict with one's family and parents. This is in contrast to the Jewish faith where the family is the center of existence. This was a radical view. However, full conformity to live the authentic life God has intended may require disciples to give up their lives. To be a disciple of Jesus is very costly. You must leave behind your family and you must be willing to give up your life.

The last two verses of this text lay out the rewards to those who are kind to the disciples of Jesus.

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