GET COMMITTED - PART 5
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."” - Matthew 28:18-20 ESV
You and I, if we are believers, we live under the highest orders by the highest authority to go and make disciples. We also spoke about the different stages of growth as a believer- seeker, infant, child, young adult and parents (mothers and fathers)
An infant's life is characterized by ignorance. As a child, however, there is some growth and began to read their bible. They are only concerned with themselves, their comfort and well being. They are not committed to serving even though they might do some things. Young adults have grown spiritually and have moved from being self-centred to others centred. They have grown in maturity and progress. They are committed to serving. Fathers and Mothers not just care for people but give birth to people through the gospel. These are the four discipleship stages. It will be good to assess where you are and see how you can grow. Children will always think they’re adults, so you need others also to speak into your life and progress in the area of growth. The focus should be on growing.
There are milestones in our journey. We looked at 3 milestones:
You will find more on these in part 2 of the series.
Being part of a small group: when you are a part of a church, you are not a part of an organisation, you’re a part of an organism. During the week we meet in small groups where we get to know people at a more deeper level - to care and share, to challenge and support, to confide and confess, to rejoice and weep, and to be accountable to each other. Personal growth does not happen in isolation, it happens in the community. Where do we find small groups in the Bible? “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,” - Acts 2:46 ESV. At Word of Grace we have a few gyms ( house groups). We are starting an online gym for people who are unable to make it to any of the gyms. Over the years our small groups have cared for one another very well.
Loving one another: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another."” - John 13:34-35 ESV. “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” - 1 John 3:14-15 ESV. Love is expressed in connecting with one another. We’ve got to be people who are loving one another. Let’s connect with one another intentionally.
Love involves practising hospitality. One of our key values is to express love through offering hospitality. Whether you are married or single you can be hospitable. Let’s be biblical.
Having authentic relationships - to have deep friendships. The Bible has 51 or more one another’s. Practising those is showing love to one another. We are not perfect but we’re making an effort to grow.
Obey the word of God: “"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”John 14:15 ESV. A growing disciple is one who is feeding on the word, meditates on the word and is transformed through obeying the word. This should be happening on a regular basis. “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:23-25 ESV. You want to be blessed. Read the word and do what it says. Sometimes culture is very different from what the Bible says. But we need to adjust our life to reflect the word of God.
Servanthood: “Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles Lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."”Matthew 20:20-28 ESV. This is the principle of the kingdom. The way to greatness is through serving. If you want to be first, you have to be a slave. Jesus modelled it himself and calls us to follow him in the same way. If you want any form of public ministry, you have to serve and become a servant. Those who wash the feet of the saints have the privilege of leading them. We are talking about sacrificial serving. We are here to serve the body of Christ and be servants. This is a value that is held in high esteem by Jesus and by us. If you want to progress in your spiritual life, serve. We all have a role and a function in Word of Grace. You can’t be part of a body if you don’t have a function. It would not serve any purpose.
Mission: Jesus came to earth and after dying on the cross and resurrecting, he says in John “Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you."”John 20:21 ESV. Our mission is to proclaim the gospel. “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence, earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15 ESV. This is the reality of our future without Jesus. The moment you trust Jesus you know your name is written in the book of life. The second death is forever and there is no escape. If anyone here has not put their faith in Jesus, today is the day of salvation. Our mission is to share the gospel with love and gentleness. That is what we are called to do till the end of time.
We have looked at 8 discipleship milestones. As we mature, we can do these at a much deeper level. As a new Christian, you would’ve spent 5 mins with the word. As you mature, you want to spend 30 mins etc. we grow in our depth and capacity of doing them.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.