Posted tagged ‘Discipleship’

Seven Basic Commands Of Jesus

July 28, 2013

The Lord gave Moses and the Nation of Israel the Ten Commandments. The Commandments revealed the holiness of God and provided the people with guidelines for their relationships with Holy God and one another.

Jewish rabbis wrote 613 laws to help the people keep the Ten Commandments. These commandments, while intended for good, only enslaved the people to the Law and provided a basis for people to judge people.

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. During the course of His earthly ministry, Jesus gave more than 100 commands to His disciples.

George Patterson, veteran missionary and church planter coach, helps us understand the 100 commands of Christ by saying that seven summarize most of the others.

These seven are:

  1. Change your mind and believe in Me. (Mark 1:14,15; John 14:1-7)
  2. Baptize new believers. (Matthew 28:18-20)
  3. Love God, neighbor, one another, and your enemies. (Mark 12:30,31; John 15:9-14; Matthew 5:43-48)
  4. Pray to God using My name. (John14:10-14; 16:23,24)
  5. Celebrate My death. (Luke 22:17-20; I Corinthians 11:23-26)
  6. Give generously. (Matthew 5:38-42; Luke 6:37,38)
  7. Make others My disciples. (Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:36-47)

Listen to George Patterson discuss the Seven Basic Commands of Jesus in this video.

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No Priorities

April 17, 2013

“We are doing missions as if there are no priorities.”

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(C. Davis, Perspectives Course speaker, Lesson 13 on Spontaneous Multiplication of Churches)

See my post on “The Great Imbalance”.

“The Great Imbalance”

March 26, 2013

“Only 24,000 missionaries out of the Global Evangelical Missionary-force of 253,000 are working within the estimated  8,000 unreached groups. That means that 9 times as many foreign missionaries work within reached people groups than those doing the more difficult work of establishing breakthroughs within unreached peoples.”

Or, to put it another way, 90% of all evangelical missionaries in the world today work with the 11.9% of the world’s population that are professing Christians, the 20.5% of the world’s population who are nominal Christians, and the 27.3% of the world’s population that are non-Christians within reached groups. Only 10% of the world’s evangelical missionaries work among the 40.3% of the world’s population who are non-Christian within unreached people groups. (Perspectives, A Reader, p.543)

In Matthew 24:14, the Lord Jesus Christ said –

“And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations (“people groups”) and then the end will come.”

If we say that we know Jesus as our Savior …

if we are serious about our faith in and commitment to Him as our Lord, and …

if we are going to be obedient to His will and command to carry the Gospel to all of the people groups of the world so that His Name might be known among them …

we must take a look at the numbers and percentages above, repent of our failure to obey Jesus’ command to disciple all nations (‘people groups”), deny ourselves, and commit ourselves afresh to His use for the fulfilling of the Great Commission, for His glory.

Then, and only then, will the end come.

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Note: I posted this article a couple of days ago, but because of some formatting errors, I have re-written, editted, and re-posted it.

I-5 Evangelism

January 21, 2013

In Any-3: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime, Mike Shipman shares five insights into the character of Jesus’ evangelistic ministry. These insights, drawn from Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:7-38), will serve us well as we seek to obey the Great Commission to share the Gospel and make disciples of all the “nations”, beginning in our Jerusalems.

The first characteristic of Jesus’ evangelistic ministry that Shipman points out is intentionality. Jesus was Intentional about Woman at the Well 1886everything that He did during the course of His life and ministry, including His evangelism. Mike writes that …

“The witness who understands the gospel and is willing and prepared to share it will have opportunities to do so. God will connect such a witness with people who need to hear the gospel, many of whom He has already prepared to receive it.”

“Christians who plan to share the gospel do so much more often than those who passively ‘wait for the Spirit to lead them.'”

“Prepare to share the gospel. And then make a plan to spend time where lost people are with the intention of sharing the gospel with them.” 

 Jesus was very Informal when engaging people evangelistically.

“Most of Jesus’ witnessing experiences occurred in the course of everyday life. Rather than waiting for a formal religious setting, Jesus witnessed informally.”

“The best place to witness is wherever you meet people.”

” … if anyone, anywhere in the world invites you to sit down and talk, what they are usually saying is, ‘Share the gospel with me.'”

Mike writes that “Jesus never acted condescending or condemning” when ministering evangelistically. “Instead, he was Interactive and engaging.”

Discussing this third characteristic of Jesus’ evangelistic approach to ministry, Shipman notes that Jesus spoke seven times and the woman spoke six times during their conversation at the well. He did not dominate the conversation; His style was interactive. It is also noted that the early tone of Jesus was gentle and relaxed when He began His conversation with the woman, but the tone of the conversation did became tense when the woman came under conviction because of her sin. When tension does enter the evangelistic exchange,

“Let the Holy Spirit do the work of conviction, while the witness helps to guide the person to the truth.”

“People are rarely won to Christ through arguments no matter how persuasive they may be. Instead, focus of giving a simple, loving presentation of the gospel.”

 Initiative characterized Jesus’ approach to evangelism. Mike shows us that Jesus not only initiated the conversation with the Samaritan woman, He guided the conversation to its intended goal. That goal was her decision to receive Christ as her Savior and transformer of her life.

The fifth and final characteristic of Jesus’ evangelism method that Mike Shipman observes in Any-3 Jesus’ encounter with the Woman at the Well is that Jesus Introduces people to the Messiah.

“Sharing biblical truths is good, but if we fail to introduce the Messiah, we have missed the heart of the gospel.”

” … the gospel has the power to save. For this reason, the gospel should be the primary message the witness shares.”

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If the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ truly is good news, those of us who are believers in Him should be eager to share the message of God’s love and forgiveness in our Savior with those who need to know Him personally. While many studies, programs, and courses have been written and designed to train and equip us for evangelism, there is no better preparation and equipping for the work than to study and follow the life, example, and teaching of Jesus Christ.

He was Intentional about the sharing of the Gospel. He was Informal, or relational. He Interacted and had exchanges with people. He took the Initiative in connecting with people and sharing the Good  News. And, He Introduced people to the Messiah and called them to make a personal decision to accept His as their Savior.

May we live an evangelistic life-style and may it be characterized by the evangelistic traits of Jesus.

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The painting above: Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well by Henryk Sieiradzki, 1886.

Look At The Numbers. Let’s Get Serious About The Great Commission.

December 30, 2012

The article below was written by Guy Muse. Guy is a Southern Baptist missionary to Ecuador. The article was posted on his blog, The M Blog, on December 28, 2o12.

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“As 2012 comes to an end, the global status of evangelical Christianity* finishes the year with a long way to go. Consider the following numbers:

11,342 – Number of people groups in all countries. A people group is the largest group through which the gospel can flow withoutMatthew 24 14 encountering significant barriers of understanding and acceptance.

6,422 – Number of people groups where Evangelical Christians comprise less than 2% of the total population. These UPG stats do not include USA & Canada.

571 – Number of unreached people groups in the United States and Canada. [Note: engagement and statuses for many people groups in USA and Canada are still unknown. This number will change as more information becomes available.]

3,133 – Number of unreached people groups not engaged by anyone. A people group is engaged when a church planting strategy, consistent with Evangelical faith and practice is underway. In this respect, a people group is not engaged when it has been merely adopted, is the object of focused prayer, or is part of an advocacy strategy.

393 – Number of unreached people groups with populations at or above 100,000.

Another way of looking at these mind-boggling figures is through population numbers:

6,944,287,685 – Number of people in the above 11,342 people groups.

4,192,663,816 – Number of people in the above 6,422 people groups where Evangelical Christians comprise less than 2% of the total population.

240,245,046 – Population of the 3,133 unreached people groups not engaged by anyone.

96,381,569 – Population of unreached people groups that are not engaged by anyone, anywhere around the world.

Every one of the 6,944,287,685 persons is loved by God. Let’s not confuse numbers with real people. Each is a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter of someone. Every single person is someone for whom Christ died.

So what does all of this mean? For me there are at least three ways to respond:

1) Indifference–not my problem, I’m not going to do anything about it, I already have a full plate of other concerns.

2) Involve myself–as we begin a new year, I am going to intentionally engage in trying to do my part in making sure the Gospel gets to the nations–I am going to inform myself, pray with understanding, give purposefully, and maybe even go myself.

3) Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to me about what He would have me do, and then do it.

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*Above information courtesy of Global Research Department of the International Mission Board.”

 (The above was posted by Guy Muse on his blog, The M Blog, December 28 , 2012.)
 
 Read Matthew 24:14.

Discipleship Multiplication Training: Day 4

August 11, 2012

Thursday was the concluding day of the Discipleship Multiplication Training event. The DMT week was a wonderful time of teaching, encouragement, and inspiration … a time of prayer, worship, and connection with people who have a passion and vision for Church Planting Movements in their communities and around the world. Below are several quotes from Day 4.

“In every Mustard Seed Movement there is a movement of prayer.”

“Lord, what will it take to see Your Kingdom come so that no place is left without Your witness?”

“Give new believers two values: Value the Authority of the Word of God and Obey the Word of God.”

“We must move from a church paradigm to a Kingdom paradigm.”

Am I Desperate?

August 9, 2012

We had a wonderful time of worship and prayer this evening at WoodsEdge Community Church in The Woodlands. WoodsEdge has hosted the Discipleship Multiplication Training event that I have been attending this week.

The Lord has used the teaching, new friendships, and conversations this week to teach me about evangelism, discipleship, and church planting.

He has also used this week to convict me about the lack of prayer in my life.

Am I desperate for God in my life, in my family, in my ministry? 

LORD, I’m desperate for You.