GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES

Part 1

Christian women make disciples. That is what we are called to do.

Why? Because Jesus said so.

I like simple answers, don’t you? Really, that is all we need to know,

But, so that we see it in Scripture look at Matt. 28: 18-20
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

He promises His authority and presence to those who disciple: for the good of others and the glory of God.

All right, fine. But, how?

Glad you asked, because that is what I want to talk about. How we go about making disciples. In this lesson we will look at:

  1. Jesus’ plan to make disciples.
  2. Our enabling to make disciples
  3. Our goals in disciple making

Then next time we will cover:

  1. Finding someone to disciple
  2. Your first meeting

Get your coffee and let’s go!

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Jesus’ Plan

What is Jesus’ great strategy for changing the world?

Make disciples! One at a time.

And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19).

That is the discipleship process. First we are followers or disciples and then we fish for men or become disciplers.

There is a progression to his model.

At His first miracle, turning water into wine, the disciples did nothing. They just watched and John 2: 11 says, “They believed in Him.”

As time went on He involved them more and more.

He involved them in the feeding of the 4,000 and 5,000. They passed out the multiplied food and gather the left overs when everyone was full. He didn’t give them the authority to multiply the food but to serve.

After about a year and a half of ministry He picked the 12 out of His followers and sent them out 2×2 to preach, heal and cast out demons. He gave them the authority (and with that came the power) to do those things. He didn’t give them authority to multiply food or calm the storms. He asked of them to deal with individuals.

That is all He asks of us. No big miracles … nothing big … nothing flashy …just talk to someone else humbly, simply and tell them about Jesus, who He is and what He commands.

So, discipling is making followers or disciples into fishers of men or disciplers and that requires progress in their spiritual growth.

Watch for progress in spiritual growth and maturity in your disciple. If you are not seeing any … you will need to re-evaluate what you are doing and if you should continue the relationship. It may be her goals are different from yours. And we will talk about that more later.

Our Enabling

Be in the word, be in prayer, stay repentant, then you will walk in the Spirit and the Spirit will give you the power and equip you to do what Jesus has commanded you. Really, it is that easy. Doing it is our daily sanctification struggle. But, the Spirit will make you fit to disciple and give you the freedom to jump in with both feet.

A lot of that freedom comes from knowing our God is sovereign.

To say that God is sovereign is to say no one can thwart His purpose and plans.
When we say God is sovereign we are saying he has a right to run the universe, anyway He pleases and He is under no obligation to anyone to give an account of what He does.

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases (Ps. 115:3).

God doesn’t work randomly. He doesn’t have a Plan B.

I say all of this to give you confidence.

Discipleship is God’s idea. He planned it and He planned for you to disciple certain women.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10).

So, not to panic. He has our backs.
(Daniel 4:35; 1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalms 115:3; Acts 15:18; Ephesians 1:11)

Our Goals

Goal 1. Making disciples that love, trust, and obey Jesus.

If you remember nothing else — please remember this. You may use an entirely different process than I am outlining and that is great as long as the end result is your disciple is growing in love, trust, and obedience to Jesus.

Jesus said in Luke 6:40: “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

I am reminded of my first-born grandson. When I was around him, he was attached to me like we were Velcroed together. He had to be constantly physically attached to me. Of course, I loved it. That is how we want ourselves and our disciple to be: in constant contact with Jesus.

If your discipleship relationship becomes about you or them, it is off tract. It is to be about Jesus, our great Savior and Redeemer.

Check yourself once in a while. Who is the object of your meeting? If it is not Him, repent, make a course correction and go on.

Goal 2. Build a relationship of caring and trust.

You want her to know you are her sister-in-Christ coming alongside her to point the way in love, because together you are going to follow after Jesus.

She needs to sense you have been with Jesus and you can take her there.

It will look a little different for each of us because we are individuals, created by our Creator to be different. We have different personalities, gifts, and abilities.

But there are some things we can all do that will help create trust and an environment of safety.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com
Confidentiality

Never share what they share, with anyone. I don’t even share with my husband. We made that agreement. If there is unrepentant sin, and she is a member of your church ask an Elder in your church how you handle the confidence, but using no names until you know how the Elder would have you proceed. If your disciple can’t trust you, you have lost the right to disciple her.

Listen With Discernment

Discernment means to recognize something that is hidden or obscure.

Pray that you will learn to listen with spiritual discernment. Pray, “Lord Jesus give me spiritual ears.”

Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment, to read between the lines, so to speak. I want to hear not only what her words are saying, but how she is saying them, what is her facial expression giving away?

I want to know what is really going on in her heart.

Love Her

Love is not trying to protect her self-esteem. Love is telling her the truth. Love is encouraging, exhorting, rebuking.

Love is encouraging her in doing the right things.

Jesus always said what was best for people in the long run. He never whitewashed anything. He called sin, sin and told people to not do it anymore. He told them what was wrong with their hearts.

To the rich young ruler in Mark 10:21 we are told: Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Jesus loved him by telling him the truth about himself.

Pray: for her, your relationship, and your meetings.

We are God’s emissary in this woman’s life.

Through prayer I ask God to give me discernment about her spiritual condition and her spiritual needs. As I meet with her, I must be in constant prayer. I ask the Lord for discernment to know if she is involved in the discipleship process. Is she growing? Is she truly sharing her needs, concerns, thoughts, doubts, or fears? Or, is she putting on a mask and only showing me her “holy” side? Does she trust me?

Am I truly sharing with her, or do I have a mask on? Am I interceding for her?

Are we studying the right book, Bible passage?

Those are the things you need to be in constant prayer about.

Your disciple needs to sense you have been with Jesus.

Next time we will talk about finding someone to disciple and your first meeting with her.

Remember, you are loved!

FREE

John 8:31-32

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

My aim in this four part series is that we, dear Christian sister, not be swept away by the cultural deception that there is no absolute truth

Free is the last word in these powerful two verses that we want to dig into. We have already seen that abiding disciples know the truth and it is a liberating truth that sets us free.

Today, we will ask the question: free from what?

A few verses later in John 8 Jesus says:

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).

I don’t know about you, but this is what I want: to be free indeed.


So, once again we ask what does Jesus intend to set us free from?

As we go further into the passage we see Jesus is talking about the power of sin to control us and the power of the devil to deceive us.

Let’s look at some verses that confirm these two crippling powers have no place in the life of a Jesus follower.

Let’s start at what happened at the cross.

Colossians 2:13-15

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

We are the sinners Christ died for (Romans 5:8). God caused us to be born again (1 Peter 1:3) and forgave us all our sins. How? By nailing our record of debt, a debt of sin we could never repay, to his cross, thereby paying for it himself in our place.

When he did this, look what happened to Satan and his cohorts! He disarmed them and shamed them!

The power of sin in our lives is done for because all of our sins past, present, and future have been paid for.

So, because of this, Paul tells us:

Romans 6:11-14

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

We are free from the dominance of sin in our lives.

Christ came to destroy Satan and his works so we could be free of him. 

Hebrews 2:14 

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.

His hold on us is gone so James tells us:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

Remember who you are in Christ.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).

When the devil tries to pile condemnation on you say, “I am a forgiven child of God. You’ll have to take that condemnation up with Jesus.”

Watch him flee!

As a side-bar, we see in John 8 that people rarely want to hear the truth and it will not make you popular. Jesus caused a riot when he told the Jews the truth about their spiritual condition.

Perhaps you have experienced something similar when you have tried to tell someone about Jesus and how He is their only hope to overcome sin in their lives. Expect it.

Matthew 10:24

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.

If they rejected Jesus, they will reject you. But, fear not. All authority has been given to Jesus and we stand in His authority (Matt 28).

But, we are not finished. Jesus freed us from the wrath of God.

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9).

.Relax, dear Christian sister, eternity with Jesus is yours.

Read Ephesians 2:1-10 often and rejoice!

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

DISCIPLE

I began this series with the statement that we don’t want to be swept away by the cultural deception that there is no absolute truth. Christ followers know there is because they know the one who is Truth.

We are looking at John 8:31-32 so we can understand truth and be set free.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

I said that the order of these words are important and can’t be changed.

You can’t be set free unless you know the truth and you won’t know the truth unless you are a disciple that abides or continues in Jesus’ word.

Last time we discovered that abiding means to continue to believe and obey His word. It means to grab hold and cling to His word. It is grabbing and clinging to the end. It is persevering through life’s storms and peaceful times with the same tenacity of grabbing and clinging until you leave this earth and meet Jesus face to face.

Who can abide? Disciples of Jesus.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Disciple

What is a disciple?

Jesus said in Luke 6:40:
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.

The Greek word Jesus used for disciple means to learn and become attached to your teacher and follow their teaching and conduct of life.

For a follower of Jesus that means to be attached to him and follow his teaching and conduct of life. In other words, to be conformed to his image which is what you were born for (Romans 8:29).

To be a disciple, you must have been born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John 3:3:

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

And Peter wrote about in 1Peter 1:3, 23-25.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1Peter 1:3).

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you (1Peter 1:23-35)
.

It is through Jesus’ word, the Gospel, the Good News, that we are born again. It is through his word, all that is recorded in the Bible, that we are to abide or continue in, as we journey the disciple’s road through this life.


John said in John 8:31 if you are a disciple you will abide or continue in Jesus’ word.

The abiding disciple can expect a exceedingly great reward: truth that sets us free.

Next time we will study the word truth. What is this truth that has such great power?

ABIDE

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Dear Sister, don’t be swept away by the cultural deception that there is no absolute truth. We, followers of Christ, know better. To me one of the most important things Jesus said was:

John 8:31-32

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Notice these words:

Abide (Continue in the NAS and KJ)
Disciple
Truth
Free

This order cannot be changed. You can’t be set free unless you know the truth and you won’t know the truth unless you are a disciple that abides or continues in Jesus’ word.

Let’s take these words one at a time.

Abide or Continue

The only way you know you are a disciple of Jesus is if you abide in His word. It is not if you abide you will be my disciples, but if you are my disciples you will abide.

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them (John 14:21).

We don’t keep his commandments in order to love him, but we love him, so we keep his commandments.

We aren’t working to get salvation or keep our salvation. Because, we are disciples made so by God, we abide.

If we are in Christ (Romans 8) we are abiding in Him. We can’t come out of Christ because we didn’t put ourselves in Christ, God did (1Cor. 1:30). So, we will, if true disciples, always abide with Christ and keep His commandments. Why? Because, “it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13).

So, because God is working in us, we can do what verse 12 says to do.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil.2:12).

In other words, it is God who is working in us to complete our sanctification and our part is to abide or continue in his word.

Abide means to continue to believe and obey his word. It means to grab hold and cling to his word. It is grabbing and clinging to the end. It is persevering through life’s storms and peaceful times with the same tenacity of grabbing and clinging until you leave this earth and meet Jesus face to face.

You may not have had a radical, life-shaking conversion as the Apostle Paul did, but it is how you continue in the faith and how you end that shows you are a true disciple of Jesus.

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Rev 3:8

It is receiving this testimony from Jesus, that is abiding: he in us and we in him.

When we abide in his word, we are not swayed from it by Satan’s temptations or the lies, and deception of men, nor by rejection or persecutions. This is evidence then that we are truly disciples and He has come to us in power and dwells through His Spirit in our hearts which enables us to abide or continue in His word.

So, practically, how do we abide or continue in His word?

Here are 6 things I do.

  1. Take a deep breath and relax, dear Sister. You don’t do this alone; the Spirit is your Helper.
  2. Pray. Tell the Lord you want your relationship with Him to deepen. You want to spend time with Him, so would He meet you in prayer and the reading of His word. Ask the Spirit to show you new and wonderful things in His word you haven’t seen or understood before.
  3. Read a portion of Scripture – slowly. Go for quality, not quantity. Dig for gold- don’t rake leaves. Start at the beginning of a book and read straight through it: from beginning to end, reading a portion each day. If you don’t know where to start, start with the book of John. Ask the what, when, why, who, and how questions of the passage. Ask the Holy Spirit to answer these questions for you.
  4. Apply the passage to your life. Ask yourself what you learned about God and man in this passage? Ask what should you do because of this passage? Ask the Holy Spirit to use it to make you more like Jesus.
  5. Pray what you have learned back to God.
  6. Live out in the Holy Spirit’s power what you have learned.

This is what I have learned to do. My prayer is you continue in His word, whatever method you may use.

Next, we will take up the word, disciple. Who is a disciple and what does it mean to be one.

You are loved!