Making Disciples

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Unique Ways to Disciple

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Richard Kogler
Highlands Group Leader

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord, and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” - 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” - 1 Peter 4:10-11 

In John 14:15, Jesus tells us “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”. And his last commandment, The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18:20, is one of his most important for all believers. But many of us struggle with what it means to make disciples, and more to the point, how do we, as individuals, obey this command?

Too often we tend to focus on a narrow view of the discipleship process, envisioning a role as a bible scholar and teacher. But in reality, discipleship in its purest form involves simply coming beside another believer, mentoring them and supporting their development as mature Christians in any and every way possible. It’s an obedient and humble serving posture that we are called to adopt, just as our Lord demonstrated. 

Towards that end God has equipped each of us with specific spiritual gifts that if acted upon, will help us to disciple others. Since most of us are taught most effectively by example, if you demonstrate the spiritual gifts of hospitality or mercy, your care and concern for others will serve as a powerful lesson to younger believers around you. They will see you mirroring Jesus’s example and it will serve to instruct them on what it means to be a fully committed mature follower of Christ. Or if you have the gift of giving or generosity, your actions will serve to reinforce for younger Christians that all of our possessions and wealth comes from God, and everything we have is really his. By freely and cheerfully giving back our God-given treasure to our church and to those in need, we instruct and therefore disciple other believers through our example. 

Understanding, acknowledging and acting upon the spiritual gifts that God has given to each of us is not optional (see James 2:26) and as mature Christians we need to continuously use our gifts to accomplish the will of our Lord, so that God may be always glorified. In doing this we also serve as examples to others and help disciple them, just as the life of the Apostle Paul was a powerful example to those around him. For certainly, there is no better example of a disciple maker in Scripture than Paul. 

Prayer: Lord God, bless and praise Your wonderful name.  All glory and honor is yours, Holy Father. Help me always be faithful a follower of your Word, and help me use the powerful spiritual gifts you have generously given to each of us. To help further your Kingdom and show my love for you and your son, don’t let me just talk about your Word, but let me be a faithful doer of your Word. Help me disciple other believers by my example and show the world what it means to be a true Christian.

Posted by Richard Kogler with


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Ron Wolfley
Highlands Elder

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  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 1:22-25)

We can read God's Word, we can hear God's Word, we can know God's Word but unless we live God's Word, putting our faith into action, we are merely checking boxes.

My old football coach used to say, "You can draw all the X's and O's up on that board you want, you can design the perfect play, but when those X's and O's start breathing and taking the garbage out to the curb every Tuesday, you got a whole new set of problems."

 It's one thing to know something and quite another to do something correctly.

James reminds us of this truth in our walk with Jesus. He reminds us to not be like the man or woman who looks at themselves in a mirror and walks away and forgets what he/she was like. How do we live our lives? Do we walk away from that mirror, walk away from God's Word and forget what it says, forget who we are and forget who we belong to? Or even worse, remember God’s Word and not DO what it says? Do we disobey God’s Word? James encourages us to look into God’s Word, apply it to our lives, and be God’s Word by doing.

What you say and what you do is who you are. How else could anyone perceive your person and your meaning? What do we say during our days? What comes out of our mouth? What do we laugh at or not laugh at? What do we do during our days? What do we allow to rival our faith in Jesus Christ? How do we apply God’s Word to living? What do we do and what do we say?

Sometimes, when watching tape of a football game I played in, my coach would put the red dot on me on the screen and say, “I see the what but I want to know the why. Why would you do this?”

Knowing our why is critical to doing God’s Word. Not only is our why important to God, who looks on the inside of man, but our why will help us DO through the power of the Holy Spirit.  

 Jesus said, "If you love me you will obey my commands."

Love should be our motivation. Love for God and love for people should compel us forward as we walk away from that mirror. Are we checking boxes in our walk with Jesus Christ or are we compelled by God's love for us, compelled by the gospel, compelled by the Savior's love for us to obey His commands?

The fruit of the spirit starts with love and ends in self-control. Once we understand our why, acting on our faith becomes an exercise in being and not just doing?

Knowing our why will help us do.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for Your Word. Thank you for the wisdom and the life you provide us through Your words. Help me to remember what Your Word says; help me to do what Your Word says; help me to be what Your Word says. Help me to apply it to my life and change my life. Amen.

Posted by Ron Wolfley with

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