Monday, 6 August 2018

True Disciples

Scripture:  Deuteronomy 8 v 2 - 3: "And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
 3  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."

I love this chapter of Deuteronomy for God's loving discipline of His people.  He is truly a God, a Father, who does not change His mind about the things that are important for us to learn and do.

We have to teach our children the basic lessons of life from a very early age.  We want to protect them from danger by showing them how hot the oven is, or the hot water tap.  We teach them to cope with the adversity that this world springs on us, many times without warning like earthquakes, flash floods, storms, fires, family illness or loss, and other accidents.

Our Father God originated these safeguards through clear instructions for survival in this world.  It's called the Bible and we don't read and heed it enough.  Another name for it is The Manufacturer's Handbook.  

We would not operate complicated machinery without proper instruction and thorough knowledge of the manual.  Certainly if problems arise with said machine the manual will be consulted and experts brought in.

We have doctors, hospitals, psychiatrists, specialists and every kind of help for broken humans but only Jesus Christ can mend a broken spirit and bruised heart.  No other religion, philosophy, holy book, or guru can provide the healing, deliverance, miracles and wholeness that Jesus continues to do through His disciples.  In this generation that's us.

Disciples are disciplined followers of Jesus on the strait and narrow way that leads to life.  That is abundant life here on Earth plus eternity in Heaven.  Abundant Life is not living high on the hog as some preachers and evangelists do, it is an abundance of spiritual blessings to minister to all around you that have needs.

A true disciple is revealed in Mark 16 v 15 - 18: "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
 16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
 17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
 18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

Basically, everywhere you go be ready to preach the gospel, do deliverance of those bound by demons, speak and pray in unknown tongues, don't be afraid of snakes, or poison, lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.  If you tick all the above boxes you are pleasing to God.

It's not just the ordained minister of the church who should be preaching and winning souls to the Kingdom of God.  It is a task for everyone who knows Jesus to do.  Sure the devil will oppose this with all his lies - they will call you a Bible thumper he whispers.  If you agree with him you will stay silent.

Rather build up your relationship with Jesus and inform yourself of how to share Him with others.  There is one infallible method - make Jesus real to those who don't know Him.  The easiest and best way is to share your testimony and how your life changed when Jesus came into your heart.  

Just deliver the message and leave it with the Saviour.  You don't have to save anyone because that's His job.  They may come back for more or Jesus will send others to confirm what you have shared.  How will they hear without a preacher?  You are the only Bible they may ever read.

1 Corinthians 2 v 4 - 8: "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 
 5  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 
 6  Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
 7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
 8  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

The princes of this world are Satan and his demons.  They had no idea that God would impart the Spirit of the resurrected Jesus Christ into every believer and turn them into disciples with all His gifts and abilities, boldness and courage!  He would never have been crucified if they had known about that!  So we must use our weapons wisely and nothing hurts the enemy more than if we steal souls from him.  They are the only currency he has with which to manipulate God.

True disciples produce new disciples and nurture them with the Word of God.  There is a lovely Indian pastor in Northern India, who follows this blog faithfully and has used it to develop a Holy Spirit filled prayer meeting on Sunday nights.  It has become the talk of the town because the Spirit of God is moving there and miracles are happening.  Even the Catholic priests have joined them and are learning from this pastor!  He is enjoying God's abundance because he is being a faithful and obedient disciple.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father forgive us for being reluctant to share Your Word and the testimony of Jesus with those around us.  We don't want to make mistakes with fragile souls so we don't speak out when we should.  Help us overcome our fear and be bold in our witness.  In Jesus' name. Amen.