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Discipleship and barriers


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Intro: Ecclesiastes 12:13 states why we were created by God. We are often distracted by the world and forget our calling. We get ourselves entangled in matters that do not concern us. The bible speaks of an analogy of a soldier. A soldier is not permitted to get entangled in civilian matters (2 Timothy 2:4). Likewise let us not get entangled in the matters of this world. Instead let us reveal the Glory of God. We have been tasked to make disciples of all nations. We can only achieve this if we ourselves are true disciples. Discipleship is the command given by God. As it is said, “actions speak louder than words”, so must our conduct precede us. Today’s teaching will be divided into two parts. We will evaluate discipleship through the great commission in part one, then in part two, explore the greatest barrier that prohibits us from accomplishing the task.

Matthew 28:16 – 20 & Mark 16:15 – 20

If a security guard constantly anticipates an intrusion, they remain vigilant and alert. In the same way, as christians, we are urged to always be watchful and refrain from all distraction. Through deliberate focus, nothing can hinder our purpose. God has entrusted each of us with the task of making disciples of all nations and like in any instruction given, there is an expectation of accountability and feedback on our part. As Jesus ascended to heaven, so shall He return. And upon His return a report on what we have done in His name will be expected. Our job is simply to preach the word of God. However, the church of today is sometimes flawed. “Perfect people” are sought after by the church and disregard is given to the imperfect that God wants to make whole again. It is the wretched that need salvation and offen when these people visit congregations they are received with skepticism and judgement. Instead, through our own actions, let’s teach them to understand. Let’s teach them to know God through how we preach the greatness and goodness of God. Remenber, no one can change unless through the power of God. Jesus wants the imperfect in order to give them understanding. If we read the multiple times Jesus healed the sick, He never questioned who they were or what they did. He just healed them and many proceeded to follow Him after receiving their healing. Therefore, let us be mindful of how we conduct ourselves. Many people in most churches become so attached to their denomination in a way that is detrimental to its development. However, remember, the most important thing is to preach Jesus. Give more emphasis on the task of discipleship through your actions. If as a child of God you have come to know the power of God, it is then up to you to teach of that goodness in the hope that someone else may be saved.

Let us not be a barrier or a distraction that hinders the great commission. Pray and desire to be used by God to be instrumental in achieving the task left for us. We are all part of the same body. Jesus promised that He is with us until the end of age. What does this mean to us? It means we have the authority. We have the protection. We have the ability to fulfil the task at hand. In conclusion, as we grow to understand this task, we must in turn demonstrate it. Do not be afraid, for this work is for God and He is with us.

Matthew 28:16 – 20 & Mark 16:15 – 20
Acts 9 :1 – 19

As established in Part one of today’s teaching, we have all been tasked with the great commission. However there are barriers that hinder us from accomplishing it. This is why the bible urges us to be watchful. If you evaluate the parable of the 10 virgins, (Matthew 25) it is clear to understand that the lesson to be learnt was that of vigilance and preparation. It is of the utmost importance to align yourself with God through prayer and supplication, making full use of every opportunity presented to spend time in God’s presence. Do not be deceived. You can go to church for 20 years but not grow in your spirit. It is no coincidence that the bible states that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52). Therefore make every effort to develop spiritually. Have your mind constantly renewed so that your growth does not become stagnant. The key to growth is a desire to learn. If you find yourself not seeing the need to learn, then be assured you will not develop any further. There is often a phrase used by many christians, “new level, new devil.” This suggests that at every level of spiritual development, there are challenges to be overcome. It is therefore important to never become complacent but always strive to learn, overcome and grow. Genesis 12 narates how Abraham (at the time he was still known as Abram) was instructed to leave his fathers house. You see, that in itself was an opportunity for an elevation in the spirit. It is what facilitated Abraham’s encounter with God. Remember, his father did not worship God. Meaning that God needed to separate him in order to elevate him. Abraham could not fully experience God while he was still in his fathers household. Therefore the move was instrumental in his blessing because it aligned him with God.

Acts 9 :1 – 19. In this chapter we see that the followers of Jesus were living under persecution. Not from the world but from religious sects. Saul believed in God and knew about Jesus, yet the people he sort to persecute were believers. However, it only took one fateful day to completely transform him. If we have not had a certain revelation, we cannot accomplish the great commission. The biggest barrier to christian’s of today that hinders their ability to be effective disciples of the gospel, is the lack of an encounter with God. This makes us vulnerable to the distractions of this world. Saul had an encounter with God and was changed forever. GOD REVEALED HIMSELF TO HIM. Someone can teach you about God, but if you have not had an encounter or revelation from God, then you will never be effective in his work. You need a specific revelation, personal to you, where God speaks to you in some way. Reading the story about Saul, we see that the revelation was specifically for Saul, even though he was not travelling alone. The people with him heard something but saw nothing. The encounter and revelation was for Saul alone. And when Ananias laid his hands on Saul what appeared to be scales fell from his eyes. In the same way, Saul’s sight was never the same again. His focus was solely on God and the purpose to which he was called. From then on Saul never needed any encouragement, or coercion to do the work of God but he himself became the encouragement and sourse of hope to the believers.

Take time to urnestly pray for an encounter with God. As Abraham aligned himself through obedience to God, find yourself seeking to align yourself with God. Let God reveal Himself to you. Revelation is so personal. Even if a charismatic preacher speaks to you, without God revealing Himself to you, you will not understand your calling. Seek to fully encounter God. It is what deepens your relationship with Him, and understanding of Him. It is only when we start to understand God that His word becomes a miracle to us.

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