Friday, August 3, 2012

Go and Make

I have been meditating on what it means to be a "Believer" of The Lord Jesus Christ vs. a "Disciple".

Jesus' great commission to us before He ascended into Heaven was to go and make Disciples. Not Believers. Not "numbers of salvations". Not go out and witness. But, BE a witness.  A Disciple just is - it's not his preaching or teaching. It's his lifestyle. And it is build around relationships. You cannot disciple with an intimacy with someone else who desires to be discipled.

Make Disciples - without prejudice.  
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. ~ Matthew 28:16-20
There is a difference between a Believer and a Disciple. 

Every Disciple is a Believer, but not every Believer is a Disciple. 

A Believer believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. A Disciple is one, who not only believes in Jesus, but also studies The Word and is a doer of The Word, not a hearer only.

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 observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.  But, he who looks into the perfect Law of Liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.   ~ James 1:22-25

A Believer is a hearer-only kind of person.

A Believer won't necessarily change much because he doesn't study to show himself approved or improved. 

But, a Disciple will.

The Word that he/she studies WILL produce change - heart change, which will, in effect, bring change to their surrounding relationships.

Discipleship is all about relationships. 

Jesus had His Twelve that He ate with, slept with, and traveled with. He was about relationships. One person affecting another person, who in turn affects others. And so on and so on.

Joe and I were very blessed when we first found salvation. God led us to a mature couple in The LORD who discipled us. Not through formal teaching, but by pulling us into their family's life. We observed The Word being lived out. They were doers and their "doing" taught us.

They taught us by example, as their son cut his knee and they prayed over the wound; as they ran out of oil in the dead of winter and prayed for God to supply their need; as they laid hands on the sick and they recovered; as they allowed The Word of God to convict them of their sins and then they humbled themselves before God and asked for forgiveness; and even by speaking the Truth in Love when we needed to be corrected.  

They were doers of The Word, and in an unscholarly manner they taught us.  They discipled us.  Just like in the photos to the right. In essence they laid their hands over ours while teaching us the "trade" of being a Disciple of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus commissioned us to go and make Disciples. It doesn't necessarily mean go to another country. It does mean go to those around you. Go and be.

And in the "being", make.

Make Disciples.

Oh, Lord, bring to us those we can "be" in front of. Let us be to others, what Nan and Dave once were to us. Bring us those whose mothers or fathers have been praying for. Let us be the answer to their prayers. Cause us to shine like lighthouses, drawing those lost in the sea of humanity to us. Cause our Light to so shine before men that they will see our good works and glorify You, Heavenly Father. Bring to us those You desire to be discipled and grant us, Holy Spirit, the eyes to recognize them.  In Jesus Christ's Name! Amen.

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Crown of Beauty said...

Hi Diane,
What a delight to see another post from you, just hours after I had read your previous one! I will however have to come back at a later time to give myself enough time to read your words. It is supper time of Friday here, and our family is about to partake of our weekly Shabbat. I know your day is just beginning over there.

Thank you very much for your encouraging comment on my July 31 post. God alone be given the glory.

Sure, you may copy the words I have written on my blog about intercession. They are kingdom truths meant to be passed on to the rest of our brothers and sisters.

Much love

Diane Ronzino said...

Thank you for the permission, Lidia. I can't wait to email it off to them. I will put a link to your blog. Maybe someone will venture by.

I hope you have a wonderful Shabbat and enjoy your weekend.

Betty said...

Diane, just exactly what I needed to read today. There is a couple down the street from us that are believers and she has ask if we have a bible study. We don't but would love to take on a one on one family to disciple. They are both really interested in missions. YOu post has challenged me to be pro-active in this relatlionship. Thanks my sister for being sensitive to the Holy Spirits leading.

Floyd said...

Actions do truly speak louder than words. Thanks for the encouraging words that remind us to be people of action for Who we serve... every step of our lives...

A Joyful Noise said...

BE my disciples is what Jesus said, Make and do - beautiful,

Crown of Beauty said...

Love this post, Diane.

I'm a relationship, a people oriented person... so this post touches my heart. You are fortunate to have been mentored "hands on" by that mature Christian couple you wrote about.

So much wounding takes place in churches because the being aspect of Christianity has been overlooked. The Galatians for one were guilty of this... and Paul laments this condition in his letter to them. Christ calls us to BE, that we may be human beings... but the enemy convinces us that it is better to take things into our own hands, to DO, rather than to BE... and we buy his lie, that we end up as human "doings."

I was thinking of Steve Green's song while reading your post - Find Us Faithful. May all who come behind us find us faithful.

Much love

Martha Herden said...

Beautiful words from God! HE is working with your heart, filling you with HIS words.

(((blessings))) martha

Diane Ronzino said...

Betty, I get so excited over God's perfect timing in things like this. I'm so glad this spoke to you in regard to the couple down the street. Man, will their lives be blessed and set on a path! Hallelujah!

Diane Ronzino said...

Floyd, do you know the St. Francis of Assisi quote?

"Everyone where you go share Christ and if necessary use words."

That quote changed my life. It was a whole sermon in one sentence.

Diane Ronzino said...

Thank you, Hazel!

Diane Ronzino said...

Lidia, I truly know how blessed we were to have had Nan and Dave in our lives! Most of those who get saved, don't have that one-on-one discipleship. And their Christian walks reflect it.

Your words, "Christ calls us to BE, that we may be human beings... but the enemy convinces us that it is better to take things into our own hands, to DO, rather than to BE... and we buy his lie, that we end up as human "doings." is so true. And very profound. Thank you, Lidia!

I love that Steve Green song. Yes, Amen - may we all be found faithful!

Diane Ronzino said...

Oh, Martha, thank you. That is my true heart's desire - the He will fill me with His Words. I thank you for your words of encouragement!

joy said...

That is really what God called us to be. Inspirational post Sis Diane and thanks God for revelation from His words.

Pam said...

Yes... what God puts in our hearts, teaches us by His Spirit and thru others... He nudges us to pass on. Beautiful, Diane, as always. Truths to meditate on and put into action as He leads.

Donna Scuderi said...

How wonderful about the couple who discipled you. I thank God for those who open their lives in such ways!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thanks, Joy, I'm glad you are here!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thank you, Pam. I love what you wrote: "He nudges us to pass on". Yes, that's what they are, nudges. May we always be senstive enough to feel them.

Diane Ronzino said...

Yes, we truly were blessed, Donna. Thanks for coming by!