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.
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,