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Follow, Obey, Lead, Multiply, Repeat

I went to bed Monday Night praying over a few groups of men I serve with and some which I have, in the past, been a mentor. I sent them this message:

“Hey guys, I was praying for you last night, and this thought came in to my head that I wanted ti pass on to you: who are you being discipled by? Who is personally guiding you on your walk with Christ? Who are you discipling? Beyond your ministry, what men (yes men) are you asking to follow you as you follow Christ and are guiding toward Him? Jesus had 12 and in that 12, 3 he invested in. Are you encouraging them to follow you as you follow Christ? Are you encouraging them to make disciples?”

Then, the day of the conference I am attending, everything was about discipleship, leading, encouraging, and teaching others to make disciples who make disciples. I do not think God does anything by coincidence! Yet this message is still strong on my heart. I still have a strong desire to share it. I long to see all believers do as Jesus commanded: be disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus. But how do we do this?

The Great commission tells us that Jesus calls us, by His Authority, which is all the authority on heaven and earth, to make disciples. At its core, we proclaim the Gospel. We preach that humanity is sick, and cannot heal itself, and that this sickness is self-inflicted rebellion called sin. We cannot heal ourselves from this sickness, but God made a way when there was no way. Jesus, who is God, and who always was God, and who always will be God, was born of a virgin and became a man, living out and fulfilling everyone of God’s righteous requirements perfectly, unlike any man has ever done. He preached repentance that leads men back to God, but His message was rejected by men, and He was delivered in to the hands of sinful men and crucified. Yet this was His plan and purpose all along. He preached that this was why He came. When He died, He nailed our sins to the Cross, paying our penalty and bearing the wrath of God that we might live in eternity with Him. He died and was buried, and three days later, he rose again, conquering the consequence of sin, which is death, appearing to some 500 witnesses, and proving that, for those who belong to Him and are born again, death has no power. He is alive, even now, at the Right hand of the Father ruling and reigning, advocating for us as our high priest, and some day is returning to make all things new as a King, Conqueror and judge of the living and the dead. And He, before he returns, is still calling all men to follow Him and be born again.

When we’ve called, as Jesus did, and they have received this message, and they follow Jesus, we baptize them in to the name of the Father, and of the Son and the Holy Spirit. And then we walk through life with them, teaching them to obey all He has commanded us, which includes to go in to the world, proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples. It is not merely for Elders and Deacons and Church Leaders, but a proclamation handed to all believers everywhere, and that includes you, and that includes me. Follow Jesus, proclaim His Gospel, Baptize the believers, teach them the Word of God, and to go and make disciples who do the same.

1 Corinthians 9

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?

Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

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