DISCIPLESHIP

Evang. Nimota Kelani

 

SONG:

 

I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus;

I have decided to follow Jesus no turning back, no turning back

 

That is a decision backed up by the power of the Holy Spirit and I know God will help you after this teaching and prayer.

 

WHO IS A DISCIPLE?

 

The word disciple is derived from the Greek word “Mathetes” meaning “learner” or “apprentice.”  It describes a person whose mind is set on a purpose.  Throughout the New Testament it is what is used mostly of Jesus disciples.  A disciple is:

1. One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another.

2. An active adherent, as of a movement or philosophy

3. A disciple is a pupil or learner who is apprenticed to a master or teacher for the

    purpose of receiving instruction.  There can be no disciple without a teacher.

Discipleship involves willingness to follow commands and to make commitments.  It involves Willingness to follow the direction of whoever the leader is or the movement; regardless of whether they are older than us or we are older than them.  It should not matter whether we are more educated, eloquent, or gifted than them.  Turn with me to Luke 14:26-27If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Jesus has to teach the audience of what it means to carry one’s own cross.  When the Romans led a criminal to his execution site.  What they do was let the criminal carry the cross on which he would die, they are doing this to the criminal to show his submission to Rome and warned observers that they too had better submit too.  Jesus made that statement to get the crowds and those who are going to follow him to think twice about their enthusiasm for him or following him.  Jesus was making a point across to those who want to follow him to think deeper or to turn back and leave.  To be a disciple and to follow Christ means total submission to him even to the point of death.

HOW DOES ONE BECOME A DISCIPLE?

 

Mark 1:19-20: And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.”

This scripture shows that they were ordinary people like you and I who made a commitment to follow Jesus.   The disciples were chosen; that is the Lord called them, and they responded to the call by faith.  Some of the chosen disciples were older than Jesus himself. They had to follow him in faith and submit to his authority.

 

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENT FOR DISCIPLESHIP

 

1. Willingness to follow: We can see in the scriptures that Jesus’ call to people to follow him.  The response to those calls was the willingness to follow.  Willingness to respond to the call in faith is the first requirement for discipleship.

 

2. Faith in the one calling: There willingness to respond to the call must be based on something tangible.  They must have seen something substantial in the one calling.  They have discerned something difference in the one calling and if this is true they based their decision on faith in Him to follow willingly.

 

3. Positive response: The last requirement of discipleship is a natural outgrowth of the first two.  Their willingness to follow and faith to believe will lead to positive response to the call of discipleship.  Without a positive response there could be no discipleship.

 

Brethren, their positive response and willingness to follow would have been ineffective if they would not be obedient to him.  Jesus invited each person initially called to follow Him, and they did so immediately.  This means that they were obedient and that obedience was a requirement for discipleship.  No willfully disobedient person can be a successful follower of the master.

The disciple of Jesus in response to the call implied a total break with the past.  They left their jobs, their families, and their possessions to follow Jesus.  They heeded to the call to love these things than they loved the master.   For us in this church it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to do all those things our breaking up with the past may be with breaking off of bad habit, our ego that is the ability to be willing to take corrections without us being over sensitive or feeling that we are being insulted.  It may mean breaking things that does not glorify God in our life, e.g. lust, lying, jealousy etc.

The essence of discipleship in the reality is to follow the master.  It is a call to a life of community and fellowship.  Jesus and the disciples must have had a close companionship, yet he did not hesitate to rebuke or correct them when there is need to.  That such a relationship is at the core of discipleship can be seen in John 15:5 when Jesus said “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”  The intimate attachment between a vine, and a branch that inspired Jesus’ is what we will have in this church in the name of Jesus.

God calls us to discipleship to do many things; to spread the gospel, to minister to the outcasts and the needy, make disciple and many other things.  This is what is supposed to be happening in every church and around the world.  The big question is how are we to go about it in this church?  Are we ready to go out there and minister to the lost ones and bring them to the kingdom?

Jesus was indeed a disciple-gathering teacher.  He used every opportunity to call, educate, train, correct, rebuke, and nurture disciples.  He was never too busy to help a needy soul.  Disciple training was at the center of His ministry, and that is what God has called us to do in this church.  We are to teach, train, correct, rebuke and nurture in this church. This is our calling and we must do that which we are called to do. Before deliverance can take place there must be brokenness and how do we learn to be broken through discipleship.  Bro. Peter had not choice but to learn.   We are teaching this because we are going to grow and more people will be added to us.  We must be ready for them when they come.

No one can do the work of the kingdom alone.  That is why there is a church.  The tack is not limited to Pastors, Search the scriptures teacher, Elders, Deacons, Choir master or other church officers.  Any pastor or minister of God that think they can do it alone will just find themselves wearied out prematurely.  It is the task of every member; Jesus’ commission excluded no disciple.  Jesus’ words were “Go ye” Matthew 28:19, it means you, you, you and I.

It is true that some members of a church may not feel comfortable with this idea because they lack training.  Yet when Jesus called fishermen for discipleship they were untrained but they were willing to submit to his teaching, training, correction, rebuke and his nurturing.  

To be a disciple means total submission.  Jesus was making sure that they understand He was not calling them to put down, to belittle them but to lift up by training them. However, were there is need for correction He corrected the individuals involve.  Through out Jesus ministries he dealt with issues as they arrive; He corrected apostle Peter more than any of the apostle.  Peter was a good example of a disciple whom Jesus rebuke a lot; brother Peter learned a lot at Jesus’ feet.  He made many mistakes; Jesus confronted him on many of the issues openly not to put him down but to make him become what he became after His death. Luke 22:33-34; Matt 26:69-75; John 18:1-11; John 21:15-19:  At one point Paul had an open confrontation with this same Peter in the book of Acts and the matter was settled.  The life of these apostles was a typical example of discipleship. 

 

WHAT CAN PREVENT US FROM BEING A DISCIPLE

1. Lust: Your imagination indulges uncleanness.

2. Idolatry: If you permit anything to come between you and your God, it becomes an

    idol. For example, your job, money, etc.

3. Laziness: Life of ease at home and lack of zeal for the things of God and hatred for

     long prayer sessions. These are fire extinguishers.

4. Over-sensitivity: Bitterness rises quickly in the hearts of some people immediately

     somebody disagrees with them.  They cannot take corrections.

5. Judgmental spirit: when we start judging others on how an issue should go.

6. Gossip: All gossips are devil’s advertisers.

7. Worry: This is when you are anxious about the future.

8. Selfishness: This is when you ignore the interest of others and you are only

     interested in yourself.  You are always the one being insulted and you never thought

     about your own response to the issue at hand.

9. Distraction: This is when you are unable to focus on Christ and you find it difficult to

     read the Bible and gain something from it.

10. Lying.

11. Discouragement: Some people are easily discouraged. At the first sign of failure,

       they run away. They quit when things are hard.

12. Abusive tongue: Some people cannot control their temper.

13. Depression: This is when you allow despair to overtake you. You think of your

       problems always and withdraw from everybody when the Bible says, “I will not

       despair for I have believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

14. Fear: All kinds of fear are in the lives of people.

15. Procrastination: This is when you are always planning to go higher and dig deeper

       but always postponing the day you will start.

16. Lack of sexual control: People in this category should forget about spiritual

      growth.

17. Pride: is beginning to set in and we would not be successful in our ministry as a

      disciple. 

The Lord will lead us right on this journey.  We will not be a cast away in his vineyard.

 

Let us rise up for prayer:

Sing this song with your spirit open for correction and repair tonight.

All to Jesus I surrender; All to Him I freely give,

I will ever love and trust Him; In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all

All to Him Thee my blessed savior

I surrender all.

 

PRAYER POINTS

1. O Lord, I want you to break me; I want the self in me to die in the name of Jesus.

2. O Lord, whatever, would make you to replace me, remove it from my life.

3. O Lord, give me the power to walk in the spirit.

4. O Lord, divorce me from every sin of self.

5. O Lord, break me and mould me according to you will.

6. O Lord, reveal to me anything that is hindering my spiritual growth.

7. O Lord, destroy every critical mind in my life.

8. O Lord, help me crucify my flesh.

9. O Lord, help me hate sin with perfect hatred.

10. O Lord, let me be lost in you.

11. O Lord, save me from myself.

12. Holy Spirit, possess me completely in the name of Jesus.

13. My flesh I command you to die to sin in Jesus’ name.

14. Father Lord, let me experience your kingdom in every department of my life.

 

Wonderful father we thank you for tonight.  We thank you for wonders you have done in our lives today.  We thank you for the deliverance you given us. We appreciate you O Lord for the testimony that is coming in Jesus name.