Sep 10, 2017

Devotion - 10 September - Making Loving Disciples

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. Today, we start a seven Sunday series on “Making Disciples”. Some of the points in this devotion come from G.R. Osbourne’s Exegetical Commentary on Matthew, pp1079-84.
Gospel Reading- Matthew 28:16-20
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Devotion: Our Great Commission
I hope you are somewhat familiar with today’s text and what it is trying to tell us to do; and I want to add a few things that you may not have thought about. The first thing is that in the first century as Christianity emerged from Judaism, Jesus wanted to change the way religion works and introduce an organized missionary activity. Judaism had neither a missionary theory nor organized missionary activity before the first century. Their mission was to stay in the Holy Land and witness to the grace of God so that the nations could come to them and be blessed. Thus, the word “Go”, means get out of your comfort zone [the Holy Land] and reach out to the unchurched—I hope you see a parallel for us today in there. Next, “Make disciples” means more than winning new converts. I believe it does involve evangelism (which we sometimes are pretty good at), but this is not quite good enough. I think it means every one that is won to Christ must be “anchored” in Christ and taught how to live right by Christ in day-to-day decisions. It will be nearly impossible to task the Pastor of your church to do this day-to-day teaching and mentoring. Therefore, the hands and feet of “making disciples” must come from all of us, working together. Changes are coming for how people in general are participating in organized religion. We learned today in our sermon, that in our metropolitan area, only about 10% of the residents attend church regularly, and the term “regularly” has slipped from “every Sunday” in meaning. It was also reported today in the sermon that 50% of the churches in the US worship 75 people or less which makes it difficult to hire a full time Pastor.  So, we do have a rich mission field out there, but we must learn how each of us can participate in the discipling process to get it done. It takes time and patience, but if we become God’s hands and feet He will do the heavy discipling lifting. Please hang on for more information over the next several weeks,  and we will make the case for how we together can get this done and start making loving disciples.

We pray: “Lord grant me patience and the desire to learn more about making disciples.  Amen”