Posts Tagged ‘ discipleship ’

From Revival to Discipleship

The last few weeks the Lord has been talking to me about my desire and my prayer for this generation and the next. I have said the last several years that I am a person about revival, I want to pastor a people of revival. The Lord began to speak to me and say you are not a person of revival, you are a person of discipleship.

To be clear, I love revival, revival is necessary at times and revival is biblical. What the Lord showed me though was, revival without discipleship will not produce lasting fruit. Revival has the root of revive. Revive means to restore to life or consciousness, to give new strength or energy to, and to restore interest in or the popularity of.

revival is necessary, but if we are constantly needing to be brought back to life or to be given new strength every week, or need our interest restored in the things of God we are missing it somewhere. this is when we need to go from revival to discipleship.

We can all hit dry times, miss some days of bible reading and things like that, but that is not fixed through revival it is fixed through discipleship.

To be a disciple or be discipled means that we are a follower of Jesus, one who follows His Word and lives how he lived. When we become a people of the Word, when we study the life of Jesus, when we study the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament we learn what we are to live as, we discover who we are in Christ and we discover the path to victory laid out in Scripture.

There are always needs and times of refreshing, but to try to live from a place of revival instead of the place of daily following Jesus, is to miss the beauty of the Christian life. Revival is wonderful but revival achieves its purpose when it leads to discipleship. A daily time of prayer, worship, reading and a deep study of the Word. Reading Scripture is great, we are changed when we study it and allow its truth to take deep root in our hearts and spirits.

Ephesians 4:21-24 NASB “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

Romans 12:2 AMPC “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”

I love revival and moves of God. I love great worship services. Let passionate worship cause you to pursue the person of Jesus. From Genesis to Revelation the Word reveals Jesus because the Word is not a book it’s a person.

John 1:1-5 NLT “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”

If you have been a person of passionate worship, don’t lose your worship ask Holy Spirit to add to worship and unending hunger for the Word of God. If you are passionate in prayer, begin praying passages of Scripture. If you long for signs, wonders and miracles, remember the foundation of those things I’d the Word of God.

I am a very passionate person, I love the passion my generation walks in. I am someone who is quick to follow where I see God moving. I’ve also learned I have to be careful. The river of God is made up of many streams and just because God is moving in amazing ways in one stream does not mean I am supposed to be over there. Unity in the body of Christ does not mean we all do everything. True unity is me operating in my call and gifting so and celebrating the guy next to me who is doing something completely different.

The disciples came to Jesus one day and said that a group of people were baptizing but they didn’t walk with them. Jesus’s response was let them baptize, if they aren’t against us, they are with us.

Regardless of what stream you are in. Whatever your passion and call is, make the Word the foundation of your life and what you do. When revival happens, praise God and flow in it but move into discipleship at the right time.

There have been many discussions and books written about why particular revivals died, stopped, or gradually dissipated over time. I believe the answer in a nutshell is that those revivals became about the revival and not about discipleship. Many revivals have in turn lead schools of revival, when really we need to lead schools of discipleship.

The Apostles didn’t go spread the fire of Pentecost, they spread the gospel and made disciples. Love the move of the Spirit and remember the Spirit was given to us to help make disciples.

If we put Mathew 28 and Mark 16 together, we make disciples through teaching and that leads to new tongues, laying hands on the sick, and casting out devils.

Today’s ask for a new desire for the Word of God and to hear the Word taught, ask for a hunger. Spend time in places like Psalm 119 and Proverbs three and four. Develop hunger by reading the portions of Scripture that talk about its power and promise.

I do pray that you are revived today if you need it and I pray that the reviving will lead you to the Word so that you can be sustained and begin to grow. Become a healthy believer with a steady diet of the Word.

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Walking with Jesus

It’s a funny thing being a Christian. You get saved and you start this journey of living like Jesus. The Bible calls this being a disciple but it seems as time goes on we tend to forget Jesus. I know we would say that’s not true but if we’re honest at one time or another all of us would have to admit that we’ve fallen into the trap of just going through the motions. We do our checklist: go to church, pray, read the Bible and maybe a few other things.

Martin Luther once said “Everyday we need to be reminded of the gospel because everyday we forget it.”

Matthew 13:52 NLT “Then he added, “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.“”

As Christians we can develop a mindset that the gospel is basic, it’s the beginning and once we grow a little that the birth, death and resurrection is just something we know. When it comes to our daily walk with Jesus, the life of Jesus and the major events of incarnation (the birth of Jesus), His death and resurrection need to continually be a source of meditation and comfort.

When we read the words, new gems of truth as well as old, there are multiple meanings we can see there. Old and New Testaments, Jewish roots and in Christ realities, reformed theology and charismatic renewal, and on and on this list could go.

As we walk with Jesus we need to pray that we don’t just see black and red words on white paper but that the words we read become alive to us.

John 1:1-5, 14 NLT “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”

When we grab a hold of the truth in that passage our Bible reading will never be the same. Our relationship with Jesus will never be the same.

God is so vast, Jesus is so vast that no matter how many years you have read and studied the Bible there is always more to learn. When we are firmly planted in Truth – God’s Word – our growth will never get off the right path. There are new things to learn and those new things will always line up with Scripture.

An everyday relationship with Jesus will connect things that we have been taught don’t go together. I have really been seeing that the last few days in my own walk with Jesus. We have to be willing to get out of our natural minds and see the unity in the spirit.

We all find ourselves at times going through the motions. We find ourselves reading and not getting anything out of it. We find ourselves praying and feeling like our prayers are hitting the ceiling.

Take a moment today and pray the two passages of Scripture I mentioned. Pray that how your relationship with God started will be connected to your present and that joy would rise in your heart. Pray that it would no longer be words on paper but you would receive life when you read the Bible.

One of the keys to getting out of a spiritual slump is to not give up. Go revisit the gospels and Paul’s letters again. Pray that as you read it would be life and encouragement. Ask and receive understanding and strength.

An everyday relationship with Jesus will have ups and downs. The important thing is we don’t give up in down times and in good times we still move forward with tenacity.

Following Jesus – The Way of Love

Many believers are participating in the Lenten season going up to what is called Easter but the Bible calls Passover. Lent is a forty day period of time when you give up something you normally do/partake in and participate in fasting, giving and doing charitable acts. While it is wonderful to have this forty day emphasis, it should not be the only time believers are known for giving and charitable acts.

We are a little under a month away from Passover so I wanted to take that time to prepare us for the holiest and most celebratory time of year. Whether you are doing Lent and ready to celebrate Easter or you are doing Passover, or maybe you are doing Lent and will be doing a Passover meal as well (I am). I am praying this short series will be a encouragement to you.

If you have followed the blog over the last couple of years you have probably noticed I have started teaching from a Hebraic perspective, I shared how that came about in the last series. You may be wondering why I would then say I am participating in Lent. As I said in the last series, it’s not about becoming Jewish but walking in the fullness of our faith by understanding the blessings in the feasts, the Sabbath, and understanding God’s timing. The same is true with things like Lent and saints that have been considered Catholic. Saints were made saints by the Catholic and even some Protestant churches like Lutherans and the Episcopal Church. Before they were “saints” and “off-limits” to Protestants, they were just God fearing, Jesus loving people whom were used mightily.

Ephesians 2:14-22 NIV “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

Ever since Jesus tore that wall down the enemy has been building hundreds of new walls that divide the body of Christ; Jew and Gentile, Protestant and Catholic, Evangelical and Mainline, Baptist and Pentecostal, Wesleyan and Calvinist, and on and on we can go. Do you remember the story when the disciples got mad at John the Baptist because he didn’t send his followers over to Jesus, Jesus responded if they aren’t against me they are with us. Are there certain beliefs we shouldn’t bend on, yes. Jesus said the world we would know we are His followers by our love for each other, but today’s Church is divided along so many spiritual, social, economic, race, and political lines that it is hard to see the love.

Before we can go far down the path of following Jesus we have to make the decision to love. Over the past several weeks I have been reading and studying on the Love of God. God spoke to me on a Tuesday and the following Monday I was at a Kenneth Copeland tapping where he was going to speak on miracles and the supernatural and he ended up speaking on love all three nights, confirmation.

America and the Church in America is more divided than ever. How can we walk in love towards one another if we won’t talk to one another, read books of other view points, and even make a point to understand our brothers and sisters of different denominations or political beliefs.

I am offering a challenge to each of us if we will take it:

If you’re of the conservative Christian realm, read books by progressive Christians and vice-versa, not to get mad and argue but pray a heart of love and understanding before you read. You might be surprised how much we actually agree on.

If you’re Protestant go to a place like Half-Price Books and pick up a Catholic book that peaks your interest and pray you have a heart to learn and understand as you read. If you’re Catholic find a Protestant book to read. If you’re anti-pentecostal find a book and pray for understanding, or go to a service with an open heart.

The body of Christ will never fully walk in love if we continue to allow all the enemies walls to keep us away from each other and misunderstanding one another because we won’t talk, read other books, or even visit another church from time to time. If we are to be known by our love, we have to love and we can only love if we put ourselves in that position and that begins with each one of us taking down our own walls of pet doctrines, stereotypes, racial prejudices, misunderstandings and political view points.

Will you take the challenge, will you step out of the box and ask the Lord to help you understand another part of the vast body of Christ? I have begun doing that and I can tell you it’s been transformative and some people aren’t as bad as I have been lead to believe.

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