Sunday 1st June, 2014
FROM THE GENERAL OVERSEER,
Pastor (Dr) E. O. Abina
THE COST OF BEING A DISCIPLE – FOLLOWER OF JESUS (Part 2)
“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 (Matt.28:18-20).
Jesus’ command of the Great Commission is to make disciples not just converts, because it is the disciples that could take what the Great Commission and the Kingdom of God entails, it is not just bread and butter affair. Disciples are committed, dedicated and loyal to the Lord and His Church. With the power of the Holy Spirit, disciples are able to stand in the times of storms and persecutions of the church from the enemies of the Lord.
Let me just enumerate some of the characteristics of the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ and you may check the list if you are one of Jesus’ disciples:
· LOVE: The first mark to identify Jesus disciples is love. This is God’s kind of unconditional love which God and His Son demonstrated to us that made us who we are today. Read (John 13:34,35, Rm.5:18, 1Jn.4:7-17)
· UNITY: Disciples foster unity, they do not cause division in the church, they are responsible people, making good things happen in the church. Read (Acts 2:44-47)
· GIVING: Disciples believe that whatever they possess comes from God and are ready to spend it for God and His church because He is the source of all their resources. Read (Acts 2:45; 4:34-37, 2Cor.12:15)
· SURRENDER THEMSELVES FIRST TO GOD. Once you give yourself to God as a living sacrifice there is nothing so big that you cannot give to God and His work. Read (Rom.12:1,2, 2 Cor.8:1-7 specially verse 5)
· THEY PREACH THE GOSPEL: That is what disciples of Christ exist for, from the time of genuine conversion to growth until the rapture. Read (Acts 8:1-4, Rom. 1:16; 1Cor.9:16-18)
· THEY LEARN AND STUDY THE WORD OF GOD. Read (Matt.11:28-30; Acts 2:49, IPt.2:1-2)
· THEY GROW SPIRITUALLY, NOT JUST IN THE PHYSICAL ALONE. Read (Eph.4:12-16, Heb.5:13,14: 6:1, 2 Pet. 3:18)
· THEY SEEK THE GOOD OF FELLOW CHRISTIAN AND SHARE WHAT THEY HAVE WITH THOSE IN NEED. Read (Gal.6:9,10, Phil.2:1-4)
· THEY HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST. Read (Phil.2:5-10)
· THEY ARE NOT AFRAID OF PERSECUTION; Persecution is inevitable for any genuine disciple of Christ. The Lord Jesus Himself said it. Early disciples were happy when they were beaten, imprisoned and persecuted. Read (John 15:20, Acts 5:17-32, 40-42; 2Tim.3:12)
· LIKE SOLDIERS, DISCIPLES ENDURE HARDSHIP.
The Christian life and journey is not always rosy, not bread and butter kind of a thing, it entails real hardship, self-denial and discipline. Read (ICor.9:1-27; 2Tim.2:1-5)
· WILLING TO BE LIKE JESUS. The goal of every disciple of Jesus is to be like Jesus the Master. Read (Matt.10:24-26)
Example of Paul the apostle. 1Cor.11:1
· THEY ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, FAITH AND WISDOM. (Read Acts 2:1-4, Acts 6:1-7, Eph.5:18)
· DISCIPLES SERVE IN THE CHURCH AND OUTSIDE CHURCH.
Disciples serve in the church with their God-given gifts, gifts are given to us to serve; the Lord Jesus Himself said that He came to serve and not to be served. Read (Matt.20:28;Lk.22:27, Rm.12:3-8, IPt.4:7-11)
· DISCIPLES OF JESUS ARE READY TO SUFFER FOR THEIR FAITH IN JESUS. It is surprising that of all the religions in the world Christians suffer persecution more than any other religion. The truth is that Christianity surpasses any other religion in the world. It is more than religion- it is life eternal. Read (2Tim.2:8-14)
· DISCIPLES OF JESUS LOSE WHAT THEY CANNOT KEEP IN ORDER TO KEEP WHAT THEY CANNOT LOSE. Read (Matt.16:14-27)
· THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO PRAY BIBLE-BASED PRAYERS AND GET RESULTS. Read (Acts 4:23-31) Many prayers are not answered because lack the backing of God’s word.
I charge you brothers and sisters to check yourself in the list above and see if you can claim that you are a true disciple of Jesus, and if not it is not too late for you to amend your ways. It is not by might nor by power but by the spirit of God. (Zech.4:6) You just submit yourself and you will see the result. There are more to be added but the above is just enough for now.
One thing that is very interesting and encouraging in the matter of Jesus disciples is that it is rewarding- it has the reward of temporary and eternal blessings, therefore key into it and you will not regret you did. Read (Luke 18:24-30)
This is an avenue for you to share with us what the Lord has done in your life through the General overseer, Pastor (Dr) Elijah Oludele Abina’s message, teaching or any content. To do this, please send it to us through the link below – Shalom