The Great Commission – CHARACTERISTICS OF A DISCIPLE
Good Morning Blessings! Thank you for joining me today and this ROF Ministries broadcast. I want to welcome everyone and tell you how grateful I am for our time of fellowship together the Lord has blessed us with. You each have an incredible anointing on your lives – truly, if you could see the potential I see in you – you would jump and leap for joy. In order to motivate you a little – we are going to talk more about the Great Commission today in hopes to just motivate you and get you thinking a little outside the box and let that light shine within you to illuminate and share more of Jesus and His love with others. We are be instant in preaching the Gospel all the time – you are a reflection of HIM as His witnesses – just like He sends angels as messengers, that is you! We know many are called and few chosen – the chosen part has nothing to do with worthiness, as He equips the called – you are equipped already, what is lacking within so many these days is motivation in a passion for Jesus to reach the lost. So… Will you be like Jesus and leave the 99 to go after the 1 lost sheep? I sure hope so! Today is a no-excuse zone… Because honestly, with Him nothing is impossible and He is calling forth His own to shine His light in a world that is becoming darker all the time. The Word calls this – occupying until He comes and I don’t mean occupying our beds… but to actually pick up our beds and walk on Earth as it is in the Kingdom of Heaven. We all can do something to expand His Kingdom here on Earth, if we are willing to do so – He will set before us open doors, no man or enemy can shut, He will fill our mouths with His words and set divine appointment across our paths for the glory of His Name… IF we are willing to be sent, we will surely BE SENT.
We are all without excuse when the Lord calls us to be His own about His business on Earth… because just as it says in Romans 12 – When we pursue the Lord, He transforms us and then THE POWER OF HIS SPIRIT WORKS THROUGH US TO TRANSFORM OTHERS. So each of us are on equaled ground in pursuit of Him which cleans and releases us out into those who are suffering and in need of Him.
I was thinking about Enoch and how he walked with God… It was because of His obedience to the Lord that he became so precious in the Lord’s sight to the point he brought great pleasure to the King of Kings. He carried a mantle with him woven into His countenance that said “I am an obedient child of the most high God.” That same mantle is being released upon all God’s children, should we desire to pick it up and carry it too.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 gives us a clearer picture of instructions and commands in pursuing being a conduit of the Great Commission:
19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of [g]Christ depart from iniquity.”
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, [h]sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
You are molded into that precious vessel of honor as His child, having resisted all iniquity – Jesus has cleansed you from the desire to invite sin into your life or give permission for unrighteousness to reign in your hearts – therefore, you are sanctified and prepared for every good work the Lord lays at your feet – having now a purified heart where Jesus dwells. YOU are the ones I need to speak to today – those who said yes when He called, being surrendered servants to one Master – Jesus – by countenance/nature you are gentle, in humility you correct and teach others who oppose the Lord within themselves, while praying the Lord will grant them the gift of repentance so they know the truth, escaping the snare of devil they are in, doing his will rather than the Lord’s. This is the true heart nature of a disciple… repent, repent, repent…Meaning stop sinning and follow the commands of the Lord Jesus and when we do sin, we feel the sorrowful nature of guilt and shame in order to confess our sins, be washed clean again and keep walking spreading the Gospel to those who need to hear the same Good News told to them and they too become free indeed.
If you are like me… You have an unspoken and deep hidden heart cry to hear these words… “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And with that you have a deep reverence and fear of heart these words… “Depart from Me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you.” One statement brings us great joy, while the other one makes us tremble inside – why? Because what I just shared is TRUTH! And definitely not my truth – but the Lord’s truth.
Before we read that Scripture… Let’s get it into context… It is found in Mathew 25 and what precedes enlightens us to just who is found to be a “good and faithful servant.” Inside the Kingdom of Heaven are ten virgins – five wise, five foolish (childish ways) – both possessing light/lamps. The childish ones were foolish and had no oil/wisdom – they had been playing around, not being prepared spiritually for Jesus to come unto them because they thought He was taking too long they remained spiritually unprepared and eventually what little wisdom they had accumulated ran out because it was foolish and not of the heart – when He came to retrieve all the virgins, they all in a blink woke up trimmed their lamps (repentance) but since the unwise had run out of wisdom they wanted the wise to share their wisdom with them (oil) but the wise stated they did not have enough for both their counterparts in the Kingdom and themselves and told the unwise to go get their own from those who buy and sell it to others… so the unwise left to go buy oil to keep their internal flame alive from sources outside of Jesus – which just happens to be when He showed up for only those who were spiritually ready and it was then the wise entered into the Marriage supper with their Bridegroom Jesus and the door was shut behind them all. Now, I know you all are very familiar with that story in the Bible… But I bet most often whoever shared it left off the ending… so here we go… So inside the bridal chamber is the wise virgins communing with Jesus and the door is shut to the outside world and here come the unwise knocking, saying… Lord open the door to us and Jesus replied… I know you not. Ugh… that’s a hard truth to swallow… all are in the Kingdom but not all in the Kingdom know Jesus or are known by Him.
Moving on… Next He compares the Kingdom of Heaven the same as a person who was given talents to travel all over the World with – each one of these people were given various talents but all resided inside the Kingdom for the purposes of the Lord Himself. This is us you all… we each contain a God ordained gifting to share with others to expand God’s Kingdom here on Earth. It is what comes natural to your heart quite often. The beautiful part about these talents you carry is the Lord Jesus has matched you perfectly with those who are prepared to receive from you what you carry for His glory – It is what we do with what He granted us that comes into question here… If we share what we’ve been given, Jesus is multiplied greatly upon the Earth but if we bury, hide, are lazy and refuse to share what was given the Lord when He comes will say to that person you are wicked and lazy – but to those who walked the Earth sharing all they had with been given with others to them He says, well done good and faithful servant, you were loyal over a few things and will now be made a ruler over many things to increase your joy. Sadly, what was given to the lazy servant was handed over to the trusted servants then the untrusted servant due to being unprofitable to the Kingdom is cast into outer darkness… Now, I am not saying any of this to scare you all – maybe just to sober us up a bit and not take so lightly into laziness that we are truly sent here to be workers in the Kingdom of Heaven and not be idle… because being idle means nothing positive for anyone – being a faithful/loyal servant should always be at the forefront of our minds as His messengers.
You can read the rest of the chapter yourself which goes into Him separating the sheep and goats and where they ask Jesus when did we see You hungry, thirsty and naked, etc… then He will reply WHATEVER YOU DO TO THE LEAST OF THESE YOU HAVE DONE UNTO ME for that was ME you could have fed, gave a drink to or clothe or visit in prisons or healed… But a promise at the end of the chapter is where I will end this portion of today’s study is when Jesus said to those wise servants who were not idle and lazy, but spiritually prepared continually for His coming – whether in the lost or He Himself on that last day – the wicked servants will go into everlasting punishment BUT THE RIGHTEOUS INTO LIFE ETERNAL.
Thank You Lord for reminding us faith/loyalty to You without works is dead and help us to be Your hands and feet of love no matter where You send us, each day. Remind us Lord Your charity starts within our own homes and help those of us who struggle within our own homes to be Your representative there first and foremost. Amen.
Okay I just had to say that because many people are nicer to outsiders than they are to their own families, even doing so in the Name of Jesus. They may be meaner than dogs or neglectful to their own loved ones while spreading the Gospel in church gatherings or serving Jesus by serving others while their family is depleted emotionally and financially void of a presence of love and this should not be so, it is out of Godly order. If we really want to know if we are walking purely with Jesus as His servants, we should ask those closest to us – our spouses, children, parents, siblings, etc… they know us personally, on good days and bad days – how we handle obstacles, pain, betrayals, sins and temptations, anger, you know – the hard things that come at us, how do we cope as that is what reveals the true nature of us.
Trusting in the false ministry faces people put on to reach the lost is futile when discerning who is and is not your co-laborer in the Kingdom. You really want to know who someone is? Ask their families… I always think to myself, how the Father sees and knows everything I do – Do you all do that too? If so, you know what I mean when I say realizing He knows us so deeply really keeps us on our toes to inspect our hearts to insure we are found to be bringing pleasure to Him in place of disapproval.
Anyway – we are intent on discussing the Great Commission today with a hope and prayer it is encouraging and igniting to you to use what your Father gave you for HIS KINGDOM PURPOSE!
So within the Great Commission is a few heartfelt servants who by the outline of the Lord Jesus have a set example before them in Him and what He expected them to carry out until the end of the age and what to do in His absence. Mathew 28 is where you find in detail what Jesus commanded to His apostles before He departed Earth in the flesh among them. He instructed them and us to make disciples while we are occupying in this World until He comes again… He used the words baptize and teach secondly to by instructing them all the ways of Jesus. One must be baptized by fire with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to be a true follower of Jesus and when you combine the two – remaining teachable and teaching other with the baptism of the Holy Spirit you become one who imitates the example of only Jesus, by relying on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide. When we are anointed to make disciples, it simply means to teach and train others who are of a willing heart to follow and obey Jesus. We are called his witnesses sent to all the ends of the Earth, enabled to go anywhere He leads by the power of the Holy Spirit so that the authentic church body of Christ is expanded and grows. When we meet with others, Jesus is our focus and we plead on others behalf to be reconciled back to God, because that is what Jesus does.
All of this I am sharing is knowledge most of you already know… but for us this is a very timely word… We are on the precipice of many being sent out into the World revealing the true nature and heart of God in which He desires all people to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth spoken of in 1 Timothy.
Let’s use Isaiah as an example today… When he witnessed by the spirit God’s perfect holiness he was immediately convicted of his sin, recognizing he deserved punishment – but it doesn’t end there, not for him or for us, thankfully… It is then at the moment Isaiah and us for that matter become ripe for picking and we realize we deserve a woe, having unclean hearts and lips… so in truth, in brokenness we of the heart cry out to our Lord for saving, and this time it is for real… Not to escape or get out of something, but because we know we are sick inwardly in need of a healing touch from our Lord on High. So an angel takes a piece of coal burning from fire from the alter and places it upon Isaiah’s lips to burn away all uncleanliness and what formed within him was such a pure and grateful heart after he knew he deserved punishment, in exchange he was granted grace for eternal life. But like I said… it doesn’t end there, what followed was miraculous – Isaiah and God began to converse… and God asks Isaiah a question (all of this is in Isaiah 6 btw) “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” You see this? They became one and God who was searching all this time for Isaiah was reconciled back to His son who at that moment came searching for HIM. Without question immediately Isaiah responded… Here I am… send me! He responded with such excitement that measured to the degree of excitement he had for the Lord Himself. Why? He couldn’t wait to tell the World and all who would listen within it – what the Lord had done for him. And about God who is mighty to save with a passionate desire for them to have a life changing moment in the same way he did.
And just like Isaiah, we have a great commission too – to share our testimonies, giving God all the glory – to point to Jesus as the lasting Lord and Savior in our lives and shout it out to the World how lost we were and now have been found. This sounds like returning to our first love, our commanding love and passion shared with Jesus for one another and the lost doesn’t it? Let’s call it a reigniting of that flame of love, full of excitement and newness to share with everyone and anyone who will listen.
Within the confines of our great commission is void of the watered down gospel of man… Instead it is pure truth with fullness, which is the ONLY WAY THE HOLY SPIRIT leads others and speaks to others. I don’t know what spirit all these others are of, but I do know when the HOLY SPIRIT is leading it is full and complete work done within each of us. Our commission is to guide and lead others just as He were doing so Himself. We are to share how salvation is seized through the grace of God alone and how His holiness requires a punishment upon us, but Jesus already paid that price on our behalf. We deserved wrath, but for a moment in time, Jesus received that wrath upon Himself so we wouldn’t be appointed to it ourselves. As a perfect man without sin, Jesus went to the cross that day owing us nothing He gave us everything eternally – life itself. We owe Him a debt we can never repay, which He expects us to not die as He did, but live continually a life laid down for Him. That is how we show our love and adoration for Him, willingly we forfeit our lives to live for Him, considering all He did for us – it really a small thing isn’t it? When we place our loyalty to Him above all else we find true salvation and freedom from the ties that bind us to this World and we too shall explode with excitement over Jesus, containing an unwavering desire to serve Him by telling others about Him and His ways – to fulfill the great commission – to do it!
From the outside to hear or see of anyone who gives up everything, even possibly risking their own lives to proclaim the gospel and assists others on their journeys to Jesus – it may appear foolish or like their decisions are not rational or logical but honestly – their joy is made full in HIM, they risk it all because they have already been given all they need — truly, there is nothing left to lose, once you lose your life for His sake.
Evangelism of today on the other hand is not instructional or disciplined like the great commission is – meaning we as followers of Jesus are not TO SELL the gospel for any profit on any level… We are not into playing intellectual games, fame, being a salesperson, shiny objects to lure others in, knowledge based worms on hooks to reel others in or that sort of thing… no smoke and mirrors on the disciple’s lists – just the simplicity of Christ Jesus in love is on their hearts, minds and lips. Discipleship has nothing to do with coning people into buying something they don’t need, especially more knowledge or fame… or trying to grab people’s attention or forcing on anyone a faith that doesn’t go deeper than a memorized prayer.
We are to proclaim not ourselves, but only that JESUS IS LORD – speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – in LOVE, of course and then… ready? LEAVE THE RESULTS WITH GOD, who is the perfect author and finisher of everyone’s faith walk with Himself. If we at any time lure people to Jesus with anything not grounded in the whole truth – sadly, once received their walk will be fleeting and not built on the solid ground needed to thrive… when storms come what little they had will blow away, fall apart and the worst part – it will appear to them God forsook them… Isn’t that sad? But when we speak truth always in love and hold nothing back, they will grow up into maturity with deep strong roots to with stand all storms of this life. They will… walk on water, keeping their eyes fixated on Jesus at all times, who never told anyone storms would not come – He just promised to never leave us within the storm. Amen? Carnal evangelists count salvations, disciples rejoice with angels over just one sinner that repents. See the difference?
Sometimes it seems as if we are not effective or making any difference at all, doesn’t it? Just keep in mind we are not responsible for the multitudes of people we have no control or charge over. We are only responsible to those THE LORD HIMSELF SENDS US TO… as He goes before us to prepare their hearts to receive His truth and our hearts to deliver it in love. Just one can make a difference, you just committing yourself to praying for, encouraging, instructing, teaching – assisting by coming alongside just that one for however long it takes is how we will grow the church during these last days. I call these divine appointments the Lord sets up for us and when we say yes to Him, He will cultivate for us a discipiling relationship with that person. When we just like Jesus invest into another soul, He will use as a His witness, ignoring our own weaknesses as an excuse to sit idle and do nothing. We may not be able to freely rush into a large crowd and deliver the gospel, but we can surely go looking for and lead back that one lost sheep who has wandered off and is lost, scared and lonely in need of some spiritual TLC.
As we read the Word, we need to be placing ourselves right there in the midst of it, because it is our instruction manual. In Mark 16 it says we are to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to all of creation. The disciples were not idle no matter what ailments or imprisonments they faced. Even Jesus Himself was purposed to win souls until He took His last breath… The very last person He preached the good news too hung on the cross beside Him – If you can even imagine that? Everything our precious Lord Jesus had endured, He still put aside His own pain and suffering to embrace another in need of saving – the church in America especially has gotten so anemic and weak that if all conditions are not perfect, we refuse to share the Good News. Jesus’s disciples did not shrink back like we do, having unmatched zeal and boldness. Acts 4 describes how Peter and John were threatened with punishment by the rulers, elders and scribes… But continue to preach the gospel anyway – saying the gleaned joy in suffering for the sake of their Lord Jesus.
When you take a closer look at all they went through on a regular basis, it surely conflicts the heart, doesn’t it? None of us have faced such tribulations like they did or like many do outside of the US. Yet, despite our safety, we struggle to be motivated enough to entertain even participating in the Great Commission required of us. In truth, there is no valid excuse for any of us not to share the gospel.
If honest, being idle is due to our own inward focus and self-centric attitude and I am at fault with this just like everyone else. I am guilty before all… knowing in times of heartache I ruminate on what happened, coming into agreement with my pain, caring too much about my reputation and comfort and by pride lose sight of my Lord and Savior and His commanded expectations of me. In essence we take our eyes off Jesus and place them on ourselves more often than we like to admit. Having a daily devotion to the Lord is our strength in time of weakness and trouble. Fellowshipping with Him all the time cultivates a deeper communion with Him so we are able to daily deny ourselves, pick up our cross (suffering) each day and follow Him.
The Great Commission is for all of His who call upon His name – all are required to do something to change the atmosphere in the World, no matter who you are or what natural obstacles are in your way. It is His way…for us to teach and assist others to observe all that we were commanded by Him and yet, we cannot command something by the power of the Holy Spirit if we refuse to pick up our own beds and walk… in order to equip and disciple the church of Jesus – He told us the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few in Mathew 9… I can see it, realizing I can do so much more – can’t you?
Jesus highlighted some basic qualities of what one of His disciples look like, as a reminder to what we studied last week.
- Disciples embrace within the heart the Word of God by applying what is written into the very fabric of their own lives, without adding to, taking away or altering the gift of the message in anyway.
- Disciples make up God’s Kingdom here on Earth, meaning they assist in making His Kingdom concrete and perceivable and observable Jesus walking the Earth. They are visible entities and expressions of Jesus alive and active here in this place.
- Disciples are citizens of Heaven who bring the good news about Jesus by conducting themselves in way which represents royalty and purity. They are not of this world, just passing through it as His appointed ambassadors. We are supposed to look different than the rest of the World, being sanctified and set apart being Holy as our Father in Heaven is Holy.
- Disciples go out in groups of likeminded souls, equally yoked in order to encourage one another, to stir up one another to love and do good works. The fellowship together for the purpose of loving strength, not to exclude anyone else, but to include Jesus in the midst of themselves to overcome all obstacles as they deliver His message. A day in the life with a disciple of humility, realizes dependence on others who have the same heart, mind and spirit as them is essential.
- Every disciple is granted a gift to evangelize others the Jesus way by sharing the gospel and being ready to give explanation of why you have such hope in a hopeless world, being content with Jesus in times of plenty and times of distress. Disciples never see themselves as a victim, not ever – they see it an honor to suffer in any way for the cause of Christ and be used and abused to bring Him glory.
- As a disciple your countenance of light will provoke those who abide in darkness to lash out at you through false accusation and persecution. Your holiness in Jesus will irritate the demons influencing others to the point they cannot hold their tongues and will rail accusations continually.
- As a disciple you have total understanding that two is better than one and that forfeiting this go it alone lifestyle is not conducive to cultivating a Kingdom culture which is based in full surrender, each part heeding to the blessing the other part brings to the table of the Lord.
- Disciples easily comprehend the difference between suffering for others versus suffering due to their own lack of discipline and do not confuse the consequences of their own rebellious ways with the oil gleaned from mourning with those who mourn in a time of need in order to comfort them with the same words by which you were comforted.
Lastly before I go I want to share some of a recent conversation I had with Michael which was very eye opening to me on several levels. I am sharing it not to cause offense, but rather to give some insight as to why our dealings with others often ends in ways that do not reflect the intent of our hearts.
I pray you will consider what I am about to share and take it to the Lord for clarity. Again, not to offend, but to set free, so if I happen to be speaking to you just ask the Lord if this is truth for chains to be broken and minds to be set free so you walk in liberty in Him.
Michael and I were having one of those deep moments of talking about the Lord and His purpose for us and he started sharing about how for years people will say to him “don’t kick me out…” He was speaking about how that is demons operating through others not wanting to lose their grip on the person. Then I began to tell him that people are constantly saying to me “don’t judge me…” which always catches me off-guard because I judge no one ever and we both were just shaking our heads because we don’t even have to say a word but just by being present in the moment people say these things to us… Then it dawned on me… how many times people in chat will say “don’t kick me out…” and they have for years and every single time I convey to them I can count on one hand how many unruly people who would not conform to love were banned from chat – but they don’t believe me, I know the number is less than five, which isn’t very many considering we’ve been doing this for close to ten years, having thousands of people we cross paths with. Michael was telling me how because I carry the light of Jesus within, people who are in darkness and do not desire to partake in His light feel naked and exposed for sin and rather than repent they deflect saying I am judging when I’ve said or done nothing to indicate that is so outside of speaking truth occasionally, but never targeting anyone specifically like they have fabricated in their minds perceiving accusation.
Then the next morning after our talk, the Lord began to show me something… And it relates to how many are and will view Him, using us as an example. We do not go around kicking people out, judging others or holding grudges… but if your own actions are sinful and cause you to be separated out, then that is on you. The Lord began showing me how He does not prevent anyone from entering His own Kingdom, but rather their refusal to accept forgiveness of sins by not confessing them and being washed clean falls upon their own doings. When we do not own our personal shortcomings and sin, we keep it and granted access to enter into the Kingdom. Just as Adam and Eve were not permitted to re-enter into the Garden the same is true for us. Jesus is our intercessor to reconcile us back to the Father, as a matter of fact He is the only way to the Father’s heart. But what about being reconciled back to Jesus after we are beat up and worn out with doing things our own way? It is only by accepting within the heart the sacrificial gift Jesus gave of Himself for on the cross – by crucifying your self-life with Him, only to be raised back to life from the dead in His power and cleansing blood. It is with confession (of sin) that through faith and mercy we are saved – to have that same power that raised Jesus from the dead imparted into us we are no longer smelling like the stench of death ourselves.
So then another piece to this is about an hour later in our conversation (we always talk about the Lord mostly, obviously) Michael reminded me only those who endure until the end shall be saved… Then we got into this long and deep conversation about what that means – enduring until the end… Enduring what? You all want to guess? I’ll get right to the point… It does not mean, enduring the attacks, illnesses, shortcomings and obstacles. Now Michael thinks you all already know this… lol… but I told him, nope not everyone does… I told him many think they need to go buy guns and toilet paper to endure until the end… lol… So if that is you… Please hear me just a moment… Enduring until the end means, enduring all temptation to sin, to overcome a sinful lifestyle that is in rebellious opposition to our Holy Father who has no darkness within Him whatsoever. To endure and overcome through the power and blood of the Lamb all ungodliness which desires to overtake, kill and destroy you for all eternity, in order you be found blameless when He calls you Home. So that is it in a nutshell – I pray it helps someone out there today or who will listen to the archives.
Again… We are not looking to kick anyone out, nor do we judge anyone… If either of those thoughts cross your mind – please ask the Lord to show you why that is what you are perceiving and know that we are constantly praying that each of you do indeed endure until the end because those same people are the ones who shall be saved. Amen.
Although initially it may appear the qualifications of a called disciple are quite vigorous and treacherous and practically unattainable, however, that is just our flesh talking against being under the subjection of Jesus. In truth, all it does require is full surrender to the Lord in every way, understanding your worth, having been bought with a very heavy price and knowing just how loved and valuable you are to Him – so much so, He is grieved by anything we choose which separates us from Himself. It is with great soberness I share with you today – how short time is and how we have only moments left to put away such childish ways and get very serious about our own salvation.