Monday, June 10, 2013

Go and Make

Think of Peter, James, John, Matthew, etc. What came first: being disciples or believing Jesus was their Savior?

Matthew 28:10,
10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go, tell my followers to go to Galilee. There they will see me.” … 16 The eleven disciples went to the mountain in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they bowed down in worship, though some had doubts. 18 When Jesus came near, he spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.” [God’s Word]

In the Message: 16-17
Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally. 18-20 Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

In the NIV:
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

That’s the end of Matthew’s gospel! Jesus rose, told them this and … CUT.  That’s a print!

What does this command mean to you?

How important is it? (To you personally or to the church as a whole?)

Breaking it down:
What does this mean?  All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me

How does the authority idea become the reason for the command? Therefore

To a place or do it now or get off your butt or…? Go

What is a disciple and how do I make one? make disciples of all nations

What else?

Versions of this scene are in all of the gospels.
Mark 16:15-16 Then Jesus said to them, “So wherever you go in the world, tell everyone the Good News. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Luke 24:47-48  “Scripture also says that by the authority of Jesus people would be told to turn to God and change the way they think and act so that their sins will be forgiven. This would be told to people from all nations, beginning in the city of Jerusalem. You are witnesses to these things.”

John 20:21-23 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” After he had said this, he breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whenever you forgive sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you don’t forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

What do you notice in common amongst all these versions?

What do the others add to the ideas in Matthew?

Scripture Share: Look over the following verses for what connects with you, or with the gospel passages we read.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth.

Proverbs 3:11-12 Do not reject the discipline of the Lord, my son, and do not resent his warning, because the Lord warns the one he loves, even as a father warns a son with whom he is pleased.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Matthew 4:19-20 Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me! I will teach you how to catch people instead of fish.” They immediately left their nets and followed him.

Luke 6:39-40 Jesus also gave them this illustration: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t both fall into the same pit? A student is no better than his teacher. But everyone who is well-trained will be like his teacher.

Romans 5:6-8 Look at it this way: At the right time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for ungodly people. Finding someone who would die for a godly person is rare. Maybe someone would have the courage to die for a good person. Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God’s love for us.

Colossians 1:21-22  Once you were separated from God. The evil things you did showed your hostile attitude. But now Christ has brought you back to God by dying in his physical body. He did this so that you could come into God’s presence without sin, fault, or blame.

Colossians 2:6-7 You received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live as Christ’s people. Sink your roots in him and build on him. Be strengthened by the faith that you were taught, and overflow with thanksgiving.

1 Thessalonians 2:6-8  We didn’t seek praise from people, from you or from anyone else, although as apostles of Christ we had the right to do this. Instead, we were gentle when we were with you, like a mother taking care of her children. We felt so strongly about you that we were determined to share with you not only the Good News of God but also our lives. That’s how dear you were to us!

2 Timothy 3: 16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1 Timothy 2: 8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

Hebrews 5:12-14  By now you should be teachers. Instead, you still need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food. All those who live on milk lack the experience to talk about what is right. They are still babies. However, solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil.

1 Peter 2:21 God called you to endure suffering because Christ suffered for you. He left you an example so that you could follow in his footsteps.

1 John 2:5-6 But whoever obeys what Christ says is the kind of person in whom God’s love is perfected. That’s how we know we are in Christ. Those who say that they live in him must live the same way he lived.

1 John 3:16-18 We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave his life for us. That means we must give our lives for other believers. Now, suppose a person has enough to live on and notices another believer in need. How can God’s love be in that person if he doesn’t bother to help the other believer? Dear children, we must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words.

Caesar Kalinowski shares six simple ways to make disciples without adding anything to your schedule. His idea is that his church should expand on the rhythms that they do in the course of everyday life. There's a video:
  • Know God’s story.
  • Listening. listening to God, and listening in community is how you get to know peoples stories.
  • Celebrate. Life is living in a rhythm of celebration. The church should be the most celebratory people of the planet. We get to live forever!
  • Rhythm of Eating. Talk about moving from additional to intentional. We’re already eating like 21 times a week…What if I were to have three meals a week with people I’m trying to make disciples of?
  • Bless. Ask the spirit to reveal to you three people that you could bless intentionally each week through either words, action, or gift. Imagine a community of people in a neighborhood, like ten or twelve, all blessing three people a week. It’ll transform a place.
  • ReCreate. Resting in what Christ has done for us, not to earn, but then we work. It’s the idea of sabbath.
What do you think? Are these scriptural? Practical?

Would they be effective?

Read Hebrews 12:1-12.  How would you summarize this? How does it connect with the other scripture we’ve read? Other than the coincidence of words, does it take discipline to be or make disciples?

What Kind of Fool Am I?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” Prov. 1:7

The primary problem with fools as described in the Bible is that of pride.  As we look through scripture, look for these traits:
  • They are unteachable. They refuse to accept correction, listen to advice, or take personal responsibility. Instead, they think they are always right and others are fools.
  • They have control issues. They think everyone should listen to them and do what they say; often if they meet with resistance, they can be very angry. They seem to fear allowing anyone else (including God) to be in charge. Many times, they feel somehow that they are above the system - the rules that apply to everyone else don't apply to them.
  • They do not have spiritual insight.  Since the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and that is why the way of wisdom seems ridiculous to a fool. He might even mock those who walk in it.

There are FOUR Hebrew words for a fool.  It’s notable that they have more words for this than English does, because usually this is reversed! There will be 4 or more English words for a single Hebrew word.
  • A simple fool, or peti, is a person who makes mistakes but quickly rights them and is restored to fellowship with God and with others.  Proverbs 1:4, 22, 32; Proverbs 7:7; Proverbs 8:5; Proverbs 9:4, 6, 16; Proverbs 14:15, 18; Proverbs 19:25; Proverbs 21:11; Proverbs 22:3; Proverbs 27:12; Psalm 116:6
  • The hardened fool, kesil and ewil, is someone who makes mistakes but never learns from them and will not listen to others.   Proverbs 3:35; Proverbs 8:5; Proverbs 10:1, 18, 23; Proverbs 12:23; Proverbs 13:16, 19-20; Proverbs 14:7-8, 16, 24, 33; Proverbs 15:2, 7, 14; Proverbs 15:20; Proverbs 17:10, 12, 16, 21, 24-25; Proverbs 18:2, 6-7; Proverbs 19:1, 10, 13, 29; Proverbs 21:20; Proverbs 23:9; Proverbs 26:1-12; Proverbs 28:26; Proverbs 29:11, 20; Ecclesiastes 2:14-16; Ecclesiastes 4:5, 13; Eccl 5:1-4; Eccl 6:8; Eccl 7:4-6, 9; Eccl 9:17; Eccl 10:2, 12,15; Psalms 92:6
  • The mocking fool, or lewtz. The mocking fool mocks the things of God. This word means “scoffer” or “scorner” and today means a clown. When you encounter cynical people who disregard the things of God, you know these people are mocking fools. Proverbs 1:22; Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 9:7-8, 12; Proverbs 13:1; Proverbs 14:6, 9; Proverbs 15:12; Proverbs 19:25, 28-29; Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 21:11, 24; Proverbs 22:10; Proverbs 24:9
  • The God-denying fool, or nabal. This term relates to the morally wicked person who ignores the disgrace he brings on his family and who despises holiness.  He conducts his life without any recognition of God and thus is corrupt and perverse. Psalm 14:1, 3; Ps 39:8; Ps 53:1; Ps 74:18, 22; Proverbs 17:7; Prov 17:21; Prov 30:22; Isaiah 32:5-6 (Nabal is also a person, whose story is told in 1 Samuel 25. He insults David, is about to be killed, is saved by his wife Abigail, and then dies of his foolishness. Abigail goes on to become David’s first wife.)
(This section is expanded from Os Hillman using Strong’s Concordance. HT Randy Deater)

1)    Do you see a difference among types 2-4? Do you know any other types?

Let’s read Proverbs 26.
2)    Can we put in plain words what the author describes as foolish behavior? What makes it foolish?

Let’s read Proverbs 17:7-24.
3)    What happens to fools? What happens to those around them?

Let’s read Proverbs 18:9-24.
4)    How can we deal with fools and/or foolish behavior? What is our responsibility to those with a fool in their lives?

The Top (Biblical) Signs of a Fool:
1.    A fool folds his hands and wastes away. (Ecclesiastes 4:5 & 10:12),
2.    Laughter of a fool is pointless or meaningless (Ecclesiastes 7:6)
3.    Silence is their only camouflage (Proverbs 17:28).
4.    Insults those trying to advise them. (Proverbs 9:7)
5.    Talk their way into a beating. (Proverbs 18:6)
6.    Hates those who try to correct them. (Proverbs 9:8)
7.    Works against those trying to help them. (Proverbs 19:3).
8.    Prefers speaking their opinion to gaining understanding. (Proverbs 18:2).
9.    Despise discipline. (Proverbs 1:7)
10.    Cannot apply wisdom. (Proverbs 26:7,9)
11.    Repeats stupidity. (Proverbs 26:11)
12.    Stubborn to the point of fighting. (Proverbs 20:3)
13.    Dangerous to themselves. (Proverbs 12)
14.    …and even their words are dangerous to others.
15.    They live in darkness and don’t know what makes them stumble. (Proverbs 4:19)
16.    Can’t see where they are headed. (Ecclesiastes 2:14)
17.    Wears their anger on their sleeve, even when it’s counterproductive (Proverbs 12:16)
18.    “Better to meet a bear robbed of its cubs than a fool carried away with his stupidity.” (Proverbs 17:12)
19.    Behavior makes no more sense than a drunk’s. (Proverbs 20:1)
20.    Inflates their own sense of importance. (Galatians 6:3)!
21.    Doesn’t prepare for even important endeavors. (Matthew 7:26-27)

Proverbs 8 & 9 personify Wisdom and Folly as competing for your attention.  Wisdom is calling out to the senseless, trying to teach and save. But Folly… “is loud, gullible, and ignorant.  She sits at the doorway of her house. She is enthroned on the high ground of the city and calls to those who pass by, those minding their own business, ‘Whoever is gullible turn in here!’ ” (Prov 9:13-16)

More resources: