Why Make Disciples?

Today’s reading is Matthew 28.

If you had asked me before today, “Why do we need to make disciples?” I would have said so people can be saved. And, certainly, that is true. However, it hit me in today’s reading that Jesus’s stated reason for us to make disciples is because “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Why do we make disciples of Jesus? Because Jesus is the King of heaven and earth. Why do we share the gospel? Because Jesus is King. Why can we be unashamed of the gospel? Because Jesus is King. I often say things like, “Will you make Jesus your King?” And while we all know what is meant by that statement, it isn’t actually the right question. Jesus is King. He is your King already. You need to be His disciple because He is King. The real questions are: Will you confess Jesus as King, and will you surrender to Him as such? How about today?

Tomorrow’s reading is Hebrews 1.

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He Can Make You

Today’s reading is Mark 1.

I really only have one question for you to consider as you face today early in this New Year full of all kinds of possibilities, hopes, and dreams. Jesus took a rag tag bunch of men, most of whom were uneducated, and made them into fishers of men. They fished and caught and changed the world. What can He make you? You will be amazed. Hang on to Him.

Tomorrow’s reading is Mark 2.

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Paul’s Rejected Popularity

Today’s reading is Acts 14.

Today, some want to suggest Paul started Christianity as a means to gain popularity and power. These skeptics look at many modern religious, cult leaders and see that they do start religions in order to gain followers, servants, money. Perhaps these scoffers can be excused for attributing what they see among these modern frauds to the ancients. However, notice the testimony. When Paul had the opportunity to gain in popularity, to get a following, to be thought of as something special, he rejected it. In Lystra, he was seen not as the leader of a religion, but as a god. Imagine what following, gifts, servants, popularity he could have had. But he turned it down. Why? Because he was surrendered to something real, something he knew was better than being popular among the people. He knew the gospel and was unashamed of it. He pointed people to Jesus. Let us do the same.

Tomorrow’s reading is Acts 15.

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Who Will Respond to the Gospel?

Today’s reading is Luke 14.

Do you realize Jesus is not really talking about feasts and banquets? He is talking about feasting on the gospel. He is talking about banqueting at His table of salvation. And through this story, He explains the only people who will actually respond. Folks who think they can feed themselves if they miss out on the proposed banquet usually back out. In the story, these are the guys who have enough money to buy a field, purchase oxen to plow his fields, pay the bride price in order to get married. However, the folks who understand they won’t eat apart from the proposed banquet never come up with excuses. They show up no matter how much it costs them to get there or how hard it is. They are desperate to eat and they know this is the only option they have because they can’t get it done themselves. The sad part is, regarding God’s proposed banquet, no matter what anyone thinks, there is only one place they can eat. No one can actually feed themselves. But it is only those who realize it who will heed the gospel invitation no matter what it costs; everyone else will come up with excuses.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 15.

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In the Footsteps of Jesus

Today’s reading is Revelation 11.

One of the biggest objections to the gospel when it was first preached was folks disbelieving that the Messiah would suffer and die before His coronation. The apostles and early Christians had to walk people through the Old Testament, showing all of God’s anointed ones did that: Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, even Israel as a nation. One of the biggest objections today is disbelieving the followers of Jesus will suffer before our victory. But that is exactly the picture of the two witnesses. They are the friends of Jesus who testify to Him and seemingly they should be unstoppable. Surely they will never suffer. Surely they will never die. And yet, that is exactly what happens. They are killed and their enemies rejoice. But after three and a half days, they are resurrected and taken to glory. Does that remind you of anyone? Of course. It reminds us of Jesus. Let us not be surprised when we walk in the footsteps of Jesus, it is the path the Lord’s anointed have always walked. But it always ends in victory. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 12.

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The Lord Knows His Own

Today’s reading is Revelation 9.

Perhaps the biggest fear Satan plagues disciples with in the interim between God giving His promise and actually accomplishing the victory is whether or not God remembers who we are. When we experience the suffering that comes on the long road to victory, we begin to fear that we are getting lost in the shuffle. Think about it. When Satan tempted Jesus, his first words were, “If you are the Son of God…” However, we have nothing to fear. God knows those who are His. He has His seal on us. We will not be lost in the battle between the Lord and His enemy. No matter how dark it gets, He knows us, will remember us, and will give us the victory. Hang on to Jesus. He always wins!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 10.

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Freedom

Today’s reading is Revelation 1.

Why do I want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Why do I want to pass discipleship along to others? Because Jesus loves me. He demonstrated that love by freeing me from sin through His own sacrifice on the cross. Not only that, He has made me a priest to God and is making me part of His kingdom–His victorious kingdom. That is what the rest of Revelation is going to be about. Watch the story in this book unfold and see that while this kingdom we are part of goes through dark days, it is always victorious. We are free in Christ. Let’s proclaim that to the hilltops.

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 2.

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Walk in the Light

Today’s reading is 1 John 1.

Sadly, some people misunderstand discipleship, especially when they learn that discipleship is about grace. They have the idea that discipleship by God’s grace is figuring out how to walk in darkness but still go to heaven. Not so. Discipleship by God’s grace is about gaining God’s strength to walk in the light. Honestly, if what you want is to find permission to walk in darkness, then the grace of discipleship has nothing to offer you. If, on the other hand, what you want is the grace to have strength and power to walk in the light, then the grace of discipleship has everything to offer you. Put a stake in the ground today. Which do you want? As for me, I’m not always great at it and I’ve never been able to pull it off on my own, but I want to walk in the light. That’s why I need this grace of discipleship. How about you?

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 John 2.

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Thomas

Today’s reading is John 20.

Poor Thomas. His worst moment, and it is the only thing he is remembered for, even though better moments are revealed in Scripture. However, I’m glad Thomas is there. I’m glad he doubted. Skeptics today act like these ancient people were all dim-witted, backwoods, superstitious twits who would simply accept anything. But they weren’t. Keep in mind, Thomas wasn’t the only one who didn’t believe until he saw Jesus. The others just saw Jesus first. The gospel didn’t get started, Jesus didn’t get proclaimed because of a lot of wishful thinking and have success because people were backwards and superstitious. These people saw evidence that convinced them Jesus rose from the dead. They saw the kind of evidence it would take us to believe it as well. Then they recorded it and recorded what came from it. Praise God for showing us Thomas’s doubt. Maybe it wasn’t his greatest moment. But it is a great moment for us. Thank you, Thomas. Thank you, Lord.

Monday’s reading is John 21.

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On Feeding the Masses

Today’s reading is John 6.

Okay. So, I know that what I’m about to say is not exactly popular today. However, please hear me out. It is very common to hear people claim Jesus came into the world feeding the hungry. “This is what Jesus did. He traveled around feeding the poor.” Then they claim our churches should make that part of their mission as well. When challenged, John 6 is thrown out. But please read the chapter again. Is this really an example of Jesus going around feeding the poor as if that was part of His mission that He just did all the time, everywhere He went? Why did this feeding happen? Because Jesus found poor people and He wanted to show His love so they might listen to Him teach? No this happened because these people were already following Him. He didn’t go find them and offer to feed them. They came to Him. He didn’t use food as permission to get to teach. They were already listening to Him teach. Then Jesus fed them. When they misunderstood and came back for the food, He scared them off. Do Christians do good as they have opportunity? Absolutely. But our mission is to get the Bread of Life to all people, not get bread of wheat to hungry people. Don’t let Satan distract Christ’s church with a neat mission and cause us to hinder and neglect the greatest mission. This is why we need to focus on making disciples.

Tomorrow’s reading is John 7.

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