When Membership Won’t Help

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 5.

Disciples should be members of congregations. However, congregational membership is intended to support discipleship, not the other way around. Something that has often surprised me is people who clearly aren’t interested in being disciples but want to make sure their name stays on a congregation’s list of members. They show up just enough, they hug the line on questionable issues, they cover up blatant sins, accuse churches of awful things if the congregation takes a stand against some sin in their life, move to a church that agrees to look the other way on their issue. All of this is done as if they believe the means to be with God in heaven forever is by making sure a congregation somewhere considers them a member. If we learn anything from the fallen Christian in Corinth, this just doesn’t work. We need to remember that while congregational membership is part of discipleship, God is looking for disciples not merely church members.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 6.

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Making Disciple-making Disciples

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 4.

Paul gives us the example of what we really want to do. We don’t just want to make disciples. We want to make disciple-making disciples. Paul was able to send Timothy to develop the disciples in Corinth. And that is the real plan to create a generational legacy for Christ’s church. As you develop disciples around you, develop them to develop others who will develop others. Keep the message alive.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 5.

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Disciple Yourself First

Today’s reading is Jude 1.

The apostles pointed out there would be scoffers in these days. There will be those within and without Christ’s church who cause division and stir up trouble. They are worldly and devoid of the Spirit. The temptation, of course, is to think our attention must be focused on them. The first thought, no doubt, is to believe we need to get them straightened out first and immediately. Of course, as we have opportunity, we should correct and restore anyone we can. However, notice where Jude places the primary importance. “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God.” The reality is no matter where anyone else is, we will only be disciple makers if we are first disciples. The first disciple we need to build up is us. Let’s make sure we are getting after that today.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 1.

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More Than Knowledge

Today’s reading is 2 Peter 1.

Okay, I’m going to admit it. There are eight virtues listed on Peter’s list for discipleship maturity. Regrettably, almost everything we do to help disciples grow in congregations focuses on only one of them (maybe two). Our #1 focus is knowledge (with perhaps a secondary on faith, but only as faith comes from knowledge). The problem is we tend to believe if we hand people the right information, they’ll take care of application. However, we need to understand as we are busy making and developing disciples, it takes more than just knowledge. Discipleship doesn’t mean just knowing (or believing) all the right things. Discipleship means becoming more like Jesus in every way. I’ll say it again; I have a long way to go. Praise God, He’s getting me there. How about you?

Monday’s reading is 2 Peter 2.

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A Humble Life

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 5.

“Clothe yourselves with humility,” Peter says. We are to be humble before one another, whether we are young or old, whether we are shepherd or sheep. Further, we are to humble ourselves before God, which is demonstrated by casting our anxieties upon Him because He cares for us. Humility is tough. We all want to accomplish something great. We all want to be seen as someone special. We want to give the good advice, set the good example, be the sought after counselor. And, of course, God may use us that way. But first we must become like our Chief Shepherd. After all, the greatest thing He did for us was die on a cross. Talk about humility. Boy, I’ve got a long way to go. How about you?

Tomorrow’s reading is 2 Peter 1.

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Live for the Will of God

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 4.

So many of us fret and worry wondering, “What is God’s will for my life?” We wonder if that new feeling in our heart is God leading us somewhere or if that sudden circumstance is a sign of God’s pleasure or displeasure about some choice. Perhaps we’re barking up the wrong tree with that. Perhaps God’s will for our lives today isn’t about whether we choose to eat at McDonald’s or Burger King, or whether we choose to move out of state or stay put, or whether we choose to accept that new job or hang on to the old one, or whether we marry this person or that one. Perhaps God’s will is in whichever of these choices we make, we choose to live for God rather than for the passions of the flesh. We’ve already spent enough time pursuing those passions, today choose to surrender to God’s direction for godly conduct and behavior, then He will be able to use whatever other choices we make for His glory. Then we will be walking in God’s will for our lives without worry and fear that we are missing out on some secret plan God has for us.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Peter 5.

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Winning People with Gentleness and Respect

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 3.

I know we men really like to hone in on 1 Peter 3:1-6 about how our wives are to respect us and be adorned with a gentle spirit even if we aren’t faithful to the Lord so they can win us. However, have you ever noticed what it says in 1 Peter 3:15? It tells all of us that we are to conduct ourselves with gentleness and respect so that we might win others. In other words, men, God isn’t asking anything of wives He doesn’t ask of all of us. We are to conduct ourselves with gentleness and respect toward others even when they are enemies and we are having to defend our faith. How much more do we win wives, children, neighbors, friends, co-workers, and even Twitter followers and Facebook friends by gentle respect, conducting ourselves in purity with a quiet spirit? That is being a disciple-making disciple.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Peter 4.

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