A Word of Encouragement

How to Disciple the Nations

Disciple the nations … just how do we do this?

Matthew 28:19-20 NLT

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Besides for being part of the Great Commission, this is also part of our church mission statement. Disciple the nations. How do we do this? Barbara Hughes, in her book, Disciplines of a Godly Woman, has a very good place to start in her description of the disciple Andrew. Andrew was an ordinary man, {just like us} with an extraordinary heart {just like we can have}. Let me share my thoughts on what Barbara says.

 HAVE A HEART

1) Have a knowledgeable heart.

John 1:35-51

New Living Translation (NLT)

The First Disciples

35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.

38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.

They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus.

Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist; however, as soon as he learned that Jesus was the Messiah, he began following Jesus. He left immediately and stayed with Jesus all day. We must follow Jesus also. It’s the FIRST thing we must do. We cannot introduce him to others unless we know Him first. Not just as an acquaintance, but become a true disciple.

This means we must spend time with Him .. daily. REALLY get to know Him and His heart. Reading the scriptures and spending time in prayer is the only way to know the heart of Christ. I don’t think a quick devotional reading each day is enough for this. To me, this would be like waving hello to someone on the street as you walk by each day on the way to the office. You know who they are, but you don’t really know them.

 

2) Have a Selfless Heart

41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).

42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus.

Secondly, Andrew did go get his brother. Once, he got to know Christ, he went and told his brother, Simon, that he had found the Christ and then brought him to Christ as well. Note that he didn’t just keep Christ to himself. One might be tempted to not want to share company with anyone else. You might be tempted to think, if I bring others to him then I will have to share conversations with them and time alone with them; especially someone like his outgoing, boisterous brother who is always in the limelight. One might be tempted to say this is my chance to have something all to myself.

Note that he took the time to be away from Christ to go get others and bring them to Him. We sit in our padded pews and pray that God will bring others in, but we are commanded to GO GET THEM and bring them in ourselves. {ouch!}

3) Have an Optimistic Heart

John 6:5-9  (NLT)

Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

Andrew always looked for the good. We see here at the Feeding of the Five Thousand that Phillip’s response was “we can’t do it”, but Andrew saw that they did have something. He brought up that they did have some food. We need to be looking for the positive in our life. There is enough negative in the world and a little positive can go a long way. We need to give the Lord what we have even if it seems like so little. I’m reminded of the lyrics to a song. “Little is Much, When God is in it”. If we give our “meager” talent or time or whatever it is you have to God, Wow! the possibilities are amazing!”

This is how God is glorified and others are attracted to Him because of what God does and not what we do!

Finally,

4) Have a Big Heart

John 12:20-22 (NLT)

20 Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration 21 paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” 22 Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.

Andrew had a big heart. In this case, we have non-Jews coming and asking to see Jesus. They could have sent them away because they weren’t Jews, but Andrew’s heart was big enough to welcome them and take them to Jesus.

We, too, need to have a big heart. See that Jesus loves everyone, in spite of who they are or where they have been. Look past the tattoos, the scars of sin, the ragged clothes, the smelly or diseased bodies, and the list goes on.

  • Are we willing to reach out and touch the untouchable as Christ did?
  • Are we willing to bring people into our church and homes?

God would have everyone to be saved. We need to have big hearts and reach out to these. This is how we make disciples of all nations right in our own corner of the world!

 

Love as Christ loved you!

GGMandy Farmer

 

 

___________________

1) Disciplines of a Godly Woman

2 thoughts on “How to Disciple the Nations

I love reading your comments. Tell me what you think.