I took the team to the first family, where we were greeted by the boy pictured above, and we were able to pray for them and bless them. It was good to be in this place of ministry once again, but I was sad that we did not get to do more personal ministry. Even as we finished up giving away the last bags, the rain began to come. From that point for the rest of the day it has rained with more or less intensity.
In the last post, Simple Discipleship, I tried to bring you up to speed on where we are at the moment. I also encouraged you to study several key verses and see what God was saying through them.
In the post, I have included the main points of my notes and the link for the live teaching I did at Living Water Church. I would like to invite you to comment with your observations and what God was saying to you while studying this teaching.
Before we get started with the discussion, here is the topic for next week:
Intimacy/Love of God
Scriptures for Study: John 15:1-17, 1 Cor 13:1-13, Eph 3:16-21, Deut 7:6-9
This is the first discussion in the Simple Discipleship Series.
Here is the Link: Being a Leader/Disciple
Here are my Notes: Simple Discipleship Week 1
Since I have included my full notes, I will try to make this more of a coherent summary.
As we study what a disciple and leader are from scripture, we need to understand the definition of each.
What is a Disciple? .
Are you a Disciple?
What is a Leader?
Who are you leading? What are you leading them to?
A leader is to be more of a father that walks with you through the day to day struggles of life than an instructor. Anyone can tell you what you should be doing, but a father will take you hand and work through the hard times with you to make sure you come out the other side.
1 Corinthians 4:15-16 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
It is the job of a father and leader to encourage, comfort, and challenge the people following them to walk more in line with God.
Every single one of us is created to be a good disciple and a good leader. How are you doing? You will be discipled by something and you will lead others into something. What are you being discipled by? Where are you leading others?
From the scriptures we studied, we can see a few characteristics of good disciples and leaders.
We must be do everything out of love!!! Jesus even loved Judas who he knew would betray him.
We must have Humility!!! Jesus took the lowest job and did it well even when no one else wanted to do it.
We must Serve others!!! We do not get to choose who we serve or how we serve them. We must humble ourselves and honor all those we are leading.
We must be the Example and Pioneer!!! Do as I do. Lead others by doing it first not just talking about it. God blesses us when we act, not just when we know or say the right things.
A Good Leader is a Good Follower!!! We must follow Jesus first and foremost and have a close personal relationship with Him. We must look like Him, smell like Him, walk like Him, and talk like Him so that we can lead others in the right way. And so they never go astray.
We must give God the Glory!!! Everything we do is through His power and authority so he gets the glory and honor that He rightfully deserves. We may get some honor and blessing for being obedient, but God gets the ultimate glory and honor for making it happen.
We are Influencers of Heaven!!! Our actions influence heaven when we are walking in line with Jesus. Heaven has influenced us and transformed us into sons and daughters. Because of this, we have the influence of heaven on this world.
We must be Selfless!!! We deny ourselves legitimate (and illegitimate) pleasures of this world so that we can be truly free and filled with the Presence of God!!!
We must know True Value!!! First, we have to know the true value that God has for us, and then we have to know the value He places on the souls of all mankind.
1 Timothy 4:8 godliness is profitable for all things
We must be Faithful and Steadfast!!! The only time for us to test our allegiance is right now. Will you stand for Jesus when no on else does?
We must Know God!!! This is the key to being a disciple and leader. Seek to know God in a deeper way!!!
We must Be Strong!!! When we know God, He makes us strong
We must be Adventurers!! When we know God in a deep way, we have what we need to do great things, and He can trust us to be obedient in doing great things.
We must be Lead Others into Knowing God More!!! Part of us knowing God is us sharing that knowledge and relationship with others. Part of us growing in God us teaching others what we are learning.
We must Understand our Authority!!! God has given all authority to Jesus, and Jesus has given it to us. Jesus’ authority is ours if we will only walk in it.
We must Go!!! God calls His followers to action and doing. What are you doing for Him right now?
We must be Disciple Makers!!! We are called to make disciples of nations. This comes by us raising up others who can reproduce the discipleship we have instilled within them.
We must be Carriers of Christ!!! Jesus goes with us, and His power, His Presence, and His authority works in us and through us.
We must be Lovers of Jesus!!! We must love Him first and foremost in all things, and this love should eclipse all other loves
We must be Willing to Sacrifice!!! We must lay down our junk and take up what God has for us. We must lay down our very lives.
We must be Finishers!!! Being a disciple and being a leader are not easy things, but we do not start what we cannot finish.
We must be Spicy and Full of Flavor!!! People recognized Jesus because of what He said and did and people should recognize us because we are just like Him.
What are we worth if we no longer look like Jesus???
What is a Disciple? A disciple is someone who leaves everything behind and follows Jesus out of a heart of love.
What is a Leader? A good leader is a disciple, who is leading people to do the same thing that He is daily doing.
Our position in the Kingdom is not made up of what we have, it is determined by what we are willing to give up out of love and obedience to our Father.
What does this study mean if we do not make it personal??? I want you to meditate on these question:
Who am I leading?
Who is leading me?
Who can I disciple?
Who do I want to be discipled by?
Is it worth it to you to be a disciple and leader?
Ask Holy Spirit to bring revelation to you how you can follow Him more closely. Anything that you need to confess and leave behind, do it now and never look back!!!
Remember that we are all walking through this together. May the Lord Bless you and Keep you!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
I want to confess that our time here in Cambodia is very different than what I expected it to be. We have been here more than two weeks now, and God has had us focus on praying and encouraging the staff here at the base in Battambang. When I envisioned coming back to Cambodia where I spent more than two months only two years ago, I thought we would be doing some of the same things as I did before. However, God has us doing things that are quite different but exactly what He needs to be done.
Right now, it is the hot season in Cambodia. Ironically, we came from the hottest part of the season in India to the hottest part of the season in Cambodia. I heard an American who lives here remarking that it was 106 degrees in the shade. Being from Texas, I understand the heat and know it well. However, I do not like how it is so humid here that your clothes are constantly soaked with sweat even when indoors. At any point in time, I could take off my shirt and wring it out and fill a bowl with the sweat. It is not fun and definitely is not attractive, but it is where God needs us to be.
The only relief that we have had from the scorching heat was a violent monsoon that came out of nowhere. It tore up the carport covering and part of the eating area and literally drenched our room before we were able to do anything to stop it. I was outside for less than five minutes rescuing the truck from being demolished and came in dripping wet. I guess it did not really matter because our room was half submerged anyway. Apparently, we got more than two and a half inches in about 30 minutes. After all this, I have found some comfort in this verse, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God” (Isaiah 43:2).
While repairing a broken bicycle and dripping with sweat, a lady that has been here a while said something to me that I took as an encouragement from the Lord. She said that right now, in hot season, is exactly the right time to come and encourage the staff. The heat is not fun, classes are about two months from being finished in one of the schools, and most people are worn down at this time. It would definitely be more comfortable to be here not in hot season, but God knew that He needed us here right now to encourage His people.
When God calls us, He is always directing us to what He needs us to do, He is just waiting on us to be obedient and come into line with where He needs us to be.
His people are much more important than our personal comfort! Over and over, we have to remind ourselves that we do not make decisions based on our own comforts. If that were the case, we never would have come to Cambodia, India, or on this faith journey at all.
God gives us the strength to grow beyond our comfort level so that His work may be done where He needs it and at the time He needs it to be done!
Where you are right now, ask yourself. Are you in a place where you are comfortable? Is it pleasant both physically and spiritually? Are you being stretched so that you can grow or are you resting comfortably in what you have?
God constantly wants to be stretching us beyond what we are able to do for two reasons. One, He wants us to grow and be able to do greater things in the Kingdom. Secondly, and more importantly, when we are able to accomplish things that we could never do on our own, He is the only One who will receive glory.
I know that you are sitting there and have the desire to do great things for the Lord and to bring great glory to His name. Ask Holy Spirit right now, where have you settled into a lifestyle of comfort? Ask Holy Spirit to stretch you and do great things through your obedience to Him. Pray that He will give you everything that you need along the way, and trust that He will provide it. Pray that He would use your life to bring great glory to His name!!!
I bless you to know that God is the great provider! He gives strength in our weakness!!! He gives mercy in our failures!!! He gives us the ability to grow and change more and more into His image!!! He gives us a continual life of adventure in obedience so that the comforts of this world do not make us ineffective for His Kingdom!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!