What is Disciple-Making?
Disciple-making is the process of intentionally entering into relationships to help people follow Jesus, be transformed by Jesus, and join Jesus in His mission.
SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 8:16-21, ESV
AN EVERYDAY OCCURRENCE – VS22-23a
Although Luke casually identifies this event by writing “one day,” Matthew and Mark place it on a specific day. It was a day when Jesus had been busy ministering to people’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs. It was the same day that He gave the following parables:
By day’s end Jesus was physically spent so He instructed the disciples to sail with Him to the other side of the sea. What we see are everyday occurrences; work, meetings, assistance, teaching, problems, solutions. We all experience days like this where there is more “need” than “energy” to meet the demands.
TRUTH POINT #1: In this way Jesus was just like us. Although He was God, He became 100% human with all the limitations and needs that every other human has.
Matthew, Mark and Luke all report that as they sailed, Jesus fell into a deep, restful sleep.
RISING OPPOSITION – VS23b-24a
It was 5-7 miles across the sea, so we are looking at several hours on the water. At some point a sudden monstrous storm came crashing down on the boat, and the disciples were terrified
Andrew, Peter, James and John were experienced fishermen, no strangers to storms. But this was no ordinary storm. The word Luke uses to describe it means Gail Force Winds. This was an inland hurricane.
Fear is a common reaction when one has been accustomed to being in control, then suddenly find themselves out of control at the mercy of the situation or someone else who can help.
These are life events that are fearful and for some people, these events come in a string, one after another, and it feels like all of life is in opposition to the security of their normality.
How do people with no relationship with Jesus make it through such storms? Truth be told, even those who do have that relationship may find themselves wondering… Where are You Jesus!
Whether it’s a hurricane on the sea, in your body, in your family or on the job, opposition rises that threatens our well-being and we wonder… Jesus do You Care? Mark’s Gospel reports this was the concern of the disciples.
Does He care? Before we deal with that question, let’s consider what God’s role is in these matters.
Christians are prone to blame the Devil when difficult issues attack their life. Scripture identifies Satan is an opposer and accuser. But Satan is not always the author of our troubling times. If we look closely we might discover that in some of our struggles, it’s not the Devil’s fingerprints we find, but God’s.
TRUTH POINT #2: God allows and/or orchestrates trials, tribulations and oppositions in life to challenge and grow our faith.
Every rising opposition is an opportunity to experience God’s sustaining and/or delivering power. When we see God at work, it is a powerful encouragement for faith to grow.
We must ask: did the Devil whip up that storm or did The Father bring it about to challenge their faith and give Jesus opportunity to demonstrate His power so-as to bolster their faith? Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4
The disciples didn’t know it, but they were in the midst of a Divinely orchestrated storm and its purpose was to…
TRUTH POINT #3: Does God care? He does! He cares enough to challenge our peace and security, so He can demonstrate His power and faithfulness, leading to ongoing transformation toward the image of Christ.
Question is, did it work with the disciples? Matthew 14:32
TRUST IN JESUS – VS24b-25
Faster than the storm whipped up, it calmed to glass like conditions at the command of Jesus.Then came the piercing question: Where is your faith? Who but God could do such things? If God is in the boat with you, why such fear?
It occurred to me that all of the miraculous acts they witnessed to this point were issues not personal to them. This was the first time they were in danger, the first time they could not handle their affairs, the first time they were challenged to trust Jesus with their own lives.
Jesus asked; Where is your faith? Answer; It was being developed.
TRUTH POINT #4: Like a muscle must be stressed to become strong, so must faith be tested to develop unwavering trust in Jesus.
The next time you’re going through it, before you curse the Devil and pray for deliverance, consider the possibility that what you’re experiencing is God at work producing endurance, character, hope and steadfastness.
The disciples asked: Who then is this, that He commands even winds and water, and they obey Him? The Apostle Paul gives us the answer. Colossians 1:15-17
Like the disciples, we face serious challenges to our well-being. We can be sure that whether God is the author of the challenge or not, nothing happens in all of creation that He is not aware of.
TRUTH POINT #5: Every challenge we face is an opportunity to discover God’s faithfulness and power. Each challenge is an opportunity for our faith and confidence to grow.
Not only is Jesus The Master of The Sea, He is LORD overall. Have you humbled yourself before Him, receiving by faith His Savior-ship for the forgiveness of sin and Lordship as the Master of your life?
Believer, God loves you so much that He has committed Himself to not allow you to remain as He found you but is at work to mold you to the image of His Son.
Will you cooperate with Him? Will you see life’s challenges as opportunities to see His faithfulness and power so that your faith and confidence in Him will grow?
Invite Him to have His way in your life today.
The Mission Church is committed to serving God by making disciples in the Des Moines area.
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