Just getting fire insurance so we don’t go to Hell is not enough. We have to start by acknowledging Jesus as our personal Savior AND Lord.
How can we measure our faith to be sure that we’re pleasing to God? To be sure this is not a question about our salvation. But I think we’d all want to have a deeper love for God.
I enjoyed the work that I did for a living. And I also enjoyed doing my best for the customers. Now in retirement I find I don’t have the same motivation for God or my wife. My excuse is multiple health issues. But that is a lame excuse since we serve an unlimited God. And my health issues are only recent.
I ask myself these same questions.
- Are we sold out for Jesus?
- I will spell sold S O U L E D. Are our very souls into Jesus?
- Is He 1st in our lives?
- Are our time and resources given to Jesus as our highest priority?
- Are our decisions based on Biblical principles or the preferences of our peers, employers, family members, friends, and just popularity in general?
- Do we experience pain or rejection because of our faith in Jesus?
If we’re honest we would have to say no.
We do, however, have an excellent example in the Apostle Paul. He writes:
(Philippians 1:21-23 NASB) 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if [I am] to live [on] in the flesh, this [will mean] fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both [directions,] having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for [that] is very much better;
What is Jesus asking us to do?
We can’t do as individuals what Jesus did. We can do more as a united body in our churches. And more still with missions in our country and around the world.
(John 17:20-21 NASB) 20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, [are] in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Our motivation for following Jesus should be that we have His Spirit within us. The Triune God we know has given us His Holy Spirit that can give us joy, peace, and purpose. Besides the examples of Peter, Paul, Phillip, many others, including Jesus; Jesus Himself gives us the Great Commission. We have received our charge – what will we do with it?
(Matthew 28:18-20 WEB) 18 And Jesus came, and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and upon earth. 19 Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, [even] to the end of the world. Amen.
The major objective of the great commision is to replicate ourselves; that begins with witnessing to others. We may help someone to discover Jesus or reconnect with Jesus and His mission.
Before we seek to witness to or disciple someone we need to spend time with them as a friend and eventually a confidant. Now if we meet someone who is seeking this would be a shorter process. In other settings it could be a year, and in a few cases decades.
Several different words from the Masoretic Text are translated to our English word “disciple”: Bind up, the testimony, seal, the law, & among my disciples. These words give us a comprehensive definition of what discipling means.
To witness we need our own testimony. People are not going to accept our discipling until they know our story. And that story will include our human failures (and God’s agency in bringing us out of our failures). Also our testimony needs to be measured – if we are talking to a person who knows little about Christianity or has too many negatives, then we can’t go very deep initially.
The goal is to lead a person to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. This faith we introduce our new disciple to is for more than just that person alone. Christians are meant to replicate themselves; including a new convert. In fact new Christians have a great enthusiasm that usually diminishes. But can we imagine how this new found enthusiasm would continue if the nee convert was able to convert and mentor someone..