Having Children, Making Disciples?
Being a disciple of Jesus and making disciples of Jesus can seem like something we do in addition to all our other responsibilities, if at all. And therefore, it can seem like something that we probably don't have time to do and therefore, won't do. But the vision for life in the New Testament is one that shows us what it means to live like a disciple and what disciplemaking involves. In other words, if you live like the NT tells us to live, by God's grace, then you will be a disciple and you will be involved in making disciples. Having a right perspective on having children and a right purpose in having children is just one illustration of this.
So what does a NT lifestyle include?
1. Devotion to the Word: Who are baptized and devoted to the Word of God with the People of God. (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 2:19; 1 John 3:10, 23; Colossians 3:16; Acts 2:42)
2. Devotion to Prayer: Who practice prayer in the closet and home and church for God’s grace and the enabling of God’s Spirit. (Luke 11:1-13; Matthew 6:9-13; Colossians 4:2-4; Acts 2:42)
3. Sunday Gathering: Who make the gathering of the Church on Sunday a priority. (Hebrews 10:19-25; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 14:23-25; 16:2; Matthew 28:1; John 20:19; Acts 20:7)
4. Fellowship Networks: Who are meaningfully connected to other believers in small group fellowship networks of various kinds. (Hebrews 3:12-19; Galatians 6:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Acts 2:42, 46; John 13:34-35)
5. Every Member Ministry: Who are using their gifts to build up the body in love, especially through ministry or ministry teams at Coast. (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Romans 12:4-8; Galatians 5:13)
6. Unity in the Body: Who are committed to maintaining unity through love, acceptance, and forgiveness in the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:1-6, 25-32; Colossians 3:12-17; Romans 15:1-7; John 17:20-23)
7. Home: Who play their proper role in the home to the glory of God. (Ephesians 5:15-6:4; Colossians 3:18-21; Titus 2:3-8; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
8. Workplace: Who work to please the Lord in their job and honor Christ in the workplace. (Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:22-4:1; Titus 2:9-10; 1 Peter 2:11-20)
9. World: Who seek to be ambassadors for Christ in service to their neighbors as they seek to impact their community for Christ and to play the role of responsible citizens. (Luke 10:25-37; Romans 13:1-10; 1 Peter 2:12-17; Colossians 4:5-6; Matthew 17:24-27)
10. Good News: Who make efforts to befriend unbelievers in their families, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities and to spread the good news of Jesus Christ in all kinds of ways. (Colossians 4:2-6; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Matthew 9:10-13; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)
11. Good Works: Who serve others through meeting the practical needs of the poor and suffering, whether of believers in the church or unbelievers in the community. (Galatians 2:10; 6:10; Titus 2:14; 3:8, 14; 1 John 3:16-18; Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 5:3-16; Matthew 5:13-16; 25:31-46; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:9, 13-15; Luke 19:8; Romans 15:26)
12. Giving: Who give financially, according to their ability, to support the local ministry of the gospel, to support missions endeavors beyond the local body, and to meet the needs of the poor in our church and outside our body. (Galatians 6:6-10; 2 Corinthians 8:12-15; 9:6-15; 3 John 1:5-8; 1 Peter 4:9; Hebrews 13:2; Acts 20:35)
You can hear more about this by going here and listening to Life in the Body, Part 7.
What does it take to live like this?
We must believe that this is the way to pursue our happiness and the happiness of others in God.
We must believe that this is the way to pursue our holiness (ie, love for God and man) and the holiness of others through faith in Jesus.
We must believe that living this way is what it means to walk humbly with our God.
What do we need to know about humility?
1. Humility is a rare thing.
2. To be humble is to say what God's Word says is true about us, whether good or bad.
3. To be humble is to do what God's Word says to do, whether we understand why or not.
4. If we aren't humble, we won't rely on Jesus to be reconciled to a holy God.
5. If we aren't humble, we won't rely on the enabling of the Spirit to love.
6. If we aren't humble, we won't serve others.
‘A truly humble man is hard to find, yet God delights to honor such selfless people. Booker T. Washington, the renowned black educator, was an outstanding example of this truth. Shortly after he took over the presidency of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an exclusive section of town when he was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Not knowing the famous Mr. Washington by sight, she asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for her. Because he had no pressing business at the moment, Professor Washington smiled, rolled up his sleeves, and proceeded to do the humble chore she had requested. When he was finished, he carried the logs into the house and stacked them by the fireplace. A little girl recognized him and later revealed his identity to the lady. The next morning the embarrassed woman went to see Mr. Washington in his office at the Institute and apologized profusely. "It's perfectly all right, Madam," he replied. "Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor. Besides, it's always a delight to do something for a friend." She shook his hand warmly and assured him that his meek and gracious attitude had endeared him and his work to her heart. Not long afterward she showed her admiration by persuading some wealthy acquaintances to join her in donating thousands of dollars to the Tuskegee Institute. - Our Daily Bread.
You can hear more about this by going here and listening to Lambs in the Midst of Wolves, Part. 3