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October 2, 2017 4:10 pm
Harvest messages are brought to you by harvest partners receive free email daily devotions were to become a harvest partner, please visit us firstname.lastname@example.org when the first cell phone came out everybody knew it was good to be a game changer.
I don't think anyone knew, when this technology first emerged, other phones got smaller and smaller. But then Steve Jobs came along with the new paradigm, a new concept. What we now know as the iPhone.
Now we have the android phones and all the others that are like that, but basically he introduced to us a computer in your pocket.
It was far more than a phone. Now you keep introduced at the app did not exist prior to that. So now we have absent we have of social media. These things did not preexist before and this is having an interesting effect on our country and it's not good. In fact, there is a professor of psychology and send you in San Diego State University. Her name is Jean twins and she's written a book called IGN. It's a name she came up for it with four people born born between 1995 in 2012 IGN. She says, quote members of this generation are safer than those that came before them.
They drink less they learn to drive later and they hauled off having sex was a woman. That's probably a good thing right will not so much, he says, but psychologically there for more vulnerable, she says it's not an exaggeration to describe IGN's been on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades, and she says it's largely to test smart phones. She says because today's teens are spending less time with friends. Therefore, higher rates of depression and suicide. She says, quote look at the patterns of loneliness that suddenly begins the increase around 2012 that for them.
When the American majority of Americans got a cell phone." Interesting trend is in it and you see all people are disconnecting from real life and living in a virtual world and a digital world, actually thinking those people on your Facebook page are really your friends are those people on twitter are really your followers and then with the phenomena of the Kardashian were you can be famous for just being famous. That's a whole new kind of celebrity thing that is developed in this strange culture that is really created, but I think it gets down to what people really want in life. People want to be love. People want to be needed and people want to be appreciated. Want to feel that someone values them and cares about them and many try to do it through digital connection will listen. This is where the church comes it.
This is what we are here to do to give them what the really longing for more to the point.
This is work discipleship comes now as I said this is my last message on the topic of discipleship and I want to focus on what it means to disciple others. I want to get to the bottom line. But before I do, let's review what we have learned together you're taking notes you might want to write these things down. Here's six things we learned about disciples number one, a disciple of Jesus loves God more than anyone or anything else. This is based on the statement of Jesus in Luke 14 when he said if you want to be my disciple.
You must hate your father, mother, brother, sister, and your own life or you can't be my disciple.
But remember I pointed out that is not literally telling us they hate because in other passages virtual to love one another, even love our enemies, but it's a phrase that he uses to effectively say your love for God to be own so intense that your love for anyone or anything else including yourself would be like hatred in comparison to point number one if you really is disciple love God more than anyone or anything of number two.
A disciple takes up our cross daily and follow Jesus.
Jesus said if you want to be my disciple.
You must take up your cross and did not yourself and take the cross up daily.
So every day we put God first in our life and deny ourselves. Thirdly, the disciple must turn over the title deed of their life to Christ or the pink slip of their life to Christ. Because Jesus says in John 14. If you want to be my disciple, you must first take all that you have a doesn't mean you have to think about poverty. That phrase forsake all that you have could better be translated surrender your claim to so you recognizing your life, your resources, your family, your future. Everything belongs to God. Number four.
A disciple impacts their culture because territory the end of Luke 14, Jesus says here the salt of the earth, and salt. In that time. Remember it, stop the spread of the of the writing process and the meat did rub it in and then also it would stimulate first word there to do the same in the world to stop the spread of evil and to speak up for our faith and then number five, a disciple brings forth spiritual fruit because Jesus says here's our people know you are my disciples, you bring forth fruit and that means results in your life and then six and lastly a disciple will carefully read, study and live according to God's word because Jesus said if you continue in my word, then are you my disciples. Now I want to look up what a disciple does, hence the title just to it. Just do it. You know when I first became a Christian I really didn't fully understand what I've done, I would forward a little Bible study.
My high school campuses. I've told you many times and I pray this little prayer I didn't know what was ahead of me. I didn't know what was going to happen to me but I I believe what I heard in the long after that a guy comes up to me that I don't know from Adam's house.
Did you know Adam had a house cat would either defeated or not. Probably not, but he says hi my name is Mark and I saw that you went forward and prayed. You accept Jesus the other day I was going resist a resentfully job so no, but hey I want to help you wanted take you to church and like knives or gentlemen to go to church. No, not really want to give the church in aftertaste about the Skymark mark wasn't a cool guy. He was a mechanic I would've normally hung around but he was so doggone, persistent, and he wouldn't take no for an answer and the best way let me take you to church. Finally I said okay but even just take me to church. He introduced me to whether Christians yet be over at his house for dinner with his mom and his dad were just kids. At this point I'm talking to Christians. I'm asking questions. No question was too ridiculous to ask is him. Mark was doing. He was discipling me and if he had not done that.
I fear I would've fallen through the cracks because a lot of times after a person accepts Christ they don't know what to do next and so he held me in that transition and what Mark did for me. We need to do for others because that's what the great commission is again it's to go into all the world and preach the gospel and then make disciples of all nations listen, if you're following Jesus is a real disciple, you will be leading others to Christ. The reverse that. If you're not leading others to Christ. Are you really following him as you want to, as a disciple. Again we must be salt and salt stimulates the thirst of another person.
One of the greatest compliments. A nonbeliever can pay a believer is when they say what is it about you that makes you different, you have this piece you have this joy. I'm interested all that so great when it opens the door for conversation. Listen if you want to win some you need to be when some were there to build those bridges. You know sometimes you sow a seed sometimes you want to receive sometimes you report others of salt and water. Don't ever try to harvest to see this all ready to be harvested, but don't miss the opportunity to harvest when it's harvest time is a great theologian Kenny Rogers once said, we need to know when to fold them. No one to hold him know when to walk away right after the ideas you need to pray for wisdom. Okay, this is seed sowing time. This is just being a witness okay this is a time to try to close the deal cures or commission again.
Matthew 28 verse 16. Go therefore says Jesus and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father son and the Holy Spirit, teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I've given to you.
Hello, I am with you, even to the end of the age.
So here's our job here is discipleship simplified.
I told you what a disciple is now let me tell you what a disciple does what it means to make disciples of other. Our objective is to go lead others to Christ established them spiritually and do it again and again and again.
Basically it's a wash, rinse, repeat, evangelize, disciple, stabilize, repeat, do it over and over again, but somewhere along the line we sort of separated evangelism from discipleship and their one and the same one I just called to invite people to Christ.
But then we need to take these new believers under our wing and help them get up on their feet spiritually and be like delivering a baby in a hospital and then just given the little babies them pampers and say okay, buddy. God bless you tough world out there, but would like to buy. Go a little babies need to be nurtured and a lot.
New believers need to be nurtured and loved as well read about an interesting study conducted by a large hospital where they discovered something they notice that people working in the nursery around the babies that they notice that the babies that were near the door were healthier and stronger than the other babies and they wondered why so after careful study, they notice that the nurses were more prone to give attention to the babies near the door as they went about their duties they would pick them up and hug them and speak to them so they thought Vincent what the children need just a little baby can tell when they're being left when they're being embraced when they're being cared for and the new believers need the same thing from all of us.
Here's a few things I knew believer needs number one they need assurance they need assurance they need to be reassured that God loves them and God has forgiven them and that their name is written in the book of life. One passage everyone should commit to memory is first John 513, where John writes I write these things to you that believe in the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
Reassure a believer of that because remember, in the garden of Eden. Satan attacked Adam and Eve remember how he attacked.
He said to them, did God say what you really thought God said, you'll do that in the life of a new believer, and for the that matter order believer sometimes to write. Are you really saved in crisis really forgiven you is not based on how I feel.
It's based on what God is done.
New believers need assurance number two new believers need protection they need protection when you're holding up a little baby. You have to kill all them carefully and hold them in the proper way and support them in and anything that could harm them. You you put yourself in the way of that thing a new believers the protection as well. On Galatians 519 Tuesday 4/19 of my dear children I feel is going going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your life. New believers are vulnerable to their emotions as well as being vulnerable to false teaching old friends will try to drag him down old girlfriends little boyfriends will materialize out of nowhere temptations will come that maybe they never experienced before.
Right. You remember that yourself so they need to be protected and just as in the parable of the sower. Jesus talked about the seed sown on the road side eaten by the birds in the said these are they that hear the word of God but Satan comes immediately and snatches away. The new believer does know it's happening, but we do so we need to help them number three they need food they need fruit, you know, when a baby cries, it's usually because of two reasons. Number one they need their diaper changed. Number two are hungry. By the way those of the same reasons I cry so Kathy always has a sandwich and some depends nearby know that the job saw Troy to were depend Pastor Brad does sorry brother have said no it's he does know he doesn't. Why don't you read the rest method.
Not that there's anything wrong with Deborah about how to get a format that but you as I've said before, you know healthy people are hungry people.
So when you're new believer you're hungry for the word of God. Can you remember the first time you read the Bible is a new Christian nephew were raised in the church. It was familiar, but perhaps a chemo life. You would if you were more like me and you weren't raised in the church. He started hearing these things for the first time I'm just a kid 17 years old and I'm reading these things in the Bible that relate to me as a 17-year-old, and I still relate to them as they 40-year-old with added years and so it's relevant to you in your youth. That's relevant to you and your middle-aged that's relevant to you in your old age. I have a secretary she's not really a secretary. She's a great friend and is been a personal assistant to me for over 30 years. Her name is Carol Faulkner and Doug Carol fought cancer for a while and she was able to treatment and chemo to overcome it, but it came back in the Carol is now in hospice care. We just want to see her after the first service and dies. She knows she's going to go see the Lord very soon.
I want to show you the picture of her in here there is pastor Ricky Ryan who we took over in there.
I'm there with her. Here's another picture with Pastor Jeff and and me with Carol or cheesy Pastor Jeff and Ricky and Emily, I want to look at Carol space is a big smile and laugh together. We smiled, we pray, and this is what happens when you believe you have hope and you have assurance even for the afterlife. Missing there's someone right now cruise around in a cool sports car with all the money in the world and are contemplating suicide. And here's a lady who is most likely at the end of her life on this earth. And she is joyful and looking forward to spending all eternity in the presence of Jesus Christ. That's quick off the car because so I want to remember in prayer. God would strengthen her be with her in a Special Way, #4 new believers need an example.
They need to see what a Christian looks like is he some things are taught and some things are caught to make sense. There's only so many things I can say from a platform teaching they need to see a Christian, like you, they need to see how a Christian drives.
They need to see what a Christian married couple looks like they need to see what it looks like to go to church with Christensen and what you do and how you do it. They need to see what a single Christian looks like they need to know what do you go to movies and what movies do you go to green American icon occurs, but it all apart from that they observe these things as Paul said in second Timothy 312, 310, there is no three twin 310 he says to Timothy, you've observed my teaching lesson. My conduct, my aim in life and my fate, so side just like teaching.
That's my conduct. It's my aim in life. If I think you've seen it in example and let's be honest now. Here's one of the reasons we don't want no new believers in our life. We don't want to change your behavior.
She can abide take a new believer with me. The church I will go to lunch after there with me. I can't gossip that I am a new believer with me. I'll probably drive the speed limit and I'll probably talk about the message and do things a Christian ought to do already. Maybe we don't want that added pressure in our life were missing out not only on helping them, but on helping ourselves is, here's the thing that can come a point in our life. We can actually be guilty of over eating women explain no Thanksgiving is coming and you know that because Halloween decorations are women Thanksgiving and Christmas and all comes in fast motion, but I like Thanksgiving because they haven't completely commercialized that day they call a turkey day you wanted, you know, diminish or, perhaps, but we sit around our tables.
We have prayer we had a wonderful meal and we all go into a collective coma for two hours right cousin electric Dauphine than the turkey would just know we wake up only stumbled of the refrigerator and reheat some more right so you know I love Thanksgiving but the last thing I want to do. I pray the big meal is go exercise.
Here's the thing we can be in the church were having the finest meals were studying the Bible together and obviously I want you to do that and we should do that as disciples, worshiping together and were learning together that's all great but if I don't have an outlet for what I'm taking in duck can be really problematic. I must give out. Would God give given to me or I can actually reach a state of stag kind of a spiritual obesity is called being sedentary you know you need exercise when your dog is fat right maybe that's because you push them around in the stroller and I have a word from the Lord.
I have a word from the Lord for you. The push dogs and strollers stop exercising. That's not a word from the Lord touches me, but fact is that the TV and fridge were not so far apart we wouldn't get any exercise. But here's the point we need to be giving out what God is given. This is the biblical principle. Jesus is in Luke 638 given you receive your gift will return the one fall press down, shaken together, running over, and poured into your lap and the amount you give will determine the amount you get back and I think this is a important thing to have a new believer in your life because they will energize you in a someone asked me in an interview recently what you like to do in your spare time and nothing about that window my spirit.
I don't have a lot of spare time, but I thought well. I ride my Harley occasionally and very occasionally at this point I serve once in a blue moon. Usually when I'm over at harvest, Lonnie. I'll get out there and even that item God every day.
So what do I do and I thought for a moment that I know I do my spare time I hang out with my grandkids. They look at me like Jan what else that's kind of it. I really like to hang around with my grandkids because you know what the energize me see I like to be with them and I don't make them enter my world.
I don't sit Dimino behind the computer in safe kids study these commentaries and give me some point know I enter their world.
I sit down to watch cartoons with them. I know all the characters names on SpongeBob SquarePants right and we go get ice cream and we go to the playground and I want some playing we talk together and and then we have interesting spiritual conversations to last night that a really interesting one. My granddaughter Allie was asking me about her rabbit that died will seek see the rabbit again in heaven, and then she wants to know so love a pet wolf in the covenant. All these great questions. I love them though that energizes me see that's good for me and it's good for us because some grandparents have houses where they have a lot of breakable thing one with the grandkids over because we are breakable things can I make a suggestion, get rid of the breakable things and invite the grandkids over okay and hope I will come over and just break those things will get.
This is one of the just okay you kids, and in the same way if we have a life that is not welcoming of new believers something is wrong.
They need you. Listen to this you need them. Why, because you will discover things you take for granted only on going to heaven. Oh yeah, you know the word of God is true.
Oh yeah, Jesus is coming back. Oh yeah, really because you talk about a new believer share these truths with them. They cared for the first time and they are so excited and you will rediscover it the first time a child tries ice cream. Remember our son Jonathan. I give my screen when he was a newborn. Kathy was slightly horrified. I think she was still nursing him and chides. I gave a meister. Why did you do that. I simply smile a little baby.
Then I give him a little thing outside under that I got to see that for the first time. First time a child sees no the first time a child walks on the sand at the first time a child discover something and that you take for granted goes in that wonderful deep they need you to stabilize them you need them to revitalize you because we begin to take these things for granted. As I said don't perhaps enjoy them as much as we ought to, and new believers are the lifeblood of the church and are also the lifeblood of older Christians. Some churches grow by church. Transfer growth.
Most of their congregants come from other churches harvest grows primarily from new convert growth and that is the best kind of growth. By the way, and some churches they might be more Calvinistic or more on the reform side not invite people to Christ in their services because they're afraid they're going to call the nonelectric price because they believe these people are predestined and they only want to see the predestined believing they don't want to give false assurance to the nonelectric.
I like what GDL Moody said years ago, he said, Lord save you lack and then elect some more okay. But here's the way I see it, God knows who is predestined. My job is to preach the gospel and invite people to Jesus Christ and will keep doing that and I don't have time to go into all these things, but among the beliefs of those who were reformed they would believe in total private which means that you're so depraved are so dead in your sin, you can't respond to the gospel unless you been predestined. I disagree. I believe God is given us a free will and ability to choose, and that's why so many versus appeal to the free will of man. Others would believe I in the reformed tradition that I've many friends were reformed and love them but I disagree with them on these points, they believe in irresistible grace of God's calling you. You cannot resist because you're predestined I'm sorry disagree. I think you can resist it and harden your heart against God because of many verses that say that then others would say will there's limited atonement. Christ only died for the elect. No I don't believe that I believe Christ died for the whole world and whosoever will believe in him can be forgiven of their sin. Those are important distinctions. Those are important distinctions. Harvest is not a reformed church nor we are in Arminian churches somewhat to your Arminians, and it takes too long to go to what all that means, but I know some reformed people or more passionate about evangelizing Arminians than they are about nonbelievers.
We are not Calvinistic. We are not Arminian.
We are little assists at harvest. We believe in what the Bible says and will go according to back so we believe in predestination but we also believe in the free will of man company believable because both are in the Bible.
That's what we believe both were an evangelistic church without apology and we want to see people that don't know the Lord come to the Lord that our passion so discipling roll called to do this. Nobody gets off the hook, nor should anyone want to get off the hook because this is a privilege, but it is also a responsibility. I think sometimes the reason we don't do it is because were afraid of failure or were afraid that that we will do a very good job at it.
Listen, you know, when a new believer needs more than anything else. They just need a friend they don't need a Bible scholarship your Bible scholar, all the better, but they don't need that. They just need someone to show him what a real living, breathing, Christian looks like if you'll take that new believer under your wing. Not only will you help them, but you help yourself well, called to do this but if were honest, a lot of us just don't and I think we need to ask God to help us because he's commanded us to go but what did Jesus say all power is given given to me in heaven and earth go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations wait I don't get that. Therefore, all powers been given on the me therefore all the resources you need are given to you. So go just do it enough talking about it. Just do it go lead someone to Christ help get them stabilize and do it again. And if you haven't done that, find someone is new in the faith and help them out and get them into your small group and bring them into your life and help them learn what it means to be a Christian and you watch them grow spiritually and I will have a revitalizing effect on your life and I would like to have a prayer now were all of us would ask God fill us with the Holy Spirit to give us a passion to do this so I want everyone to stand. If you would please review our standup. You're watching on a screen that means you to stand up to pray together, to pray for you and I would ask that you would pray a prayer with me. We are asking God to empower you in the Bible says you will receive power, after the Holy Spirit comes upon you to be witnesses unto me, and that's what we want to be witnesses.
We want to fulfill the great commission. So we need this power slips pray for it in our lives right now.
Let's all bow our heads. Father I pray for everyone here and I pray that we will seek to kill just do this that will take steps of faith and just initiate conversations and look for people new in the faith and do everything we can to help them not only for their sake, but for arts, so we don't reach spiritual stagnation. So we don't find ourselves going backwards instead of forward. Lord we can do this on our own. We need help and we need power and he promised us power to be a witness and we can ask for right now. Everyone I'm in a just lead you in a prayer not ask you to just pray this prayer out loud after me again as I pray just pray this, Lord Jesus you've called me to go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples, but I've not always done this, Lord, but I want to so I need the power you offer. So fill me with the Holy Spirit. Give me a holy boldness like I've never known before. Give me a burden for lost people give me a heart for those that are new in the faith, help me to make disciples file you for that prayer.
Now we all pray that you will seal it with your power and even today will just send cheerleading and look for those opportunities there are everywhere and what a joy. What a privilege it is to see people grow in the faith. The next thing to see them come to Christ is seen them grow in their faith to become spiritually mature urgent called us to do this. Help us to start doing it, we commit ourselves to you and we ask all of this in Jesus name