Discipleship

You know in preparing this service I found it challenging at times. I wasn’t too sure why but then I realised it was because I was reading things that told me that I was probably not the best disciple. I was confronted by this, as I like to think I’m doing okay. but we all have failings as none of us are perfect.

 And straight away I remembered an extremely humbling incident that occurred less than 6 months ago just up the road at the BP. If I remember right it was a Saturday afternoon and I was out the front just outside there with the kids playing. Leesh had just arrived home from work and as we were starting to pack up and go inside. leesh told me that an old guy up at the BP needed help changing a tyre. I got grumpy and took the attitude that it’s not my problem and someone else can go help him because I wanted to relax at home. This decision ate at me. It wasn’t very Christian at all. after 5 mins, I grumbly got up and walked up to the BP to reluctantly help this guy change his tyre.

Well, when. When I got up there, I saw someone already helping. It was Barry from our church. A man who has his own problems and life dramas. But he was already there l, hands dirty. He had stopped what he was doing to help a stranger, meanwhile, I was there because of the guilt bags I was carrying. It was very humbling. You see, being a disciple is not a checklist it is a continued learning experience, maturing in our faith coming to know Jesus.

By definition, a disciple is a follower, one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.

The term disciple comes from the ancient Greek word mathētḗs (μαθητής), which basically means “one who engages in learning through instruction from another, pupil, apprentice”

A Christian disciple is a person who accepts and assists in the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ following his teachings.

Paul in 1 Corinthians 11 states – follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.

Now I told the story of the flat tyre at the start, as part of being a disciple is recognising our sin

You also have to first believe. It is then we enter into a relationship with Christ following him as we mature in our faith and confidence of him. It is important though that we accompany our maturing with action.

A beautiful and profound example of this is found in Luke 5 vs 1 to 11. This is a direct narrative account when Jesus first calls his disciples. It is set on the North West Beach line in the Busy township area of Capernaum on the sea of Galilee.

Jesus had just arrived to teach the way,

SCRIPTURE….

Luke 5:1-11 NIV

Jesus Calls His First Disciples 5:1-11pp—Mt 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Jn 1:40-42 5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. [2] He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. [3] He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. [4] When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” [5] Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” [6] When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. [7] So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. [8] When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” [9] For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, [10] and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” [11] 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him

It’s important to realise what Simon would have been thinking.  He had already been out all night and had caught nothing.  He would have been feeling if anything frustrated, what’s the point. Here he was cleaning his nets, packing up getting ready to go home and Jesus says. Come let’s go back out.  Simon un like me with the tyre situation didn’t question.  He showed faith and trust in Jesus. And this faith and trust was followed by action. By Peter putting the boat back out with his crew and getting all the equipment prepared again we see them that the nets was thrown out and numerous fish were caught enough for two full boatloads. This would have been amazing a miraculous joyful moment yet Simon has gone to Jesus and bowed down on his knee and said go away from me Lord I am a sinful man with Jesus’ replying don’t be afraid from now on you will fish for men then they left everything and followed him. We can see here the making of a disciple. The trust/faith shown by peter at the start.  The action of listening to Jesus and casting out the nets. And the belief peter has in Jesus combined with the recognition of Jesus as the messiah and our apologising for his sinful ways. Just like I humbly apologised to God for not being a good Christian and cheerfully helping the man with the flat tyre. You be happy to know that I made amends cheerfully helping an elderly gentleman last week with a flat tyre and … I was in my work clothes.,

We see the first disciple story ends with their conscious decision to then follow Jesus. Leaving everything… and begging their learning journey maturing in Christ by his side.

I also want to point out that they did not use any bait to catch the many fish. Just like we do not need any bait to catch people. And they caught the fish at a time when fishing was not thought to be the best time.

Now with this knowledge we visit the great commission sounds in Matthew 28 16 to 20. Jesus reincarnated gave his final publicly spoken address to his follower’s disciples. He said – all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me therefore go and make disciples of All Nations baptizing them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the holy spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have to manage you and surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.

Now by comparing the scriptures we can see that Jesus has finished his teachings and instead of wanting us to come with him he now wants us to go for him and make disciples. It is clear this is all he wants as declared earlier in Matthew 16 18b we hear Jesus after tell Peter the rock, I will build my church.

It is now even more clear our job is not to build the church Jesus had already said.  That’s his job.  It’s not to build extravagant holy buildings and statues. It is to simply to go out into the world and make disciples, baptizing them through our continued learning and actions. teach them about Christ and Gods love and grace. I wonder if we get this confused being too preoccupied with building up the church.

As we heard Nathaniel read earlier to us from as we heard Nathaniel read earlier to us from Romans 12 the Bible passage known as humble service in the Body of Christ each of us has one body with many different parts and functions. For example, I have arms and feet that my feet can’t make me a cup of coffee like my hands 10. But my feet can walk me to the machine where my hands would do their thing.

Ice in Christ our meaning but Form 1 body with each of us belong to the other we all have different gifts given to us whether it be serving or teaching encouraging. In this picture we see many bodies achieving one goal to save a life. In Christ I meaning but form one body with each of us belong to the other we all have different gifts given to us whether it be serving or teaching encouraging in this picture year we see many bodies achieving one goal to save a life. Earlier this week I was called to a job where a 15-month-old child had been kicked by Horse. Since I arrived and saw for ambulance officers with two answers or treating his young 15-month-old girl. A short time later a helicopter arrived and two doctors got out as well as 2 more paramedics. They all joined the for-ambulance officers with this girl. There were now 8 people separate people working together as one I even thought at times, I were talking tongues as I had no idea what they were saying .4 of this 5 mils of this v signs are that. This one body of people stabilised the child and at one point use a special tool to drill into the leg bone of a child so they could set up a cannula as the veins in her prepared were too hard to locate. She was eventually flown out prepared John Hunter Hospital is doing well with only a small cut on her liver her biggest injury which will heal by itself.  These people all work together as one to save her life. funny thing is some of them I know for a fact are not even Christians yet here they are doing god’s work. 

In Eric’s reading of Matthew 5 it said to us be the salt and the light of the world a town built on a hill cannot be hidden neither can a town in a valley. next time you’re returning to Bulahdelah heading north on the highway at night time when you get to the Burdekin’s Gap area look straight ahead and you will see our beautiful little town lit up with lights in the valley. At home do you turn on a lamp and cover it with a box or a large bowls no you put it somewhere that would light up the room most effectively.

People today I’m looking for someone to follow be that lights be that salts become mature in your face to ensure your light is strong enough to see in a busy world preoccupied with self-fulfilment, greed and

We can ensure we grow together in discipleship by prayer not just by telling God that wants but by bringing to God open honest discussion of things on our start asking for strength wisdom guidance patients not just for ourselves but for others. I wonder what is a better prayer for a farmer currently in drought, is it a prayer for rain on his land or is it a prayer to ask God to work in that man’s heart and mind to give him strength and perseverance and to use this difficult hardship he’s going through to find and seek a relationship with god to help him know and learn God’s Grace and to have a confident faith and hope. 

Being a disciple, it is important to participate cheerfully in Christian practices of Sunday worship services, bible study meetings, the sacraments of baptisms, marriage, holy communion, confession, fasting, daily devotionals and Christian conversation. Don’t just come to a Sunday service and put God on the back-burner until the following week. Challenge yourself to do more. Start doing a daily devotional. Participate in Christian fellowship and meet for coffee and cakes.  Jesus was always resting good in the company of his disciples.    everything we do in God’s name is an opportunity to deepen our relationship with god. Don’t miss out.

Celebrate our faith and when singing, sing with your heart. if you haven’t sung like you’re in the Opera during some of our lovely hymns here on a Sunday you’re not living trust me try it brings great joy.

We are to practice our faith with equality we are all children of god he loves us all be compassionate hospitable for giving generous be a witness for others to ask you about our god.

Be a disciple requires us to learn and mature in our relationship with god it requires us to go out into the world to teach others about god and his love and Grace. It requires us to believe and have faith in him knowing he is with us until the end of age and most importantly he needs our action. By doing this we will make disciples and he will build his church.

Ask now here in this building are we a light covered by a large wooden box to the outside world. We are all here cheerfully and joyfully we are singing we’re talking with smiling we are being a light that apart from us who else sees that light.

I challenge you this week to do something for someone else as a disciple not for reward or fil favour and not because you have to but because you want to show god’s love and you want to help spread the mustard seeds like a net out into the Ocean of the world.

Matthew 5:12-16 NIV

Salt and Light [13] “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. [14] “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. [15] Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. [16] 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Romans 12:2-8 NIV

Humble Service in the Body of Christ [3] For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. [4] For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, [5] so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. [6] We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; [7] if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; [8] 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, b does it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it