Friday, December 23, 2011

The Power of Relationship Part II

If you haven’t read The Power of Relationship Part I, go there now.

Yesterday I compared the electricity running through a city’s electrical lines to the power we find in relationships. Today I want to talk just a little more about these relationships and a thing called discipleship.

When we think of disciples, our minds automatically envision the twelve close followers of Jesus: Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Lebbaeus (also known as Thaddaeus), Simon, and last (and certainly least), Judas Iscariot. This word disciple appears 268 times in 252 verses in the King James Bible and is defined by Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance as a learner or pupil. If we were to look at all 268 uses of this word however, we would see that Jesus had far more than twelve disciples. Luke 19:37 reveals a multitude of disciples rejoicing and praising God, and Acts 9:36 tells us Jesus’ disciples were not just men, but women, in this case Tabitha. Finally, in Matthew 28:19 Jesus commands His disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Conclusion- Jesus had many disciples and we are commanded to make more.

The fellowship I attend focuses heavily on discipleship locally and globally. One of our elders shared his passion regarding discipleship using the idea of a checker board and grains of rice. He explained that each square on the board represents one year and each grain of rice represents one individual. This individual
takes two other individuals, spends time fellowshipping together, praying together, teaching about developing a quiet time, and about sharing the faith. This process is called discipling. After about a year, each of these two individuals go and do likewise with two other individuals. If this process were to continue until all 64 squares were covered, you would have enough grains of rice to cover the entire state of Oregon 13 feet deep! In fact, he goes on to explain that by the 33rd year (or square) you would exceed the number of people on the earth!

Do you see how much power there is in relationship? Do you see how effective discipleship is? Jesus left us with a command that is not only vital to the church but completely doable. If each of us takes the time to share our faith, our testimony, our time with two others, we have the potential to reach the world for Christ in less than 33 years! We have the ability to make a difference in our town, our state, our country, the world, and most importantly, the Kingdom of God. I would love to hear how you are discipling others and what your fellowship does to encourage  discipleship. Please share your vision with us. And if you need prayer in this area, as I certainly do, leave a comment and I will pray for you.

“Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, a foal of a
donkey.’” So the disciples went and did as
Jesus commanded them.
-Matthew 21:5-6
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