"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and 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 commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:16-20
All this week I have been leading you in an examination of discipleship. What does it take to make a disciple? What are the marks of discipleship?
Here are some we have identitified:
Disciples have faith evidenced by faithfulness.
Disciples are followers of Jesus. They have fully devoted themselves to follow Him.
Disciples are fearless because they live in the power and presence of Jesus. It is not that they are never afraid but they don't let fear keep them from obeying God.
Disciples are focused on fulfilling the mandate of Jesus. It sets their purpose and their priorities.
Disciples are fruitful. They produce spiritual results for the Kingdom of God. They reproduce themselves in the lives of others.
Disciples have a familiar place. They have a place where they can go to meet with Jesus and they retreat there often.
Disciples have fellowship. They enjoy fellowship with other disciples, with those they are discipling and fellowship with Jesus.
Finally, we see that disciples have a future. Because Jesus has promised to be with them always even to the end of the age, they can look to the future with confidence. The same power and promises and presence and principles that changed them into full devoted followers of Christ, will continue to change them and mold them into the image of Christ. It will continue to empower them to convert and cultivate other disciples. Their future is bright!
Also, their future is bright beyond this life. Once they have finished their assignment in their generation and in their lifetime, they can be assured of an eternal glory with Jesus and millions of other disciples!
Disciples of Jesus win at every level, a past that is forgiven, a present that is fulfilling and a future that is assured!
While the future of a disciple is secured, the future of the faith is not necessarily secured. Christianity is always just one generation from extinction. Discipleship is the hope for the future of the faith. If we don't make disciples in our generation, the future of the faith is at risk.
Jesus has invested the future of His faith in us. Is your future invested in Him? Are you investing in the future of others?