Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 18, 2019
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 28:18-20
Holy Scripture gives us principles related to growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ:
Belief in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord gives you eternal life in heaven. Believe in the cross of Christ as payment for your sin. Believe in the resurrection of Jesus, as your living Lord—who is your life. By grace through faith in Jesus is how we become a Christian and by grace through faith in Jesus is how we grow as a Christian. Belief is trust. In the same way a child trusts good parents—so we trust our good heavenly Father. Believe God and His Word.
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Repent and Be Baptized
Repentance means you turn from your sin. Then publicly confess Christ in baptism. Conversion is a change of mind about God. Post salvation we love and fear Him. Our great devotion to God and our awe of His glory cause us to love what the Lord loves and hate what He hates—sin. We repent daily so we represent Jesus well. We confess our sin and receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is evidence of our faith. Our transformation within is illustrated by baptism without. Symbolically, we are buried with Christ in baptism and raised to walk in life anew!
“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).
Obedience is an indicator of our love for the Lord Jesus and His presence in our life. Our faith is validated by what we do. If we say we love Jesus on Sunday, but we act like He doesn’t exist the other six days of the week—is our faith for real? God’s will may be unclear, but we still remain faithful in what is clear. We trust our Savior with the next right step— obedience brings clarity. We say “I love You” to the Lord when we follow Christ’s commands. Love obeys God.
“Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23).
Worship, Prayer, Community, Evangelism and Study
Worship and prayer are our expression of gratitude and honor to the Lord and our dependence on His Spirit. Regular kneeling before God keeps us in good standing with Him. Community is accountability to Christians and evangelism is compassion for non-Christians. We are not ashamed of the gospel, because grace has covered our shame. We love the Lord with our mind when we stay teachable. Study to apply the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of God.
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47).
Intimacy with Almighty God is a growing and loving relationship. We are loved by Him, so we can love others and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey His commands. Our perfect heavenly Father takes our imperfect intentions and molds them into His will. Like a healthy marriage our love for Jesus grows deeper and stronger through life’s good times and hard times. We love Him when we don’t feel lovable and His sweet presence makes us feel loved. Most of all, because of our love for the Lord—we seek to do His will. Our love—loves what God loves.
“Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
Loving people is an outflow of the love for our Heavenly Father. We are able to love because He first loved us. Though it may be easier to love the Lord than people, our love of people is a reflection of our love for God. Thus, when a child is ungrateful—we still love them by showing them gratitude. When a co-worker is disrespectful—we still love them by giving them respect. Every day is an opportunity to love those we encounter with the generous grace of God. Love the discouraged with encouragement, the proud with humility. Love learns to love like Jesus!
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
The reason we disciple others is because we are extremely grateful to God and to those who disciple us, and we want to obey Christ’s last instructions before He went to heaven. Disciple-making is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit, but we are His vessels for discipleship. The best disciplers are faithful disciples themselves. Disciples develop disciples. Keep it simple. Pray for two or three hungry hearted believers who want to grow in their faith. Meet regularly for prayer, Bible study and accountability. Disciples are made as we invest our life in faithful Jesus followers.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Heavenly Father, grow me into a faithful disciple, so I can help grow disciples of Jesus.
Who has the Lord brought into my life so I may invest my life?
Regular kneeling before God keeps us in good standing with God. #disciples #wisdomhunters
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