Blog Banners.001In my recent Japan bike trip with Ryan (click here to read about it), we were guided by Google maps on my phone. I would shout out directions to Ryan if we needed to turn left or right. When I would give an instruction, he would do it, not because it was a command but because it was a relationship based on trust.

Discipleship is following Jesus and helping others follow Christ. As we follow Christ, we listen to His instructions not because we have to but because we want to, knowing that He desires what’s best for us. This trust is based on the relationship we have with Him.

Discipleship is relationship.

It is a relationship on 3 levels:
Relationship with God.
Relationship with other believers.
Relationship with the lost.

If we are going to help others follow Christ, there are 3 choices we will need to make as we do so.

1. OPPORTUNITY OVER OUTCOME

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up… (Luke 19:5a)

Jesus had a mission. He was about to sacrifice His life so that mankind could be saved. It was important to get to Calvary but wasn’t so focused on the outcome that He missed the opportunity to stop and speak with Zacchaeus. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem but when He got to Jericho, He looked up and took some time to be with Zacchaeus.

Sometimes we are so busy that we miss out on divine appointments.

We miss out on divine appointments when we are quick to dismiss seemingly human distractions.

2. RELATIONSHIP OVER RULES

Jesus… said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19:5b)

During those days, there was an unwritten rule that they were not to eat with sinners and tax collectors. People hated tax collectors because though they were Jewish, they worked for their enemy at that time, the Romans. Moreover, when they would collect taxes, they would get more than required so they could pocket the extra. They were corrupt and abusive aside from working for the enemy.

Jesus stopped to speak with Zacchaeus. In fact, He didn’t just want to eat dinner with him, He wanted to stay in his house! People were wondering, “Jesus, what are you doing?!!!” This is not acceptable!”

But Jesus broke the ‘rule’ so that He could build a relationship with Zacchaeus.

To treat people the way Jesus treated them, we need to see them the way Jesus saw them.

I’m just grateful God valued me so much that He sacrificed His only Son so I can have redemption. I was insecure, lost and without purpose. Thank God for the gospel that saved me.

3. PEOPLE OVER PROCESS

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

Jesus had a process He was going to go through – suffering, death, burial, resurrection and ascension. But He wasn’t so caught up with that process that He missed out on the very people He was going to die for.

Why? Because lost people matter to God.

Sometimes, we can get so caught up with the process that we miss out on the simplicity of loving people. We are worried about the form, that we miss out on caring for people. We are wrapped up with the program that we miss out on the very reason why we even have a program.

I remember going through One2One discipleship with someone I met 2 and a half years ago. We initially started with One2One booklet. But because he had a lot of questions, we had to set the booklet aside to answer his questions. We tried to do the Purple book. We got to chapter 4 and it was helpful. But since he still had lots of questions, we actually went straight to the book of Romans. The process is important but sometimes, we have to ask God for wisdom what tool to use because people are more important than the process. Finally, after 2 years, we finished one2one and he was able to go through Victory Weekend this past March.

Jesus stopped to encounter Zacchaeus. He had a process to go through but He didn’t let that stop Him from spending time with the very people He was about to die for. Why? It’s because lost people matter to God.

I love how Joey Bonifacio put it:

God who is most valuable, so valued us that He gave us Jesus who is most valuable to Him.

As we continue to honor God and make disciples, may we do it with zeal coupled with sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the compassion of Jesus.

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Today marks the unofficial start of our Every Nation Campus Conference dubbed as “Ignite. We had 3 amazing speakers starting with Pastor Wayne Alcorn from Hope Centre Australia followed by Pastor Jeff Dacumos from Victory Metro East and Pastor Ferdie Cabiling of Victory Ortigas.

Here are my 10 take aways from today’s sessions:

1. Before change happens around you, it first has to happen in you. – Wayne Alcorn

2. Self awareness is a leadership gift. When we know who we are, we are able to lead from a place of security. – Wayne Alcorn

3. If you were charged due to being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? – Wayne Alcorn

4. When you understand the “why”, every other “what” makes sense. – Wayne Alcorn

5. Why do preachers want to sing and singers want to preach? Just be comfortable with who God made you to be. – Wayne Alcorn

6. Horses reproduce horses. Ducks reproduce ducks. Leaders reproduce leaders. – Wayne Alcorn

7. Be the leader you want to reproduce. What you are is what you’ll reproduce. – Wayne Alcorn

8. Pastor Jeff Dacumos told a powerful story on discipleship and leadership development. Michaelangelo, when asked about he is able to work on sculpting his famous work, “David”. How was he able to see a sculpture out of a plain old big rock. His answer?

“I just take out the parts that don’t look like David.”

9. Pastor Ferdie Cabiling was his usual fiery sermonator that he is.

God uses different personality types to reach people for Christ

1.Confrontational
2. Intellectual
3. Testimonial
4. Relational
5. Invitational
6. Serving

But whatever personality you have, God can use you to tell the greatest story ever told.

10. Sharing your faith doesn’t have to be complicated. Just share how Jesus changed your life. – Ferdie Cabiling

Have you ever lost or misplaced something valuable?

I have. Several times.

And when we do, we take the whole day if necessary to look for what we’ve misplaced. Why? Because it’s valuable to us. The value we place on an item will determine the extent of effort we are going to put in to search for it. If it was a mere safety pin or paper clip, it won’t bother us one bit. But if it was our wallet that had our credit cards and driver’s license, then we will search the whole house to look for it.

When God asked Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” It wasn’t because He didn’t know where they were. He was asking, “Where are you in terms of our relationship?” To this day, He still asks and to this day He is seeking. Why? It is because God is a Seeker and a Saver. Luke 19:10 says that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.

The word lost can be offensive. And there are 3 kinds of lost. First, there are those who are lost but don’t know they are. Secondly, there are those who pretend they’re not lost. (Ask husbands who drive around for hours getting in an argument with their wives and still not admitting they’re not lost.) Thirdly, there are those who don’t even care if they’re lost.

Jesus searched for Zacchaeus. Initially, Zacchaeus was curious to find out about this Jesus. Little did he know that it was Jesus that was seeking for him.

Here’s the message from yesterday’s second installment from our series entitled “Simple.”

In a social networking world, we can actually “follow” someone without actually having a relationship with them. I can tell you that Katy Perry who has the most Twitter followers in the world (about 62M) is now in Milan Italy and that she is enjoying the Italian tapas. However, that doesn’t mean I know her personally.

There are many who “follow” Jesus the way they would Katy Perry. The call to follow Him is not the twitter-follow kind. The word used was a present imperative which denotes continuity and is an ongoing command. It’s as if He’s saying, “Keep following Me. Do it on an ongoing basis to your last breath.”

FOLLOWING JESUS HAS A COST.

Someone came to Jesus and said, “I will follow You wherever You go.” He was ecstatic because he just saw 5000 people got fed with 2 fish and 5 loaves.

Jesus replied by saying, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58)

In effect, He was telling the guy that it will be inconvenient. He will be pulled out of his comfort zone. We are not told if the guy continued in following Christ.

FOLLOWING JESUS WILL CHANGE OUR PRIORITIES.

After His conversation, Jesus turned to another and said, “Follow Me.”

The 2nd guy’s reply was this. “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60)

Was Jesus being mean? This guy’s dad just died!

Here’s the thing.
Number 1, his dad wasn’t dead. Jewish custom requires immediate burial for the person who just passed away. Number 2, Jewish tradition tells us that mourning takes 30 days. In other words, he wouldn’t even be there if his dad was dead.

In effect, what he was saying was this, “Lord, I need to wait and bury my father and wait for my inheritance. You already said it will be inconvenient. If I get my inheritance, then at least, I have a fallback.”

Following Jesus will change our priorities.

FOLLOWING JESUS WILL REQUIRE TOTAL COMMITMENT

The 3rd guy comes and tells Jesus that he will follow Him.
Jesus says something similar and said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, there’s no looking back.

Responding to Christ is not a matter of emotion. It’s not a matter of an event. It’s not a matter of a momentary decision. It is total self-sacrifice… total commitment.

The following is the testimony of Vanessa who made a decision to follow Jesus. When she did, she understood that it had a cost, it will change her priorities and require total commitment.

As a member of the Every Nation family, Victory gathers together with other churches in the region for our version of APEC – Asian Pastors Equipping Conference.

This year’s theme was “100 Years From Now” held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was a fresh take on the core values we have as a church movement.

1. Lordship
2. Evangelism
3. Discipleship
4. Leadership
5. Family

The following are the tweets I posted this week while Jenn and I were in APEC. These were some of the myriad of take-aways we had.

The starting point of everything is the honor of God. – Steve Murrell

 

Follow the pattern. Guard the good deposit. – Steve Murrell on 2 Timothy 1:13-14

 

Jesus is my Lord not because I have no choice but because it is a logical choice for He is in absolute control. – Timothy Lo.

 

Prayer is important because where there’s great opportunity comes great opposition. – Manny Carlos

 

Mission draws us together.
Relationship keeps us together.
Doctrine is worked out together.
Experience is judged together. – Steve Murrell

 

No to entitlement. Just be thankful you are part of the game. – Jun Escosar

 

Our sons don’t need our lessons but our presence. – Rod Plummer

 

On building teams: Some activities are too dangerous to do alone like law enforcement, scuba diving and ministry! Build a team. – Steve Murrell

 

To be a leader, you need to build a team, lead the team and trust the team. – Steve Murrell

 

You’re the leader not necessarily because you’re the smartest. Maybe it’s just because you got there first. Stay humble. – Steve Murrell

 

Character is built by grace and faith but greatly in the midst of suffering.. – Joey Bonifacio

 

Your wife will be the heart of the home when she is in the heart of her husband. – Eddie Asato

 

Build your family to honor God and His word. – Eddie Asato

 

God is more at work in our children’s lives more than we could ever be. He loves them more than we could ever love them. – Eddie Asato