George and Stella share how being part of small groups from the very start of their married life helped them tremendously and how today, they help couples find the best ingredient for any marriage.
The word “follow” have been used in many different ways. To some degree it has lost its meaning.
On Twitter, people follow Ashton, Britney, Katy, Taylor, Lady Gaga, Bieber, Barack, Selena…
Following these guys doesn’t necessarily convey a relationship with them – no commitment, no expectations, no demands nor requirements.
When Jesus gave a call, it was clear.
“Come follow me.” (Matthew 4:19)
He took it further by saying,
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, NLT)
1. Turn from your selfish ways.
There is a turning that is involved. It is virtually impossible for a ‘turning to’ without a ‘turning from’.
Who is at the throne of your life? Self or Jesus.
No one else can answer that but us.
2. Take up your cross daily.
Oswald Chambers says that it’s easier to be martyred than to die daily by picking up your cross.
To be martyred means to die for Christ and wake up the next moment in His presence.
To die daily is a more difficult task. But that’s what we’re called to do. Picking up our cross daily, not weekly or yearly, but daily is a consistent dying to self.
3. Follow me.
When we’ve done the first two, then following Him becomes a reality.
If Jesus had a twitter… will you follow? How?
I just got done meeting One2One with a new guy in church.
What excites me whenever I meet with someone who is just starting out their walk with Jesus is that they are literally like ‘newborns’ in the faith – enthusiastic, teachable and just the way they respond to the Word is so fresh and with such child-like faith.
When I met with William, his face lit up when I explained the Gospel again to him.
The Gospel is the one that changes hearts.
When I drew the bridge illustration and explained what Jesus did, he literally was in tears saying,
“Seriously? Jesus did that for me?”
I thought he would run out of superlatives but he didn’t.
It was so refreshing to meet with men who are so on fire for Jesus. Amazing.
Gotta love the “D” word – DISCIPLESHIP.
“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…” (Matthew 28:19)
(Blogger General’s Warning: Long Blog)
The year started with a word I felt God impressed in my heart – SHARPENING.
Then a conversation with Carlos Antonio sparked it even more.
I remember when my firstborn was about 3 or 4 years old, while in church talking to people, Pastor Steve set me aside to talk to me.
“Paolo, you’re a great dad.” (At this point, I whispered ‘uh-oh’ because I knew the sandwich principle was coming.)
“However, there might be some things you don’t see or even tolerate. What you tolerate, you’ll never change.”
“When your son runs around the main auditorium and don’t control him, you may not notice but others are getting distracted.”
That moment, I understood what he was talking about. It was tough to hear but as a new dad, I needed to hear it.
Since then, as a parent, leader and pastor, I’ve received numerous ‘feedback’ which now I am thankful for because it has helped me grow along the way.
Three verses come to mind.
1. Iron sharpens iron. (Prov. 27:17)
If we want to stay on the cutting edge of life, there will be friction. Sparks will fly. But it will be for the purpose of sharpening.
Once you stop being open to sharpening, that’s when we get dull. Once that happens, we stop growing.
2. Open rebuke is better than hidden love. (Prov. 27:5)
You’d prefer people tell you upfront than them talk about it behind your back.
Pride is the number 1 enemy of correction. We immediately dismiss it by saying, “well… I’m not the only one who does it.” Or worse, we whisper under our breath saying, “I’m sure you’ve done this before too.”
But does that mean the correction is invalid? By no means.
Pride is definitely a hindrance to receiving correction. It really goes before a fall.
3. Speak the truth in love. (Eph. 4:15)
While this maybe the manner, it should also be the motivation.
The manner we should bring the ‘sharpening’ is to be with love. Jesus came full of grace and truth. Grace first before truth.
It’s not just the manner but also the motivation. The reason why we give the feedback or correction is because we love the person. We want that person to not stay the same way but to continue to grow and mature in his faith and in life.
The next time a person comes and gives correction, remember what Proverbs 12:1 says, “Anyone who loves learning accepts correction,but a person who hates being corrected is stupid.”
Two weekends ago, we had our Leaders Appreciation 2010. It was fantastic. Pastor Dennis led the charge with Mae Perez working on the production/logistics. (BTW, what a team)
That day, we unvelied “JUST ONE”. The battle cry for next year is that each leader lead/train/raise even JUST ONE leader (to go through one2one, Victory Weekend, Making Disciples Training and Training for Victory). So by the end of 2011, we are trusting God to double the number of our Victory Group leaders.
Can this be done in one year? I believe so. Many if not all that came that not thought so too. With God’s grace and us working together, we can continue to see God’s kingdom advance in 2011 as we honor God and make disciples.
Here are a few pictures of what happened that evening.
“Disciple making takes more faith than any other task of the church. Since it is top priority for God, it is top priority for Satan. No work of God’s servant draws more resistance than disciple making.” (Bill Hull)
This quote got me thinking.
We can think of 101 reasons why we can’t, won’t and shouldn’t.
With the latest trend of ‘draw-a-crowd-equals-success’ type of ministry, people are awed and ‘oooooohh-ed” by numbers.
If it was all just about the numbers, then why not get Piolo to preach every Sunday and have Gary V. sing the offering number? That way, you get thousands every weekend.
But is that really the goal?
Attendance doesn’t mean discipleship as being in Mcdonald’s make you a french fry.
Bill Hull is right. No work gets more resistance than making disciples.
Defocus … No focus…
There’s really no other way to make disciples than to make disciples.
I wish there was a short cut, but there isn’t.
The only way to see this nation transformed is if we see each one become one (disciple)… and for each one make one…
Jesus said to ‘go and make disciples’. That was His last statement. It should be our first order … each and every day.
Lord, give us grace to do what You’ve called us to do and be who You’ve called us to be…
Every so often, I would hear people talk about their small group (Bible study/prayer group). I love it that many are so involved with making disciples. At Victory, we are really just about 2 things: Honoring God and making disciples.
However, there are times when I cringe. I’m sure people don’t mean it the way I’m hearing it but it really just doesn’t sound right.
I’m talking about the phrase “my disciples.”
They’d talk about having a meeting with “my disciples” or fellowship time with “my disciples.”
Worse, they refer to the people in their group as “under me”.
Whose disciples are they really?
When we look at the Scriptures, when “my disciples” show up, it is Jesus speaking. Whose disciples are they? Not mine, not yours, but HIS.
John 8:31. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
John 13:35. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 15:8. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Minor adjustment in terms but a HUGE change in mindset.
“You are Christ’s…” (1 Cor. 3:23)