TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, November 29, 2018:
To teach, train and convert into a true follower; Christian discipleship is the process by which believers grow in the Lord Jesus and are equipped by the Holy Spirit to become more like Christ.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Discipleship is the process by which believers grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit to overcome the pressures of Satan’s temptations and worldly desires. It is an ongoing process of becoming more and more Christ-like.
Jesus gave all believers the command to go and disciple new believers in the Word of God. The verse above is the commission of Jesus to His disciples and all believers after His resurrection and before He returned to heaven. This commission from Jesus to His disciples began with the command to reach the unbeliever and lead them to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
But it does not end there. This commission included that they were to teach (disciple) every new convert how to live Christ-like lives and how to share their belief until the return of the Lord.
Jesus knew that all new believers would need encouragement and instruction from more mature believers to become effective disciples. When Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Jesus provided someone to disciple him. The believer that God chose to disciple Paul was a simple unknown believer named Ananias who lived in Damascus.
God called on Ananias right where he lived. Although Ananias was fearful to meet Paul because he knew Paul had come to Damascus to capture the believers and take them as prisoners back to Jerusalem. Ananias went and found Paul as God had instructed. In obedience to the Holy Spirit, Ananias greeted Paul lovingly. The traits that Ananias possessed were exactly what Paul needed.
We need to understand that God is looking for people like each one of us, to disciple new believers and He wants us to study and know God’s Word and be in fellowship with Him so we are prepared to help new believers.
Ananias was obviously a Godly man and devoted to the Lord. Ananias was also very sensitive to the call of God because he communicated daily with God through prayer. When God called him, he knew the voice of God and was prepared to follow what God wanted him to do. God chose Ananias to disciple Paul because Ananias was spiritually prepared and submissive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
God told Ananias what Paul needed to be taught. Ananias encouraged Paul to know, without any doubt in his mind, that he was a chosen vessel, a chosen instrument of God. This is also true for everyone that is reading this devotional today. God has the same message for us that He had for Ananias to give to Paul.
You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain. John 15:16.
A special word to parents: It is important, as we learned, to disciple your children at an early age. If they are older and you have not been teaching them about God’s Word begin today. Discipling means to lead them in reading the Bible and discussing what they read and praying with them. You will see a change in the lives of your children as they learn more about their Lord and His desires for them. As you disciple your children you cannot help but grow in your relationship with the Lord as well.
As believers we must be daily preparing our hearts and minds by reading God’s Word and spending time in prayer so that we are ready to make disciples of others and instruct them so that they will become true disciples for Jesus.
We never know whom Jesus may call on us to disciple. Ananias could not have begun to imagine when he was discipling Paul how great an impact Paul would have on the spread of the gospel throughout the world in the first century. Paul is still impacting the world today through the letters he wrote which are now part of the New Testament.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Psalm 33:8.
Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
Guide me in discipling my children to grow in the knowledge of Your Word and give them the desire to be obedient to Your commandments. Give me the wisdom and dedication to study and apply Your Word to my life. Bless my family and make us all disciples that can be used to be a blessing to others.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution and Ministry Director for World Bible Society, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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