disciples

The First Easter

Jesus was crucified, dead and buried late on Friday before there was time to prepare His body for burial. We pick up what happened on Sunday, the first day of the week.

“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen. They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” Looking up, they *saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.

Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. And he *said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’”

They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

[Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.

After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country. They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either.

Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:1-16)

Maranatha (Come Lord!)

Bring Them Here To Me

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Ever seen a real and immediate need and know what should be done practically? The Disciples saw it clearly. There were 5000 men plus women and children and it was the end of the day (Matt. 14:13-21). This crowd had come to a secluded place to hear Jesus teach. But now, they had to go home but there was no food for the energy required to make the trip.

The Twelve came to Jesus asking that He send the crowd away so they could get something to eat. Jesus said to the Twelve, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat.”

Having already inventoried the available food for the crowd, the practical-minded Disciples said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”​

Jesus said, “Bring them here to Me.” He blessed the food and had the Twelve distribute the food. Everyone ate and was satisfied.

The Twelve picked up the leftovers and had twelve full baskets – one for each of the Disciples.

When faced with a need, sometimes the Lord does not do the practical but rather the supernatural to meet a shortage of resources.

He always exhorts us to “Bring them here to Me”.

Until He returns, Maranatha
stacy_finalblack

Joshua – Deuteronomy 31:7-8

Another wonderful guest post, this time from Camille Bishop

mentoring new leaders

Deuteronomy 31:7-8
“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be
strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that
the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in
possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you;
he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

What a strong exhortation that Moses gave to Joshua to lead, reminding him
that God would never forsake him. It is interesting to look back at the
history of the relationship between Moses and Joshua to see the basis for
such a strong word. The first mention of Joshua is in Exodus 17 as he takes
orders to fight from Moses. Next we see that Joshua has become an assistant
to Moses, accompanying him up the mountain of God in Exodus 24. Then we see
Moses in the tent of meeting to meet with God. In fact, after Moses
finished meeting with God, Joshua stayed behind in the tent of meeting
(Exodus 33).

Joshua was one of the twelve spies sent to examine the promised land, and
only one of two who had to faith to take it. In Numbers 27, the Lord
instructs Moses to appoint Joshua as the new leader. Moses commissioned the
younger man in front of the entire congregation, laying hands on him and
passing on authority to lead. In the first chapter of Deuteronomy, God
tells Moses to encourage and strengthen Joshua.

Is it any wonder that Moses can speak to Joshua so directly in Deuteronomy
31? This mentoring relationship represented years of working together,
building trust, gaining experience, growing in God, and learning to lead.
What a wonderful example of the practical nature of mentoring others.

May the Lord help us as we walk step by step with those whom He has
entrusted to us to disciple and mentor.

Jesus’ Call

Some of Jesus’ last words to His followers were in the form of a command. He said, “As you go, make disciples, of the peoples, teaching them to obey all I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20). He said this in the context of His position as Lord, “All authority has been given me in heaven and on earth” (Matt 28:16). So when the King, the Lord, and the One to whom every knee on earth will bow says something, it is priority. These are not optional words, nor are they to be treated as simple wishes for his undershepherds. These are words of action and words by which we will be held accountable when we stand before the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

To put it another way, making disciples is a big deal to Jesus. He did not say, give them content or make them feel good, but rather teach them to obey all I’ve commanded. The discipling process is not left to our invention, either. Rather, He shows us how to do it in principle. He was with them, patiently interacting with them in their struggle to believe and apply the truths He taught. He did not say, make them attend a church. A church attendee is not necessarily a disciple.

He said, “Make disciples.”  A disciple is one who obeys Jesus and follows Him. Disciples of Jesus are those who delve into the Word and obey what He says. Their heart, values, motives and character come more aligned with Jesus and His kingdom ways as they grow in Christ.

Many of us think we are doing right things in our ministries because we compare ourselves and our ministries with those around us. However, the question is “What does Jesus want?” There is a different calling for each of us. Our part in making disciples will look different from person to person and culture to culture. If He is Lord, and He is, then what He wands and how He measures ministry is what counts. The Lord HImself will evaluate us with how we did in making disciples.

– Excerpt taking for Stacy’s book, Lead in Light of Eternity: The Jesus Model.
For more information about Lead in Light of Eternity, or to obtain a free pdf download of the book, visit our website.
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