Discipleship: What does it mean to follow Jesus?

October 25, 2018 Dear Church Family & Friends,

I want to thank all those who fasted this week and those who attended the Prayer Meeting on Tuesday. It was an encouraging meeting. It was good to join with others for a time of prayer and agreement with God. We know that God is present whenever His people gather to seek His face. God is revealing His plans for us! There were several insights and discernment that came forth at the meeting that I want to share on Sunday. Overall, the Lord ministered His peace to those who gathered for prayer. He gave us assurance that He has the future of RCC in His hands.

This coming Sunday, we will meet to minister to God in worship. King David wrote, “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:2-4) Our authentic worship given to God is how we minister to Him. True worship is difficult. As American believers, the provision of the Lord for our sustenance, comfort and even for our leisure is over-abundant. Worshiping God in seasons of plenty is difficult. It is easy to overlook His abundance and feel as though we somehow deserve these blessings. Every Sunday we have the privilege to “reboot” our minds on this issue. As we acknowledge the Lord as provider our minds are changed so that we can see our true relationship to Him. God responds to this authentic worship. He is looking for worshipers who worship in spirit and truth. He tells us that He will “show up” for those who press in to know Him.

This coming Sunday we will start a new sermon series on following Jesus. The Bible calls this discipleship. Over the years, the word discipleship has taken on many meanings. The most common meaning that we ascribe to discipleship is evangelism. The Great commission (or last command of Jesus) in Matt. 28:19 is, “Go into all the world and make disciples…” This statement has often been interpreted as, “Go into all the world and make converts…” But a convert is not a disciple.

Jesus started His ministry by going around and selectively asking a few men to follow Him. He gave them this invitation: “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Basically, Jesus request to these men was was a call to come and walk with Him. It was an invitation to learn His ways and then become a person who is influential in drawing others. On the final day of Jesus ministry on the earth He commanded his followers to do just as he had been doing – to make disciples who would change the world. They were to reach out to others to bring them along with them to learn how to live as Jesus had taught them. The great commission starts with people who are following Jesus and living as Jesus did.

Following Jesus is a lifestyle. It is a daily and intimate pursuit. Jesus lived a life of intimacy with the Father and taught His disciples to seek God as a primary life calling. Discipleship is following God as Jesus did. In opposition to what we might think, this discipleship is not hard work but it does involve participation in activities that are not easy and and natural for us. It involves seeking God in ways that HE has chosen to be found. It is an exciting and life-changing spiritual pursuit of the living God. This is discipleship! More about this on Sunday!

See you on Sunday,

Pastor Jon Quesenberry