We continue this morning with the “Our Church” series. We started with “Love God,” then “Love People” and today we finish up the set with “Make Disciples.”
These three statements, give us our marching orders. Jesus told us to “Go and make disciples…” This mandate is called the Great Commission. We are to make disciples. So this today, I want to spend the bulk of my time encouraging this concept. Look at the Scripture with me:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
The very much resurrected Jesus is addressing His Disciples, in verse 16 He designates a meeting place, a mountain and the Disciples find their way there. In verse 17 they see Him and worship Him…but the scripture says that some were doubtful. Jesus assures them in verse 18 “that all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”
He tells them, and as believers, we are included to Go and make disciples. I want us to understand when we walk away from the building today or when we finish reading this manuscript; I want all of to know that we are to Make Disciples… I want us to understand what it means to “Love God, Love People and Make Disciples.”
I want our membership here at the Point to embody this mission statement. I have decided that Loving God is not that difficult. He has made such a difference in my life that loving Him is a joy. I love God even when I am not doing or acting the way that I should. The Holy Spirit is very quick to convict me of the wrong in my life. And because of His amazing love for me, I cannot handle the separation from a Holy God. So I obediently respond at the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and turn from sin and repent, I make things right. Because I love God, I do not want to disappoint Him.
Trusting God is something that restores me. King David understood this idea; he knew that restoration is a great thing. He wrote in the Psalms “Restore to me the joy of thy salvation.” David realized and we need to understand that salvation belongs to God. It is only He that can save, and He brings everything to the table. So we are to Love God! We are also to Love People!
I have had several comments after last week’s message; Many have decided that loving people is much more challenging than loving God and I would have to agree. The central question asked from the previous week’s message was “do I have to like people?”
We have to love people because Jesus commanded us to, but we do not necessarily have to like what they are doing. This problem gives us all the more reason to pray for these individuals who struggle with issues. We have to love People; we may be the only Jesus that a lost person ever meets!
The messages from the last two weeks are part of the foundation that brings us to the third leg of our tripod. We have talked over the past couple of weeks that a tripod supports something of value.
In our case, it strengthens the body of Christ here at the Point.
Today I want us to understand that our purpose as believers and as a church is to: Love God, Love People, Make Disciples. This saying is our aim, and this Biblical Purpose leads to our mission statement! We are working on this; we want to have our mission statement solidified by August 20, 2017. Our mission statement should be a reflection of what makes us unique as a church. Something like, To Love people and POINT them to an ABUNDANT life in Christ. Can I just say that making disciples will lead to an Abundant life in Christ? I believe this! I want to use the name of our Church this morning as my outline! (P, O, I, N, T)
Starting with the letter P. If we are going to Love God, the P would be to Put God First. He has to be our top priority. If we are going to Make Disciples, we are going to understand that God has to be first in our lives. Jesus told us that this is the foremost commandment. To love God, take a minute and evaluate your life right now. Are there things in your life that come before God? We are to put God first.
The next letter would be O. The O could stand for Offering Grace and Hope. We live in a fallen and crazy world. People disappoint! People upset! People let us down! If we are going to love people, we have to offer them hope. 1 Peter 3:14-15 tells us to “14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
Providing Grace is to love someone genuinely. Offering Hope can change a person’s life forever. In spite of what they may have done, God so loves them and we should too. We are to offer Hope and Grace. Do you love all of those that God places on your path?
Our next letter would be I. The “I” would be “Intentional Discipleship.” My dream is to pastor a church where God’s people are fully involved in the WORD! (This would be amazing) If this happens, we will truly be a lighthouse here in Jacksonville. Can I just tell you this morning, the word of God will change you! My prayer is that each of you will be involved in one of our Point Groups. Small group involvement has to be intentional. You have to plan on it, can I just tell you that we have some amazing Bible teachers here at the Point?
You need to be involved. Small groups offer the community dynamic to the body. Small groups provide spiritual depth and fellowship as you do life together. Studying the word together as a small group changes you because as the Bible teaches us that Iron sharpens Iron.
We have to be intentional, if we do not plan for discipleship, it will not happen. Being intentional means that we relinquish some control and get involved. This step would mean that you need to find a group, and we are going to make it easy for you. We have already assembled a great group of teachers, someone for every age group. All you need to do is plug in!
And the next letter is N, which will be, Never Quit making much of Jesus ( or never give up on people). The Church in the people business. People is what we do! We cannot throw in the towel until Jesus calls us home! A lost world needs to be able to look at us and See Christ. So many people are searching, you meet them every day!
Paul wrote the church at Philippi, (Chapter 2:1-11)
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Paul is telling them to be like Christ! He is exhorting us to make much of Jesus…every minute of every day! This action needs to be part of who we are; we should always have a word about what God is doing in your life. Making much of Jesus should be who we are!
The “T” would be that we are to Tell the world!
Telling the world was a big deal for Jesus, The last thing that He said to His disciples was “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Jesus told us that we would go on to do greater things, John te Beloved writes in John 14:7-15
7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
8 Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. 15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
We will do greater things by telling the world!