Faithlife Sermons

The Making of a Disciple- Part VI- The Disciple's Opportunity

The Making of a Disciple  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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In the story of the feeding of the five thousand, we see the disciple's unique opportunity to be carry out the will and work of God.

Today we will continue our series on “The Making of a Disciple.”
It should be the goal of every believer to become a disciple and then to disciple others so that our influence is multiplied.
Our desire at HPBC is to CONNECT people to Christ and to His church/Help the to GROW in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ/ and then to encourage them to ENGAGE in the work of the ministry.
This process will not be effective for others until we embrace it ourselves.
Today we will explore another familiar passage as Jesus again interacts with His own disciples. The emphasis of today’s message will be upon the unique opportunity afforded the disciple.
The disciple of Christ has a unique opportunity to be involved in the work of God that is not afforded to the average Christian. The faithful disciple is the primary instrument which God has used throughout history to accomplish His purposes upon earth.
The disciples of Christ have the unique opportunity to...

Participate in the Work of God (Vs. 13-16)

Once again, here we find Jesus moved with compassion for the multitudes of people who followed Him. He begins by healing the sick and as the day progresses into evening there is concern among the disciples for the multitude.
The place where they were gathered was apparently remote and there was not sustenance to be found there for such a multitude of people.
The solution which the disciple arrive at is to send them away into the surrounding villages to buy food for their sustenance, but Jesus has another solution in mind.
John 6:5–6 KJV 1900
When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
Jesus could certainly have fed the five thousand without any participation from the disciples, but it becomes apparent that He intends on involving them in the work He is about to do.
Notice in verse 16 that Jesus responds to the disciples by challenging them to feed the multitude.
One can only imagine the disciple’s shock as they attempt to formulate some means to provide for the needs of the crowd.
Mark 6:37 KJV 1900
He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
Ultimately all that they could come up with was five loaves of bread and two fishes. Yet this would prove to be enough for Christ to take and miraculously multiply to feed over five thousand people.
Jesus’s desire was simply that His disciples would participate in the work. This is the unique opportunity reserved for the disciples of Christ!
What a joy it is to know that God desires to employ you and I in His work upon earth! This opportunity is not extended to all who believe, rather it is reserved for those who are faithful disciples.

Be a Conduit Through Which the Power of God Flows (Vs. 17-19)

The disciples recognized their insufficiency and were abundantly aware that on their own they could never feed such a multitude.
Then Jesus stepped in and worked through them to provide food for the multitude, multiplying the provisions they possessed.
All throughout the scripture we see God’s power operating through men yielded to His control.
Verse 19 captures this wonderful opportunity for the disciples as Jesus blessed and brake the bread and then distributed it to His disciples and they in turn distributed it to the multitude.
This is the perfect picture of what God desires to do in the life of every disciple. He wants to empower you so that you can in then minister to others.
Ephesians 3:20 KJV 1900
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
God’s power is unlimited and what a wonderful joy that He chooses to empower His disciples to carry out HIs work.
There is no reason that God could not work directly and bring to pass His will and work, but instead He has chosen to allow us the opportunity to be the conduit through which the power of God flows.
Another great example of this occurs in the life of Peter on the day of Pentecost.
Acts 2:41 KJV 1900
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
The three thousand souls which were saved were not saved because of the eloquence or skilfulness of Peter’s preaching but rather because of the mighty power of God which was at work on that day.
When you and I yield ourselves to the Spirit of God and seek to do the will of God, we have the marvelous opportunity to experience the power of God working in and through us!

Positively Impact the Lives of Others (Vs. 20-21)

The end result of this miraculous opportunity was that well over five thousand people who were once hungry and in need of nourishment are now filled and there were even leftovers.
These people’s lives were positively impacted by the power of God as it was manifest in the lives of the disciples.
When you and I commit ourselves to being disciples of Jesus Christ, we will have the same wonderful opportunity to see many lives positively impacted through our service to the Lord.
The disciple of Christ has the unique opportunity to make not only a temporal impact on the lives of others, but an eternal impact.
As God works through us, we have the opportunity to be a blessing to others in a wide variety of ways.
It may be that God would use you to provide for the physical needs of others so that you can then have the opportunity to speak to them regarding their spiritual needs.
It may be that God would use you to proclaim the gospel and to lead someone to trust in Christ for salvation.
It may be that God would use you to instruct and disciple another so that they can make progress towards spiritual maturity.
The impact we can have upon the lives of others through the power of God that works in us is unbelievable.
How many thousands of souls have been saved throughout history because some faithful disciple allowed the power of God to flow through his life?
How many missionaries, pastors, preachers, and evangelists have responded to the call of God because of the influence of some devoted disciple of Christ in their lives?
Let’s not miss the opportunity to make a lasting positive impact upon the lives of those around us!
The life of the disciple of Christ is one of unique opportunity. The average Christian makes a very limited impact upon the world around Him, but the devoted disciple leaves a lasting mark upon those he comes into contact with.
It is a joy to see God work in the lives of others, but do you not long to participate in the work of God yourself?
Do you not wonder what it must be like to experience the power of God as you yield yourself to be a conduit through which His power can flow?
Do you not desire to make a positive impact upon the lives of others?
The only question that remains is “Will you devote yourself to discipleship, following the Lord Jesus Christ wherever He may lead?”
This unique opportunity is reserved for those who by faith will not only trust Christ for salvation, but who will yield their lives fully to His control.
If you have never come to Christ in faith for salvation this is the first step you must take and if you have will you surrender your life to Him today?
2 Corinthians 5:14–15 KJV 1900
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
We must remember that Jesus Christ died for us not so that we could live for ourselves, but so that we could live for Him and make and impact upon others in His name!
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