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Last week we began with the idea that as we pray for one God may very well call us to show His love to the ones we are closest to first.
Our spouse, our children, our Grandchildren, and friends.
With that in mind, in order for us to show God’s love and to grow in our maturity as Christians discipleship plays a key part.
Remember, the barometer of one’s maturity in faith is not, how long have you been a Christian.
It’s, how long have you been discipled and how long have you discipled others?
Throughout church history nothing was done apart from discipleship.
To be disciples, believers and followers of Christ, who make disciples, converting the lost and helping them to grow in the LORD, who then go and make disciples, converting more lost to Christ and helping them to grow in Christian maturity.
This is how the church grows!
This is how we build the Kingdom of God.
Building off of that we come to a few questions we need to answer: What is discipleship?
How can we effectively disciple someone?
How can we make disciples who make disciples who make disciples?
These questions usually feel so daunting, we abandon the pursuit of the answers before we even start.
We feel this sense of pressure: “Am I even qualified to this?
What if I fail?”
So we stop before we even start.
The truth is, if you are a born again Christian, you are qualified and failure is relative.
Can we simplify this, and if I can sound like a used car salesman, I can guarantee you will not fail in discipleship when you are: consistent, intentional, and Christ centered.
This is exactly what our 3/3rds discipleship is all about.
This is what our church is committing to.
We are going to commit to discipleship not because it is something I am passionate about or the Elder’s think is a good idea.
What makes the Christian church so unique is their desire to follow the footsteps of the first century church.
Believe, repent, be baptized.
Do not forsake the gathering together.
All Scripture is God breathed.
Be disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples.
Charles Spurgeon said, “All the flowers of the field, and many of the beasts of the plain, and now the very orbs of heaven, are turned into metaphors and symbols by which the glory of Jesus may be manifested to us.
Where God takes such pains to teach, we ought to be at pains to learn.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”
Tim Keller said, “Discipleship is not an option.
Jesus says that if anyone would come after me, he must follow me.”
Bo Chancey, author of Pray for One said, “Authentic disciples love God, love people, and [multiply] spiritually.
These are the marks of Kingdom-minded men and women.
They are consumed with love and purpose.”
Our church is committing to discipleship because the Church throughout history has been committed to discipleship.
Because God’s Word commands us, the Apostles teach us, and we need it to mature in our faith.
One day, I called Southeast Christian Church and asked to speak to their connections pastor and ask what they do.
Just to get some ideas.
I figured if they were able to get something moving in a church of thousands we should be able to make it happen in our church.
I spoke to Josh Brown, who created 3/3rds discipleship.
3/3rds completely changed my mindset to discipleship and Bible study.
I used to think hard nosed about this, if you are going to meet with people and get into God’s Word you need to put in the hard work and hours of study.
Josh has found a way to create a gathering which puts low stress on the leader while creating a quality time together.
In our 3/3rds group on Thursday mornings, we have not had a bad meeting.
They are always edifying and thought provoking.
Not because of me, but our group is consistent, intentional, and Christ centered.
Ross has begun a 3/3rds group on Monday nights at 6pm.
I will only have 3 points in today’s sermon and these points will mirror what 3/3rds stands for.
It is broken up into thirds, 1/3,1/3, and 1/3.
Our group meets for and hour and a half which if broken into thirds is 30 minutes each.
So, what is the first third?
The first 3rd is “Look back.”
In this we invest into one another.
We care for one another by first asking how their personal relationship with God has been this past week.
Can I just say, when you are in a group you trust and who love you, answering this question honestly lifts a weight off your shoulders every single time you meet.
Galatians 6:2 “2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
To have a group of people you know who will enter the fray with you and bear your burdens with you is a Gospel truth.
Christ bore the burden of sin upon His shoulders on that cross.
When we come alongside one another and bear each others burdens we are walking in Christ.
We are taking what He has done and begun to model it in our own lives.
Can anyone here say they have never had a need for another to bear their burden with them?
Your mother is sick.
Your husband got laid off.
You feel so far from God right now.
You will not bear anything alone when you are being disicpled.
We also do a “check-up” which calls back to the previous week.
When each 3/3rds group concludes we have a clear perspective in 3 specific areas” Obedience, Training, and Sharing.
So we check-up on the previous week.
How was your obedience this week?
What did God call you to walk in last week?
How did that go?
Can I share with you where I am at?
We read a passage out of John 14 and verse 15 hit me hard, John 14:15 “15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
The Holy Spirit both convicted me and called me to walk differently.
I love God and I want to be obedient.
But my obedience has been, Be obedient because you are supposed to be.
I am a pastor of course I am supposed to be obedient.
So just do it.
You know something, that has failed!
IN that time of prayer, which we will go through later on, it was as though God was saying, I want you to walk in obedience because of your love for me not to be obedient to prove your love for me.
Do you know what this does?
I cannot meditate on my love for God with out first basking His love for me. 1 John 4:19 “19 We love, because He first loved us.”
Every single Christian came to faith because of God’s great love for us.
He loved first and it is His love which changes the heart of stone to a heart of flesh.
Every week we ask ourselves, “In light of this scripture, what is God calling to in obedience.”
The next week, we follow up.
The next aspect in our check-up on is training.
Who is God calling you to disciple?
I will tell you, I am encouraged that those in our 3/3rds are called frequently to their spouse, their children, their grandchildren.
Interesting isn’t it?
“LORD give me one person to show your love to today.”
God points to the ones we see so frequently.
The one’s we all to often overlook, He calls us back.
Who is God calling us in training this week?
Who is God calling us to disciple?
The last question we ask in our check-up is, “Share.”
Have you shared your testimony or The Gospel with someone this week?
There are times when we are in our final 3rds where we have someone specifically God is pressing upon our heart to reach out to.
There are times when we do not have anyone specific so we, “Pray for one.”
We pray for God to bring anyone.
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