"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
Matthew 2:1-2; 16:16-19; 28:18-20; Romans 12
Is your church accomplishing what Christ has called us too?
Key point: We are called to disciple everyone, especially the leaders and pastors! The same message Christ gave must be our central message in the church today, not merely "feel good" messages, but targeted to those who are in sin and need a Savior (Acts. 2: 36-41; 47; 8:12; 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 15:24-26; 50; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5).
John the Baptist tells us that He must increase and we must decrease (John 3:29-30). If we refuse this vital call, God just may allow those hardships to come our way, breaking us down so we will yield and grow as His child. Just as a good loving parent will discipline his child, we will also receive discipline. This is not a personal attack; rather, it is a way we can grow and be better used by our Lord (1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 1:27; 1 Thess. 4:3; 5:23-24; 1 Pet. 1:5).
We have to be willing to be identified with Him no matter what the cost, as the rewards will be far greater than we could ever imagine!
So, are you willing to reduce yourself to the real you? The person as you are called by Jesus Christ to be? So that He is greater in character and precepts in your trust and faith, and in your obedience and application of life? Will you become less in your will, aspirations, lust, and sin? If not, what is in the way of God working in you?
We, as a Church, are called to preach as Christ did on Repentance to all nations (Matt. 3:8; 28: 18-20; Luke 24:46-47; Ac 26:20; 17:30) It is as needed today, if not more so, than in Jesus' time!
Have you submitted yourself to the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the Good News of the Gospel proclaimed by our Lord, His disciples, and His Word? If not, how can you lead in God's House?
Is church about your needs or about His glory?
Do you think much about yourself and a little about the things of God? How does this influence how your church is run and its influence to the neighborhood? John the Baptist was the road builder laying the path for the Lord. Great leaders point to Christ and make a path to prepare people to know and grow in Christ. He is already here. But, we can learn obedience, willingness to go all out in faith, and a willingness to endure extreme persecution for the Lord characterized by John. He removed the rocks of sin by tearing them up and exposing them, without fear of reprisal by the arrogant and prideful hypocrites. We are called to do this, too. He was indeed extreme, and God chose John to show a corrupt religious system its errors and point to the truly Righteous Messiah. I wonder if such a person would be welcomed in a church today? Such extreme commitment is considered foolish amongst the world, even with many Christians. We may not be called to eat bugs and curse pious frauds, but we are called to make paths, have obedience in our hearts, minds, and actions and--above all--point to Christ! This does take an extreme stand! Have you heard His call? Have you responded to it? Have you made a stand?
Discipleship is the primary earthly goal of the Church as a whole and for the Christian as an individual.
It is our duty, and the one thing Christ directly commands us to do (Matt. 28:19-20). In so doing, we will become like Him in character and share His outlook and concerns (Luke 6:39-40). We are never to make disciples in our image, like whom we are, how we think, feel, and act, but like Christ!
- We are to become His disciples!
- We are to be discipled!
- We are to disciple others so they can disciple others.
- We have the call to fulfill the great commission by making disciples, not just converts and pew sitters!
It all comes down to a decision. Will you facilitate to make faith real and impacting? Will we relinquish our pride and learn and grow? Will we teach others, or will we plant our rears in the pew, so that our only impact is our butt-print in that pew?
It all comes to the decision of whether we will make our faith real and impacting, relinquishing our pride to allow us to learn, grow, and teach others, or will we plant our rears in the pew, thus making our only impact our butt print in that pew! Let us make sure our impact comes from a life transformed and carried on to the people around us!
The goal of the Christian life is our wondrous fear and zeal of a friendship with Christ!
We start with Him, and we end well with Him. We are to receive His election, to know and pursue Him. He is the One we are to follow, not the ways of distraction and destruction. This is the wonder of simplicity that is to fulfill and sustain us. Our Zeal is to know Him and make Him known to others with clarity and honesty empowered by His Spirit, for His glory!
Without The Name we have nothing.
We, as His disciples, must make every diligent effort to observe ALL that Jesus commanded--and more-- to the best of our ability, (Matt. 28:20; John 8:31-32; 2 John 9), as well as stay free from the temptation and lure of materialism (1 Tim. 6: 9-10; 1 John 2:15-17)! The good news, besides that of His grace, is that Christ gives us His mercy and strength, providing forgiveness and ability to those in Christ (1 John 1:9 Phil. 4:13)! Our call is not just to do good things, but have a good heart! That means we must be virtuous in our thoughts, motives, and aspirations, with the best intentions toward others, as Christ did with us.
In our trust and devotion to Christ as LORD, we are expressing the consistent name of God with reverence in prayer.
We are to honor Christ and act in accordance to His call and commands, because in our daily life we are His ambassadors and product demonstrators, as we reflect His reputation. We are to never manipulate to get what we want or to satisfy our own desires for power and control which was considered the utmost of wickedness, because only God is to be in control and honored (Ex. 5:23; Deut. 18:5-7, 19-22; 1 Kings 18:24-32; 2 Kings 2:24; Psalm 9:2; 18:49; 118:10-11; Prov. 18:10; Jer. 14:14-15; John 2:23; 2 Cor. 5:20).
We are to give Glory to the Father. What we do in our lives with discipleship and prayer echoes into eternity. To praise God for all He is doing and can do in my life is our priority out of our gratitude. To be conformed to His likeness, to perceive before we receive. The key to a successful Christian life, ministry, and church is prayer. There is no way around it (Psalm 2:7; John 12:41; Philip. 2:11).
Jesus is the only One who can lead us to God the Father. God is the One who led Israel then and the Church today; pastors and church leaders are responsible for their part of leadership as our Lord demonstrated (Num. 27:17; 2 Sam. 5:2).
The Gospel must be experienced and be impacting before it can be used to make an impact upon others.
God's Word must first transform and "affect" us before it can be used to have an "effect" on others. The question for us is what blocks this from happening?
© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/