The Mustard Seed
November 2013



Becoming Jesus' Disciple
(Part 3)
Who is best qualified to tell an unbeliever about Jesus: 
(a) a pastor? 
(b) a church member?
(c) a new convert who has recently come to faith in Christ?
Experience tells us that the answer is (C) a new believer, a "baby Christian."  Why?  Because these are the folks who are most excited about their relationship with Christ.  They have a fresh story to tell about their life without Him and the new life with Him.  They are not afraid to tell everyone they meet about His wonderful mercy, love, and forgiveness.  They want everyone to experience the peace, joy, hope, and purpose in life that they now have in Jesus.
Long time church members, folks who have been Christians most of their lives, feel intimidated by the thought of telling another person about Jesus.  "I don't know the Bible well enough.  I don't know how to answer questions about God.  I am afraid of offending people."  Isn't it great that none of those limitations inhibit new believers from sharing their joy.  Even so, you folks who have had no special training are more effective in winning people to Christ than your pastor is! 
The Bible has a wonderful story that illustrates this truth.  In Mark chapter 5 we read about a man who was so badly possessed by demons that they drove him insane.  He lived naked in the tombs, screaming, cutting himself.  His supernatural strength made it impossible to restrain him.  Then he met Jesus, and Jesus freed him from his tormentors. 
The local townsfolk heard about what happened and they ran out to see for themselves.  When they saw the man clothed and in his right mind, talking with Jesus, they became afraid.  They asked Jesus to leave.  As Jesus got in the boat to leave, the man wanted to go with Him.  But Jesus told the man, "Go home to your people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you." 
Whenever I read that, I want to scream, "No! Jesus, you are sending him right back into the situation that messed him up in the first place!  His faith is too young, too tender.  He needs to grow, learn, mature..."  Wrong me!
Two chapters later Jesus returned to that same area, and we learn what happened while He was away.  Instead of chasing Jesus away, now the people welcomed Him.  And since they had a friend who never had a chance to hear the man's story, they brought their deaf friend to meet Jesus in person.  (Mark 7:31-37)
When we look at Jesus' 12 Disciples, we see that they spent most of their time walking with Him, talking with Him, following Him, learning from Him.  That's all good stuff, which we also must do in our daily life in Christ.  But that was not Jesus' chief plan for them.  When Jesus first called the 12, and then again when He physically left them, He gave them one assignment. At the beginning He said, "Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people." (Mark 1:16)   Near the end, after His resurrection, Jesus commanded them, "Go and make disciples  of all people." (Matthew 28:19)  And on His final day He promised them, "When the Holy Spirit comes to you, you will receive power and you will be my witnesses." (Acts 1:8)
In this series we learned that (1) disciples of Jesus are totally committed to Him, and (2) disciples are attentive to Christ and His Word.  But here we learn our  #1 job assignment:  Seek people who are spiritually lost, and share Jesus with them.  In other words, disciples make disciples. 
You don't need to look far to find folks who are lost.  You don't need to become a missionary to far off lands.  Look around you.  The lost ones are your friends, neighbors, and perhaps even your relatives.
To you "old timers," who have been Christians so long that you have lost your motivation to share Christ, the Bible offers this advice: 

"Respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have, but answer in a gentle way and with respect. Keep a clear conscience so that those who speak evil of your good life in Christ will be ashamed."  (1 Peter 3:15-16 NCV)

~~Pastor Ron

To view live Signed Sunday morning worship, click here

You are invited to Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf in Silver Spring
Sunday Worship:  9:30AM
We provide free shuttle service from Gallaudet.
From time to time we post announcements to the Lutheran Student Fellowship by email.  If you would like to be included, please send your email address to Ron.Friedrich@gallaudet.edu
My campus office hours are
Thursday afternoons
in Ely 118.
Drop in and introduce yourself!!
Pastor Ron Friedrich

[Gallaudet Office of Campus Ministry]

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