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March 2, 2020

 

The Joy of Committed Disciples !

My Dear Friend,

     What a blessing it is when committed disciples join your church! Every Christian is welcome but not every Christian comes to add, to help, to work.

     True Christian disciples - deeply serious, irrevocably committed, self-disciplined, student-followers of the Son of God - add incalculable spiritual value to the core of your church's kingdom ministries and works. Let's explore the ways they do so.

     Committed Christian disciples don't have to be reminded to study their Bible. They're eager to search the Scriptures every morning, and evening, and whenever they can. They don't have to be urged to seek Jesus "first" (Matthew 6:33). They have already made Him their first priority in every decision every day.

     They don't have to be reminded to pray. They "pray without ceasing" and "cast all their care" upon Christ by habit (1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Peter 5:7). You don't have to ask them to support the work. They come with tithes and offerings in hand because they don't want to "muzzle the mouth" of the ministers and elders who are feeding them God's Word (1 Corinthians 9:9).

     You don't have to worry if they'll attend meetings regularly. They always show up ready to learn, ready to give, ready to help, ready to worship. You don't have to remind them they can't walk in sin and walk with the Savior simultaneously. They learned and accepted that long ago and now gladly "walk in the light as He is in the light" (1 John 1:7).

     You don't have to worry if they'll be envious or offended if you ask them to take a humble or hidden part of the church's ministry. They're ready to do whatever task or part they're given, noticed or unnoticed, more desirable or less, "as unto the Lord" (Colossians 3:23). You don't need to remind them of the importance of walking in love with others in the church. They're very mindful of Jesus' prime command and are committed to "love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34-35).

     You don't have to wonder if they'll be quick to take offense over the slightest things. They've come looking not to be honored and favored but to honor and favor - forgiving, overlooking, and bearing with others. You don't need to constantly warn them how important it is for them to submissively trust and obey God in their daily tests of faith and patience. They already know the imperative of being "doers of the Word" (James 1:22), having enduring faith (Revelation 3:10), and letting Christ reshape their character after His own.

     Though intelligent, curious, and diligent students, you don't have to counsel them to trust the wisdom of God's Spirit more than their own reasoning. They know well God's thoughts and ways are higher than theirs and have learned to "lean not to their own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5-6) and obey by faith, even when God's clear guidance, though perfectly wise, seems perfectly foolish, ineffective, and bound to fail. You don't need to be concerned they may reject the teachings the Spirit leads you to share on the unpleasant or controversial Bible texts. They want to know not just the lighter but also the "weightier matters" of Christianity (Matthew 23:23) and are ready to receive, believe, and obey anything truly biblical.

     You don't have to worry about them abandoning their post and ministry when the going gets rough. They've already learned that following Jesus means carrying their own cross of rejection, hardship, or loss daily and don't expect the way to be easy. You don't need to worry about them rising up to draw others after themselves, creating cliques and divisions. They're not proud troublemakers but humble peacemakers, always helping mend rifts and encouraging offended or wronged parties to see things spiritually, forgive, and maintain vital spiritual unity.

     Now let me clarify: any soul entrusted to the care and fellowship of your church is a blessing. But those described above are special. They are the kinds of believers upon and with whom Christ builds churches and ministries that touch and change individuals, families, cities, nations, the world - and throw hell into a panic!

     Yes, these kinds of Christian disciples - Timothys, Aquilas and Priscillas, Epaphrases, and others of their mold - are rare and precious gems from God's treasure chest. One of them is of greater value to the life, spiritual power, and growth of a church than many saved but uncommitted Christians. Will you, will I, be that one?

     And when Christ is kind enough to share them with us, my fellow ministers and elders, let us not take it for granted or fail to offer Him due praise and worship. Rather, let us rejoice, let us give thanks, and let us stride forward together with them to higher ground, wider works, more of Christ, more of His Spirit, and more eternal fruit for His kingdom.

Rejoicing,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645