Tag Archives: disciples

Major Themes LXXIII – Forgiveness


LUKE 6:1-49 CEVDCUS06
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One Sabbath when Jesus and his disciples were walking through some wheat fields, the disciples picked some wheat. They rubbed the husks off with their hands and started eating the grain.  Some Pharisees said, “Why are you picking grain on the Sabbath? You’re not supposed to do that!”    Jesus answered, “You surely have read what David did when he and his followers were hungry.  He went into the house of God and took the sacred loaves of bread that only priests were supposed to eat. He not only ate some himself, but even gave some to his followers.”  Jesus finished by saying, “The Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath.”  On another Sabbath Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, and a man with a paralyzed right hand was there. Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses kept watching Jesus to see if he would heal the man. They did this because they wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong.  Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he told the man to stand up where everyone could see him. And the man stood up. Then Jesus asked, “On the Sabbath should we do good deeds or evil deeds? Should we save someone’s life or destroy it?”  After he had looked around at everyone, he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did, and his bad hand became completely well.  The teachers and the Pharisees were furious and started saying to one another, “What can we do about Jesus?”  About that time Jesus went off to a mountain to pray, and he spent the whole night there. The next morning he called his disciples together and chose twelve of them to be his apostles. One was Simon, and Jesus named him Peter. Another was Andrew, Peter’s brother. There were also James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus. The rest of the apostles were Simon, known as the Eager One,  Jude, who was the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus.  Jesus and his apostles went down from the mountain and came to some flat, level ground. Many other disciples were there to meet him. Large crowds of people from all over Judea, Jerusalem, and the coastal towns of Tyre and Sidon were there too. These people had come to listen to Jesus and to be healed of their diseases. All who were troubled by evil spirits were also healed. Everyone was trying to touch Jesus, because power was going out from him and healing them all.  Jesus looked at his disciples and said: God will bless you people who are poor. His kingdom belongs to you!  God will bless you hungry people. You will have plenty to eat! God will bless you people who are now crying. You will laugh!    God will bless you when others hate you and won’t have anything to do with you. God will bless you when people insult you and say cruel things about you, all because you are a follower of the Son of Man.  Long ago your own people did these same things to the prophets. So when this happens to you, be happy and jump for joy! You will have a great reward in heaven.  But you rich people are in for trouble. You have already had an easy life!  You well-fed people are in for trouble. You will go hungry! You people who are laughing now are in for trouble. You are going to cry and weep!  You are in for trouble when everyone says good things about you. That is what your own people said about those prophets who told lies.  This is what I say to all who will listen to me: Love your enemies, and be good to everyone who hates you. Ask God to bless anyone who curses you, and pray for everyone who is cruel to you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, don’t stop that person from slapping you on the other cheek. If someone wants to take your coat, don’t try to keep back your shirt. Give to everyone who asks and don’t ask people to return what they have taken from you.  Treat others just as you want to be treated.  If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them. If you are kind only to someone who is kind to you, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners are kind to people who are kind to them. If you lend money only to someone you think will pay you back, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners lend to sinners because they think they will get it all back.    But love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting to be paid back. Then you will get a great reward, and you will be the true children of God in heaven. He is good even to people who are unthankful and cruel. Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you.  Jesus said: Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you. If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.    Jesus also used some sayings as he spoke to the people. He said: Can one blind person lead another blind person? Won’t they both fall into a ditch?  Are students better than their teacher? But when they are fully trained, they will be like their teacher.  You can see the speck in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the log in your own eye. How can you say, “My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,” when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You show-offs! First, get the log out of your own eye; then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend’s eye.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.  You can tell what a tree is like by the fruit it produces. You cannot pick figs or grapes from thornbushes.  Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts, but bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts. Your words show what is in your heart.  Why do you keep on saying that I am your Lord, when you refuse to do what I say? Anyone who comes and listens to me and obeys me is like someone who dug down deep and built a house on solid rock. When a flood came and the river rushed against the house, it was built so well that it didn’t even shake. But anyone who hears what I say and doesn’t obey me is like someone whose house wasn’t built on solid rock. As soon as the river rushed against that house, it was smashed to pieces!

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Billy Graham spoke about the Great Commission


MATTHEW 28:19 NIV – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Meeting Spiritual Needs

Christian missions is unique in the aggressive movements of history. Christianity in its pure form has no “axe to grind,” no system to foster, and no profit motivation. Its job is simply to “seek and to save that which is lost.” Nothing more, nothing less. The words “apostle” and “missionary” mean the same thing: “One who is sent.” The word apostle is from the Greek; and the word missionary is from the Latin.

The New Testament is a book of missions. The Gospels tell of Jesus’ missionary accomplishments, and the Acts tell of the missionary endeavors of the apostles. The disciples were launched into the world by the power of the resurrection, and the Gospel made its impact upon the world’s people. Peter went to Lydda, Joppa, Antioch, Babylon, and Asia Minor. John went to Samaria, Ephesus, and to the cities on the Mediterranean. Thomas journeyed to far away India. Paul, the peer of all early missionaries, used the roads Rome had built to take the Gospel through the Empire. Today the need for missions is greater than ever before! The world is shrinking in size but expanding in population. We live in a world of conflicting, confusing beliefs! We live in a world of complex problems! But, more important, we live in a world of dire spiritual need.

Daily Prayer

Father, help me to be a light in this world of darkness, ready for each opportunity to share Your love with those whose spiritual needs are great.

Prayer of the Day – October 30th


My Master and Lord! May I know that you go before me as you went before your disciples. The sword pierces your heart before it touches mine, and the waves spend themselves on you before I am wetted by their spray. The heavy part of my cross rests on you.
Daily Prayers: A Classic Collection.

Before the Cross III


Matthew 28:18-20 KJVA

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 KJVA

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

John 13:34-35 KJVA

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

1 Peter 2:9-10 KJVA

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:  which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Romans 12:2 KJVA

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

Before The Cross: We Are Disciples

By now, we’ve read that we are sinful, but we can be forgiven through what Jesus did for us on the cross, which is great news! So, being that we have forgiveness through Christ, what do we do now? What does God call us to do as Christians?

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
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This is the last thing Jesus told us before He ascended into heaven.

We are disciples who are to go out and make disciples. We are to spread the Gospel to all people, wherever we are at. God may call us to go around the world or to go next door to our neighbor, but regardless, we are representatives of Christ who share the good news.

It isn’t our responsibility to actually change someone (only God can do that), but we are to love others and share the message. Jonathan Dodson says, “Disciple is an identity; everything else is a role.” We have a new identity as soon as we decide to follow Christ and wherever we find ourselves, that is where God has placed us to make much of Him.

As we love others and tell them about Christ, we help train them and show them how to do the same thing with others. We show them how to make disciples that will turn around, and make more disciples. This is how the Church will grow and more people will get the opportunity to hear about what Jesus has done for them. Jesus commanded this to all believers.

So it is as we come before the cross, for those who follow Jesus, that we realize we are disciples. We have a new identity from that point forward. We must be careful not to become prideful in the process.

The cross helps keep us guarded by humbling us…

Before the Cross II


John 3:16 KJVA – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJVA – For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Romans 5:8 KJVA – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Colossians 1:13-14 KJVA – who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.    In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

1 John 1:9 KJVA – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 103:12 KJVA – As far as the east is from the west,  so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Before The Cross: We Are Forgiven

If the story ended in the fact that we are sinful, that would be the worst news possible. It would honestly be depressing and what hope would we have? Thankfully, the Bible doesn’t teach us that there is no hope. It actually teaches quite the opposite.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Our hope is Jesus. God loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son for us. Jesus Christ came to this earth being fully man and fully God, lived a perfect life, died on the Cross (paying the penalty for all our past, present, and future sins), and then rose again from the dead defeating death and sin in Victory!

This is the good news. This is the Gospel.

As we come before the cross, we realize that we are forgiven through what Jesus has done for us. The Bible teaches that this forgiveness is available for all people, and that we need to believe in Jesus, choose to repent from our sinful ways, and decide to follow Him.

As soon as we do that, we are forgiven…forever. All past, present, and future sins are now forgiven and when God sees us, He doesn’t see our sin, instead He sees Jesus and what He did for us.

So now, for those who choose to confess their sins, repent, and follow Jesus, what’s next? What are we supposed to do while we are here on earth? We are to make disciples…

Before The Cross – Introduction


Starting tomorrow for 7 Days.

It is before the cross where we see who we really are, and who God really is. This 7-day devotional will walk you through a journey from the beginning, as we are all sinful, through redemption and what Jesus has done for us, all the way to Christ’s return and the glory of God. Each daily reading has devotional content and Scripture to go along with it. Before The Cross, we are sinful, forgiven, disciples, humbled, servants, powerful, and He is Glorious. It all comes down to Christ.

We would like to thank Before The Cross ministries for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: http://www.beforethecross.com