We've had a lot of conversations at Point about the mission of the church directed by the Lord Jesus Christ to "make disciples." Guidance given to all believers. So, what does a disciple look like? What are we suppose to "make"?
Using one chapter of the Bible (I Thess. 1), we find this description. In verse 3, disciples are known for a life style produced by their faith in Jesus; they are motivated by their love for Jesus, and they endure the pressures of life because of their confident expectation that Jesus is coming back. Faith in what Christ had done for them by His substitutionary death (past). Living daily in the love of Christ (present). Looking forward eagerly to the Lord's return (future). Faith, love, and hope are three cardinal virtues that should mark a disciple. A life focused on Jesus Christ.
In verse 6, we see these people became "imitators . . . of the Lord" because they "received the word . . . with the joy of the Holy Spirit." A picture of radical life change in thinking and behavior as a result of fully accepting (receiving) the message of the Gospel and thus having the joy that can only be experienced by the presence of the Holy Spirit in a person's life. A sign of true conversion.
Verse 7 shows that the life transformation was to such a degree that they "became an example" to all others and (v. 8) they spread "the word of the Lord" every place they went. Not an organized campaign but a regular part of their normal life. They were doing so well that Paul said there was "no need" for the apostles to go to those regions! The new disciples were getting the job done! Disciples make other disciples.
The radical change is further explained in verse 9. They "turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God." This is called repentance meaning a resolute turning away from sin, a change of mind and heart toward sin and looking to God to enable holy living.
Finally, these new disciples turned from living for their own selfish purposes and lived every day waiting (V. 10) "for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come."
By Tim Brown
Read the previous Lent devotional here.