For openers...thank you brother Albert for sending morning prayers and daily notes of insight and encouragement. This is a type of media discipleship that is blooming. I am not fond of the lack of personal interaction. Still you have a disciple here.
How do you know? Your morning prayer email has changed the way we open our Blog talk Radio prayers. We have made the decision that you are 100% right in giving such praise and thanksgiving to Abba. We were encouraged and made the necessary changes.
All of this is the result of doing alot of deep searching during these past 3 months. And I have been asking the questions that we normally ask only in private; openly.
What does Real Discipleship look like in the 21st century? And I have had the privilege of hearing from those, who for a better lack of words...ROCK!
A new friend has been facing this question for the past several years. I thought that 2 years was alot...try 10! He is getting ready to walk it out. How? Faith.
And then Abba brought farming to mind. Every day on a farm there is plenty to do. Thank God for farmers the next time you sit at the table... How many of us actually own a field, prepares the land, plow, disc, fertilize, turn it over...again, then plant, water, tend, and then...prepare for the harvest in order to harvest? Seriously? This is alot of work.
With that said, there are 2 times each season when farmers are busier than others; seed-time and harvest.
This is not going to be a "prosperity" message. However; if we take this challenge to heart then we will surely be prosperous. The treasures laid up in heaven will be for His Glory!
Now, where were we? Oh yes...farming; specifically seed-time and harvest. No, this is not going to be a "prosperity" message. However; if we take this challenge to heart then we will surely be prosperous.
When Messiah walked the earth it was planting season. All of the preparations were complete and the “fullness of time” had come. Messiah was “planted” in the earth and when He rose first-fruits were with Him.
The barley season comes early in Israel. This is pictured in the Feasts of YHVH. First Fruits are celebrated on the morning AFTER the weekly Sabbath. Then the 49 days of counting the Omer, a picture of our daily portion of the Bread of Life, closes with the celebration of Shavu’ot or Pentecost.
Shavu’ot is one of the 3 mandatory feasts, shelosh regilim, where every male over 20 was commanded to gather together at Jerusalem. [Incidentally, First-Fruits occur during the 1st feast called Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles is the 3rd feast.] But this is for another day.
Let’s continue…farming. When Messiah died and rose again, he ascended twice into heaven. The 1st On First Fruits was to establish the harvest which was to come. He ascended the 2nd time 7 days before Shavu’ot/Pentecost. We are all familiar with what happened when Pentecost was fully come in Acts 2, right? If not this is your homework; find out.
The early believer’s had a sense of urgency about them. They were those who “turned the world upside-down. They were meeting daily and had daily fellowship. The shared their meals with gladness. No one had unmet needs. And they were breaking bread (communion) daily. Because of their fervor; Abba added to their number DAILY such as should be saved.
Biblical historians almost all agree, something happened during the 1st 100-150 years in the believer’s which caused them to shift or change. Exactly what that change was is not documented. Observation tells us that the tares were planted into the field by the enemy.
The wheat harvest has continued to grow in the field while the laborers have been, well, almost absent. Sure, we send missionaries to “Christianized” nations. This means we have not made disciples. We have made converts. A steady supply of missionary-pastors has been needed to maintain the converts while the number of unreached and unengaged has steadily increased.
Today, there is another “sense of urgency” stirring in the body of Messiah. More organizations are focused on reaching the unreached and unengaged than ever before. Still there are more than 2.5 Billion unreached.
The responsibility to reach the lost does not rest on the Gospel. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The responsibility rests upon us…today’s believer. We have the command to “make disciples of all nations (literally people group).”
What has happened? We have become comfortable in our “study-groups” or “home-groups.” We have become acclimatized; and it is time that we become uncomfortable. There is nothing wrong with our “groups” as long as the aim of the group is not simply gaining more biblical knowledge.
At some point we must realize that there is so much more than the newest gadget, the latest CD, or a new “method” to evangelize the already evangelized population where we live. Most “churches” thrive on transplanted, discontent sheep from another pasture.
We have seminars, self-help media, “revivals,” and “crusades” that make us feel better about ourselves. How do we ignite the fire that will transform nations again? What has been missing? Laborers. Laborers who are willing to do whatever it takes in order to reach the unreached. Laborers that understand we need to stop “re-supplying” Christianized groups and re-direct our efforts and finances where we can impact our world.
How will this happen? Real Discipleship is what is needed. The crop is dying in the field at a greater rate that we are harvesting. In the time that it takes the average reader to read this brief article, more than 100 souls will have slipped off into eternity; most without ever hearing the Gospel.
Now, what does all of this have to do with farming? Look upon the fields. They are ripe for harvest! And it is time to push away from our easy chairs, put on our work clothes, roll up our sleeves and get busy.
Real Discipleship Training does not belong in the university; it belongs in the home. It belongs in the market-place. It belongs in the field. The best way to teach someone how to harvest tomatoes is to show them.
This is why our Messiah told us to “teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Mt 28:20) Are you ready? Then let’s get busy. The time for “preparation” is over; now it is time for us to do what we have been commanded to do all along…Make disciples that make disciples.