Read Matthew 20.17-19
“As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves…” (Matthew 20:17)
THE INNER CIRCLE
If you ask me to keep a secret, I’ll probably ask you if I can tell my wife. I don’t keep many secrets from Deb because we try to tell each other about everything that happens in life. That’s how close Jesus was to His disciples. He just had to pull them aside and give them the inside scoop on what was about to happen to Him for their sake and the glory of God. I know many of us have this kind of relationship with our spouse. But do we have it with men and women we are discipling? Is there someone we feel compelled to let into the inner circle for the sake of protection, instruction, or rejoicing? It’s amazing how affirming this act of trust can be. If you’re looking to build a special relationship with a few disciples, let them into the inner circle of your life.
Read 2 Chronicles 32.24-33
King Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received because his heart was proud… (2 Chr. 32.25)
Hezekiah was a poor steward. Like the One Talent Servant in Jesus’s Parable of the Talents (Matt 25.14-30), he squandered the resources of God. For some reason he was unwilling to multiply what was given to him and bring it’s fruit back to the LORD. And what was the reason? He was proud. His pride was the one thing standing between him and being a “good and faithful servant.” He incurred the wrath of the Master, just like the One Talent Servant.
But Hezekiah deviates from the tragedy of the parable. He diverts the wrath of God.
However, Hezekiah humbled the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD did not come on them in the days of Hezekiah. (2 Chr. 32:26)
He repents. When the king and his people humble themselves the wrath of God is turned away.
What did that humility look like? Well, if we think of repentance as an act of turning around, an about-face, he would have turned away from not returning. He would have brought the fruit of his benefits from the LORD back to the LORD.
Are we bringing back the first fruits of our God given resources back to God? Have I multiplied the possessions, relationships, strengths, time, praise, and even my identity in Him by making disciples? Or have we become so proud that we don’t even recognize that everything came from Him, belongs to Him, and that as stewards of His resources we should produce a return on His investment. And the wisest way to do that is by making disciples that make disciples.
Let’s be like King Hezekiah and repent. Let’s leverage all that we are and have to make disciples of Jesus Christ and advance His kingdom for His glory.
For His is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. AMEN
Call to Action: Pray and thank God for all the things He has given you. Ask Jesus how you can better leverage what He has given you for the sake of making disciples.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Mark 1.1)
It was a very simple question posed to a group of Christian leaders; Gary asked, “When is the last time you shared Jesus?” A surge of pride welled up in my chest as I reflected on my flight out the day before. I was too “humble” to answer out loud, but “yesterday” was my answer. Then the Holy Spirit went to work in my heart. A still small voice asked, “And when was the time before that?”
I couldn’t remember. My thoughts shifted from pride to anger towards Gary. “How dare this guy judge me!” The Holy Spirit was still working. “Is that right? Is he the problem?”
My anger melted into shame. The Spirit was right; Gary was right, and I was wrong. I had not shared the good news with anyone except that one guy on the plane in a very long time. After the meeting, and sorting out my emotions, I resolved to share the gospel daily for seven days. There was a street corner four blocks from where we lived that was an urban mix of residential and businesses. People were always just hanging out. So every day for seven days I made my way down the hill and shared the gospel the best I knew how. Seven days turned into ten which turned into thirty which turned into six months. I had developed an almost automatic response. If people would engage in the most minute of conversation, I would eventually turn it to Jesus. And here’s the kicker: I only know of one person that prayed and received Christ. But the love of God was like a boomerang. I’d throw the gospel boomerang at others only to have it make its way back around to me. I was the one being transformed. We often think of sharing the gospel as a benefit to others. But maybe, just maybe, Jesus intended the gospel for both the listener AND the preacher. Thank you Holy Spirit and thank you Gary!
Call to Action: When is the last time you shared Jesus? Take time to pray right now and ask Jesus when and who you should share the gospel with. If you need a little help on what to say, check out this short video: https://youtu.be/YwLu-CXUBvs