Volume. XVIII, No. 35
Sunday, 29 February 2004

From the pastors heart: Be a disciple of Jesus (3)

I need to remind you of the reason why I am writing about disciples or discipleship. We are in the middle of our discussions about evangelism. I said that the focus of the Great Commission lies in making disciple from all nations. To make disciples of Jesus out of all nations, then we need to disciples ourselves. When we talk about being disciples of Jesus, I cannot ignore to mention of difficulties and challenges ahead of us.

Discipleship with sacrifice
Mark 10:28-31 say, “Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. 29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. 31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.” Peter said that he and other disciples had given up everything just to follow Him. It implies incredible sacrifices to follow Him.

Jesus elaborated Peter’s comment in verse 29. The things that His disciples had to leave from were home, family, and their possessions. There are a number of missionaries who have left from all of them to follow Jesus as His disciples. When I visit mission fields, I often have opportunities to speak with missionaries about their families and their future. One thing I have noticed is that my talk with them about their children has always made their eyes blurry in tears. Many of them have not seen their parents for many years, or they could not go to their funerals. There are lots of personal sadness and heartaches in their hearts, but they have faithfully followed their Master. I heard from a missionary about his tearful experience. He and his wife went into a remote area in Africa for their missionary work. That place was not suitable for their child to stay, and besides they could not provide an adequate education to him. They decided to leave him at a school for missionary children in Kenya. When they had to leave him at school and left without him, their hearts were very heavy. Their son was crying and begging them not to leave him alone in a strange place. It was one of sacrifices that they had to make for their Savior and His Gospel.

There are stories after stories about early day missionaries who lost their children as they traveled into deep bushes for the Lord Jesus and His gospel. They lost wives or husbands for the work of the Lord. Those who are willing to be disciples of Jesus must be the ones who are willing to make sacrifices. If we are complacent, we are not doing well. However, our sacrifices do not make us miserable. Jesus said that whatever we have given up for Him shall be returned with manifold in verse 30. Then, in verse 31, He speaks to us an amazing spiritual principle. “But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.” Time does not make us disciples of Jesus. Though some people come first to the Lord, they may be overtaken by the ones coming later.

One more thing needs to be brought out here. The disciples of Jesus gave up lots of things because of Christ and the Gospel’s sake according to verse 29. True disciples of Jesus are faithful and truthful to Jesus and His Gospel. If we do not know the Lord Jesus, then we’ll fail to be His followers. If we are not faithful in our preaching and teaching from His holy Word, then we are not doing well. Disciples’ responsibility related to this thought is well articulated by the Lord Himself in Matthew 28:20a, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Disciples of Jesus need to know what He has taught them, and with the same lesson they ought to teach others to become His disciples. Therefore, discipleship and correct understanding of God’s word are inseparable pairs. Even though we are enthusiastic and zealous for missions and evangelism, what we are doing is not right, if we do not maintain our orthodox faith.

Discipleship in loyalty
Matthew 10:32-33 say, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” There are many reasons why we do not confess Jesus before others. Our faith may not be strong enough to talk about Him to others with confidence. We may be shy in nature, and we feel it hard to talk about religions matters to others. We are very concerned about any possible offense against others. Or, we are not sure really what we believe. Whatever the reason is, we are not justified for our silence or denial of our faith before others. If a man denies Jesus before men, He will deny us before His Father. If we confess Him before others, then He will confess us before the Father. It tells us about our loyalty. We cannot change our views or sides for our convenience. We ought to be loyal.

Discipleship for evangelism
Matthew 4:19 says, “And he [Jesus] saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” The idea behind this verse is evangelism. This teaching also well taught in Matthew 28:18-20. There are ideas of both the sovereignty of God and man’s responsibility in evangelism. Jesus ordains and appoints His people to be fishers of men, and they go out to preach. If we follow Jesus and learn from Him, eventually, we shall be fishers of men, who will bring souls to Christ, evangelism. It is based on the power of the Lord. We need to be reminded that Jesus received all authority (power) in heaven and earth. There is also a promise that He will be with His disciples for ever. Jesus said to His disciples to go to all nations in Matthew 28. However, this going is not aimless. This going is closely related to making disciples, which is closely related to teach all nations whatever Jesus had taught His people.

The Great Commission commands us to make disciples for Jesus from all nations. To make them disciples of Jesus, we ought to be disciples first. Disciples are chosen to be with Jesus, to follow and learn from Him. In order to become His disciples, we need to know that we need to be taught first, and that there are costs to pay. There are sacrifices to make. However, there are promises of rewards, too. The reason that Jesus calls us to be His disciples is because He wants us to be His witnesses. Saving souls is in His heart. As we strive to be His disciples, so we shall be His witnesses. Let us give our time and efforts to evangelize the unsaved.

Lovingly, Pastor Ki


More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question No. 37: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death? The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resurrection.

Please continue to pray for Sis. Myung Ki, Rev. Peter Clements, Rev. Moses Hahn, Mrs Lydia Choi, Mrs Irene Turner, Sis. Susan Varadi, Bro. Surish Dharmalingam “In thee O Lord, do I put my trust.” (Psalm 71:1a).

Thank God for granting journey mercies to Sisters Sophine Bai, Gillian Ong and Bro. Jason Tan (Adelaide).

Thank and praise God for all those who helped out at working bee yesterday.

Please pray for Ps. Ki as he travels to Malaysia on Tuesday. Please also pray for Bro. Edwin Oei as he travels to Malaysia and Holland.

Cambodia Mission: Anyone planning to go to the Missions in Cambodia in May 2004, please see Pastor Ki or Dn. Michael Lee ASAP.

YAF Welcome night will be held at the Stone Mansion this Friday!!! Please invite your friends to come. YAF Information pamphlets for 2004 are available on the literature table. Please pray for the YAF by-elections: Nominations are now open. Forms and information about nominations are on the literature table. Nominations close on 12 March 2004.

Membership/Baptism Service will be next week. Please pray for those who are preparing their testimonies.

Looking Ahead: Easter Family Bible Camp at Douglas Scrub: 9-12 April 2004, Speaker: Rev. Prabhudas Koshy. Camp forms are available on the literature table.



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