He has proven it again and again.
The hardest thing that God has told me to do is to do nothing. “Molong, if you want to taste the fullness of the Holy Spirit you have to trust Me fully.” It basically just ask me to watch Him work.
And at the same time, this words have made people who misunderstood me and gives me trouble to many specially those who have past leadership positions in their churches. They allowed us to be different yet at the same time telling us what to do. Who loved to hear our stories yet trying to fit it into their theological thinking. And if it doesn’t find space in the mind that’s when they questioned our practices.
We make new stories, not new theories
Too many stories to tell, old and new, God Himself has proven many times what He told me that day when many disciples were made and I’m quite worried about their maturity. “Should i do follow-up works like visitations and bible studies like how I did before?” His answer is obvious: watch Me work Molong.
Again, we grow by stages. This is the reason why I don’t follow theological stuff much. I ask and obey God. It’s a journey. Our growth starts from ‘I work for God’ to ‘I work with God’ to ‘I watch God work.’
I always believe that for us to grow we have to leave some things behind. Leaving what I did before is the most freeing feeling I’ve felt. I was reminded that I am a human-being, not human-doing. That saves a lot of time and money.
Alright, here are my points. Just to highlight some stories that’s just happened this past 2-3 weeks ago apart from what we normally do everyday as an ecclesia.
A 23yo guy named Tonton was baptized by his own brother, who’s a 3rd generation disciple named Kristian who was made by his cousin Jason, a 2nd generation disciple. Jason was made by Albert, 1st generation. (photo caption of his own brother baptizing Tonton, 4th gen).
The same day (Sunday) while this very thing happened, a guy named Peter who’s a tired performing Christian brother in his church decided to become a follower. He’s bringing with him his first disciple that he made named Eric. I was present during Eric’s baptism along with his wife’s. And this was happened two years ago! Both see us at my house that day. And it’s my second time I saw Eric again after 2 years. While having coffee together, 8 of us sitting around the table (with some women disciples on other corner having their own discussions), shared stories from the Bible and how we should live as such. Eric, sitting in front of me starts throwing me words like “yeah, I read that in the Bible,…” And he keeps doing that ’til I stop and just politely ask. “It’s obvious that you have read your bible. Who gives you a bible? When do you normally read it?” He said that I gave Peter a Bible to give it to him of which I can’t remember. “Every night i read my Bible” Eric answered back.
“Peter,” I get his attention. “Did you encourage him to do this? Did you do some sort of Bible studies together?”
“No. We haven’t actually meet for a long time. Whenever I visited you, you remember that you ask me about Eric I have no stories to tell because after their baptism they transferred house quite far from where we live.” Peter explained.
“And you read your bible every night Eric?!! What made you do that?” I was excited to hear something.
“It was the last day of my job and my money would only be good for 3 days,” he shared. “I was reminded that I am a disciple and disciples doesn’t do bad thing like stealing. It won’t solve my problem. I grab my bible and starts reading, looking for answers and whispered to God my wish to have a job. And just when my money to feed my family of four is out, someone arrive at our doorsteps and offered me work! I was so thankful to God. That saves a lot of my problem. Since then I read my bible every night along with my wife.” It’s obvious because even in the midst of our bible conversations he quoted scriptures even from the book of Revelations. I was sharing about kingdom economics, how are we as disciples should positioned ourselves like Acts 2 and 4 kingdom life-together as family living from house to house, sharing things, etc. “because there will be a time where no man can buy or sell…” And he said “yeah, I read that in Revelation about 666.”
Simple stories like this leaves me dumbfounded. Simply because we cannot remember if we ever do ‘discipleship classes’ to any of the disciples that were made. God is at work here and to do anything that He doesn’t told us to do is only meant to disturb Him.
Now, here’s the story for you today. Yes, at this very date that I posted this. Hear it yourself.
We plan to do things quick and fast, we don’t sweat the small stuff most of the time. If some of us here agrees to do something then we just do it and later solve problems that may come along the way. We don’t expect problems to arise, oh well, going to the field is filled of it already! We just need to be available to solve it. Several of us agrees to go back to north of my province where we helped typhoon victims, build them houses and distribute food and water and shelter for four months after typhoon hit them last Year November 8. The purpose is to see those that were made into disciples. Peter and Tonton joined in the team that was formed for this purpose. We don’t choose who will go, anyone can but only a dozen came.
They all slept here last night at my house, woke up at 3 in the morning. Me and my wife didn’t sleep and just took care of them until they left at around 4 in the morning. As they arrived at my Dad’s place, they were being chased already by sick people! Yes, some sick people around the community came to my father’s place (my father has a house there that was hit also by typhoon) and have waited for them to get prayed and healed for! They have breakfast together and minister to each other. Then along with other disciples they roamed around the saints houses there and hand them packs of bags where some kilos of rice, canned good and clothing was shared. Then they went straight to the island called Malapascua where a handful of disciples are waiting also to be ministered.
A disciple named Christopher came whom Jomie made into a disciple during his last visit at the island where he made six disciples including this guy. (A full story about Jomie’s trip and how this guy was made into a disciple will be find here: http://www.pation.wordpress.com) When Chris heard of them he joined in where they set up their tents along the shorelines. Read from Albert’s report today:
This is Christopher, one of disciple here in malapascua island, Jomie made him into a disciple in one of his trips here. He just came now this afternoon to see us, and informed us that he made two disciples and baptized them just after he was made into a disciple of Christ. He is a cooked in one of the restaurants here in the island. He just escape for while from work to see us. Anyway, Thank you for your prayers as we all got here safe.***
This particular story reminded me again of what God said to me about trusting Him fully. Look at this guy Christopher, Jomie left him after his baptism without doing any ‘discipleship classes’ just like Phillip in the book of Acts has done to the Eunuch!
“Is Chris a matured disciple?” You make ask. Well, surely to most ‘Christians’ way of weighing him he is not. “But is he a disciple?” Indeed. A disciple is one who makes disciples. And I’m sorry to burst your bubbles here, what kind of maturity are we looking for than a person who can be able to make others becomes Jesus’ disciples?
How about Diosua’s story, a fourth generation disciple, below:
Nov. 21, 6:15pm
“Who made you a disciple then?”
I ask Diosua (‘dios’ in cebuano is Lord) who came here at the house from the mountain for his baptism.
“It’s Roel, Gabriel and Alai,” he replied while holding a shirt to be used for his baptism. These three people who made him a disciple are 3rd generation disciples who are also his friends. And they were made into a disciple together by Albert’s sisters named Analyn and Arlen (2nd gen).
“Geduot sad ko sa Ginoo oi samtang namalandong ko sa ilang gesulti.” (God has push me too while I meditate on what they’ve shared.) he said confidently to us all here as I interview him. His decision to be baptized today was being informed by Albert’s mother yesterday.
“Well, he came today, and that means he’s serious to become a disciple.” Albert’s mother said to me as Albert and Jomie took Him to the nearby ocean to be baptized at this time 6:27pm.
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Many Christians don’t just ignore their kingdom mandate which is to “seek His Kingdom” but also doesn’t know “how” to seek it because they’re seeking other things. Already filled-up with other things. Even the very area that only God can fill they filled it up with something else. They’re not seeking the kingdom first, as my friend Mike Peters would say “if we seek good jobs and good business and good weather and go after them then it’s obvious that we’re not seeking His kingdom first but second.”
Often I share to disciples, when it says “seek ye first the kingdom” it means first of all that the kingdom is hidden. It was meant that way or else Religious swines will find it and trample it on their feet. But here is the good news: Jesus promised that he who seek shall find! So if it’s hidden and we are told to seek it, it means then that it can be found. Yes?!
What is our job then? It is clear, ‘seek’ it. But how sad, many doesn’t know ‘how’ to seek it or simply because they don’t know ‘what’ to seek? Many also have tried ‘figuring it out’ first and see if it fits to their religious appetites. God’s heart is not found in ‘trying’ but it is found in seeking.
So, what is the kingdom of God then? Well, it’s within you and within me. His rule is where His domain is. “The kingdom of God is within you.” If it’s within each of us, then we’re not meant to live our lives individually eh? That’s why out of 75 commands of Jesus to us 58 of these is one-anothering. Simply put, our lives was never meant to live in isolation.
Like the early church, they ‘assembled’ themselves as one family, (imagine pieces of puzzles can be gathered but not assembled! Like many house- churches of today?) from “house to house.” One family, not many ‘Christian neighbors,’ and they live next door to each other in one city to obey their King as a body. Not one hand said to the other foot, “see you next Sunday!”
Acts 2&4 really is our pattern to follow. Many simple/organic/house churches who claim that they’re following the early church patterns, well, except Acts 2 and 4! They’re actually following the ‘result’ or the ‘fruit’ of their way of life. Example, they meet from house to house simply because they just live next door to each other!
A ‘way’ of life of sharing, of no buying, no selling but only giving and receiving, “no one is poor among them because they own everything” and other kingdom values. That’s why they’re called “The Way” simply because they have found the way to live. Seeing each other on house church meetings once a week or so cannot simply transfer kingdom values. Just as one’s good character will soon becomes bad because of his surrounding bad company guys so as the life of a person will change dramatically because he is surrounded with godly people. Honestly, after 3 yrs only of living Jesus-Life together with other saints here I can totally understand why Jesus could just retire and leave the disciples after that long. Now, we’re living together almost 9 years! And helping other areas we have where making disciples happen develop into Acts 2&4 Life!
So, let’s continue. If we seek His kingdom it means seeking His people who has the King’s rule, who obey the King. People who are living the kingdom life- together. Simply ask, when we found what we are seeking what should we do? Like a man who found a treasure in the land which not his own. Went and sold everything he has and bought that land. In other words, transfer location. Change our priorities.
This is what we are seeking, in time God brings in to us these kinds of people because God is also seeking people who are seeking His kingdom. He brings in connection and relationships and fulfill His own purposes in us, not our own individual selfish callings and gifting. Oh surely you’ll find them soon but make sure if you find it don’t use it for your own pleasure as gifts are not meant to keep but to be used and shared among the body.
When you find His kingdom, it ask you to align yourself not only to the King but also to His body. Being of ‘one mind’ and ‘one heart.’ It ask you to forsake everything you have and follow Him. It ask you to deny yourself and believe in Jesus’ words. Un-deny yourself is denying Jesus. It ask you to put down selfish ambitions and visions and dreams of your own. And you start putting other saints needs than your own. Simply put, start serving them. You are free to serve others because that’s how true freedom is designed for us as God’s people.
Ok? So, now go and start seeking your kingdom mandate. If you don’t have a seeking heart, ask Jesus for it. Surely He loves answering prayers to folks who are seeking His will!
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What was the insurance of the early Church to have a life of security and freedom?
I love the way the early church shared and lived life with each other. Their sacrificial love among brethren is the pattern we are to follow. Many have tried to make a principal out of the way they lived but have failed to live practically following that pattern. It is, therefore, significant to examine this very important aspect of their body life: Where did they get their security and freedom? When they were made disciples of Jesus, what drove them to sell their houses and lands and joine the community called “The Way” and begin to live an alternative lifestyle? Surely, common sense tells that the one who has many houses, cars, land and businesses is more secured than the one who is trying to get rid of it. What kind of message did they expose themselves to that came from the apostles? What kind of lifestyle did they see that made them do likewise? What kind of security did they see in the ekklesia that the world they lived in could not offer?
What despicable scenery, when we look at the way the Christians today behave and live life with each other! Doesn’t security mean to have more, not less? More money, properties, businesses, cars, insurances, and lands and more not less! Although they believe that Jesus will come back soon they still want more church buildings, more parking lots, more programs, and more leaders. I remember reading a line contrasting the early church and the modern church, it reads like this: Peter preached one sermon and three thousand got saved, the pastor today preaches three thousand sermons and one gets saved!
If you need money to live then you’re not secured. Money seems to be your shield, not faith. If you need your career to live then you’re not really free. Career determines who you are, not God. You see, true security comes from forsaking all you have, giving it all up, not acquiring more and making yourself dependent on God alone. And true freedom comes not from serving others to benefit yourself (like any who work in this world do) but from serving others, laying down your life for others even when you benefit nothing out of it. This is exactly how the early church behaved and shared life sacrificially with one another. Forsaking and serving is the kingdom way of life. How did they do it? Simple. They showed obedience to their King first and then to his kingdom mandate.
Jesus said to us – his disciples, to seek first his kingdom and its constitution and then secondly, all these things shall be added. Let’s do this one by one. If Jesus says ‘seek,’ it means it is hidden and needs to be ‘found’ right? “Seek and it shall be found.’ My friend and brother Peter here asked as we discussed these things among ourselves, “Where? Where is the Kingdom of God?” It’s a very good question by the way. You see, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand’” (Lk 8:10). The priceless pearls of the Kingdom shall not be trampled by those that don’t even know how to ask the right question but carelessly shout Kingdom, Kingdom! It is a hidden secret. Why do you want to blast it carelessly?
Jesus is the King. A king without his domain is no king. Jesus says in Lk 17:21, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” If Jesus is your King, you are his domain. As more people acknowledge him to be their King and pay allegiance to his Kingship, his Kingdom expands and of the increase of his governance and peace, there is no end.
Paying allegiance to the King commands being obedient to his decrees and keeping his commands. A king without decrees, is not a king worthy of respect or obedience. “If you love me,” Jesus said to us as his disciples, “you will obey what I command” (Jn 14:15). When you acknowledge Jesus as your King, he descends his domain all over you. You enter into the King’s domain through baptism, and you remain in it through obedience because you love him. Obedience makes Jesus domain happen in you. Thus, the Kingdom of God is within you.
Let’s go back to Mt 6:33 again, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God…The Kingdom of God are those people of God, who have aligned themselves to the rule of King Jesus. Those who have made the allegiance to obey his commands out of love to him. Those people who let the Kingdom of God happen daily in their lifestyle and live in obedience to Jesus’ commands and his decrees. The Kingdom of God talks of a plurality then, a community, a body joined and knit-together in a region. Jesus says, “Seek first such people!” Seek first my people who live according to my Kingdom rules obeying my commands because they love me! And what does ‘seek’ mean? Change your priorities. Get out of all the human allegiance you have made to your church, your organization, to your worldly affairs, to your country, deny your Self, egos, rights, opinions, and enter the Kingdom of God. Lock-in to the Head, King Jesus, and join the community of Kingdom citizens and be part of that Body! (Start such a community if there is none in your region. Seek out such people and extend the Kingdom of God.)
Do you see the hidden secret? The Kingdom of God can be found! It’s right here! Wow!
As you find those people who live the Kingdom life together as a family, an ekklesia in the region (one church, one region) you join together with them. (Even if it may cost you to leave eberything and move to another region, do it! It is worth the Kingdom!) Because that’s why it says, “and all these things shall be added unto you.” Now, we are talking! That is being secure of everything that you need. But how does this work? O course, there is a price to pay. The cost of discipleship is to forsake all and to deny oneself. Jesus said in, Lk 14:33 “any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” Seek his kingdom first, does not mean, seek a good job, a good salary or good weather and your job transfer. We say, “No!” to these things and deny them to define our daily lifestyle. If these things come first to determine our life, then we practice that seeking His kingdom is not our top priority.
What did a person or a household see when they got saved in those early ekklesia? He definitely did not see a church and immediately became a member of it, really. So, what did he see? He saw the Kingdom of God. Jesus is so right in saying that when a person is born again he can see the kingdom of God (Jn 3:3). The disciples’ security is found in Jesus. Jesus shall meet all our needs according to His riches and glory and as the church forsakes all in order to receive a hundred fold. This is just one of the principles of the Kingdom life here. Mt 19:29 states, “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much.” This is what Jesus has promised. I know, it stands so opposing to the way worldly people think and behave. In the world, the rich is rich, the poor is poor but in the Kingdom, the rich is poor and the poor is rich. The first is last, and the last is first. One who forsakes all has a hundred-fold! Madness? No, it is the normality. In the Kingdom, not doing what Jesus says is the madness! Those who arrogantly, adamantly argue that “what Jesus said, he didn’t actually mean it” will never get what he so simply says. To those he says, “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mk 1:15). Repent means, change the way you think. Renew your mind, my friend because the way your mind processes thoughts, needs a complete turn around and a new alignment to King Jesus in order to grasp kingdom stuff. He commands us to ‘repent’ before believing the news of his Kingdom! It requires you to turnaround from your arrogant madness and submit in obedience that comes out of love to your King.
As one truly forsakes all, that’s when he is secure. That is what the early church did, that was their attitude. They did not argue and debate and share opinions. They simply obeyed and forsook, denying their self, their own, their possessions, houses, lands, fields! They modeled a submitted attitude of the heart for us to follow. Today we have made a theological principle out of what they actually practiced. Many fail to follow such lifestyle that begins in the attitude of a submitted heart. In Acts 2, it says that they met from house to house. This means that they did not meet just on Sunday mornings for a couple of hours. That is not what they modeled for us to practice. The obeyed Jesus’commands of one-anothering and modeled what it takes to be a Body. They met from house to house. When one house got saved they just moved to the next house. Consider, what makes of a body if its parts are separate from each other? What kind of foot is that which asks the hand, “See you next Sunday Morning?” Unlike the lifestyle in modern churches that is filled with artificial love and ambition, the lifestyle in the book of Acts is full of sacrificial love and devotion. They lived ready anytime to martyrdom, to die for their King and his Kingdom – for one another.
That kind of selflessness gave them all the security. Think, what do you lose anyway if you are selfless? Now, how about their freedom in Christ. How did they actually get it? Jesus freed us from sin and slavery. “It was for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1). But how did they practice this new freedom. Jesus who has set us free modeled it for us. He took on the very nature of a servant (Phil 2:7), and came to us in a serving attitude to set us free. You followthat pattern and serve others to live in that freedom. Are you living such a freedom as a disciple of Jesus? Jesus is the one who set us free, he set an example of how to serve one another to really live in the new freedom he bought and brought for us. By serving one another, we live in freedom. Jesus came to serve, not to be served. We should do the same. I serve you; you serve me and we serve one another. How’s that!
In a world that is full of I-me-mine mentality, the Church also adopts such a mind-set. The I-me-mine mind-set does not enhance servant attitude but a leader attitude. Everyone wants to join some ‘Leader’s Conference’ so it’s obvious that nobody wants to serve their brethren. To say that a ‘leader serves’ annoys me to the core. Come on, honestly, a leader does not serve, he leads period. A servant does serve. Even if the job of a leader is guaranteed to serve, then it is more appropriate to call him a servant and not a leader. Jesus didn’t get the job done by leading. He got it done by serving. He came to serve. And we must go and do likewise as we are told to ‘serve one another.’
“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought” in Rom.12:3, talks actually about our act of spiritual worship. How do we worship? By offering our bodies as a living sacrifice. How do we practice this? Read the whole chapter and you will see it is all about serving one another! Someone explained to me that the ‘second’ commandment (loving your neighbor) is the same as the ‘first’ commandment (loving God). If loving God is worship, then loving your neighbor is worship to God. “Leave your gift at the altar” Jesus says when offering sacrifices, “and be reconciled to your brother” (Matt.5:24). Relationship is more important than offering a sacrifice. “How can you say you love God whom you do not see,” asks John, “when you cannot love your brother whom you see?” (1Jn. 4:20) See?
And here is Paul’s words of interaction to the ekklesia in Philippi, “Let each of you look out not only to his own interest, but also for the interest of others” (Phil.2:4). Practically it means, I will look out for your needs, you look out for mine. Deal? Imagine this, you take care of your brother’s needs and your brother take cares of your need, and everyone in the ekklesia is doing it the same way! Don’t you think that’s security and freedom in action? Yes, indeed!
Lastly, think about this, there are basically 75 commands of King Jesus, as His disciples we should know them or else we do not know what to obey, and 58 of these are about one-anothering. What do you say? Did Jesus command us leadership or servanthood? One-another, means I cannot live without you; you cannot live without me! I’m not greater than you, you’re not greater than me! In our house, we are 18 of us living in two buildings next to each other. And whatever we do, we always do it two by two, or four by four. When we cook, we all cook together. Once a missionary brother came visiting us and he ate with us. He liked the food and so he asked, “Who cooked this one?” There was some seconds of silence because at first. No one answered “Me!” Then someone broke the silence and answered, “Albert.” Albert then answered, “Ah, Jomie!” And Jomie pointed at Arlen and said, “It’s Arlen.” Then the missionary realized how our family is knit-together as one body! No one takes the credit because we all serve all.
True security comes from forsaking all for the kingdom of God. And true freedom comes from serving one another.
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Tonight, about two hours ago, we baptized Ashley, 16yo. A part of Albert’s clan. Two motorbikes we went to the nearby sea with Albert’s sister Jinky and Nancy, their cousin. On our way, Nancy 14yo, who was made into a disciple this year is riding on my back (while Jinky and Ashley is at Albert’s bike) and we started a making disciples conversation.
“So Nancy,” I ask “why is the person needed to be baptized like what we are going to do now to Ashley?”
“So, that her sins will be gone.” Was her direct answer.
“Have you tried doing baptism anyway?”
“Yes. My uncle Acquillis who live next door to us in the mountain. It’s Aunt Bebe’s husband and my dad’s brother.”
“You baptized your own uncle? Where?” I was dumbfounded.
“At your house.” She exclaimed “didn’t you know uncle? (It’s how she calls me because she lives in my house with Albert’s sisters were living next door to mine).
“I think I remember that incident. I was in one of my trips somewhere.” I replied.
The ocean from the house is only about 7min drive. It’s where we normally went to baptized anyone who wants to follow Jesus. We arrive and I took photos of Ashley’s baptism while Nancy’s baptizes Ashley with Albert’s short instruction. It’s quite interesting to listen to Albert’s advice about baptism so I will include it in this story.
“It’s alright to pray ‘before’ you baptize her,” Albert make that clear to Nancy. “But to make baptism simple and easy for Ashley to do the same when she makes her friends followers of Jesus then it’s better not and do pray after or later.”
Nancy baptizes Ashley without delay as I took some photos to document. We do these for the sake of our next generation to learn the ‘how to’s’ of making disciples.
We hurried back to the house. Then i continued my conversation with Nancy.
“We don’t belong to any church group when we become disciples,” I said. “Because we becomes the church. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there the church is. It’s in us.”
“It’s exactly what the book that I am reading says, “Back to the Basics” by Mike Peters.” (This book is what all the new disciples are reading. It’s free for a request.)
“Really? Why, what did you find reading this book?” I interrogate.
“We don’t call ‘anything’ church. Because Papa God’s love (she really uses this name ‘Papa God’) is living inside of us. That’s how we became the church.” She explained.
“If so, then what are these people who goes to church doing ‘worship’ then?”
“We are the church.” She said to me, “where should we go to?” She says this not being ignorant but she questions it’s belief.
“They’re ignorant Nancy. They don’t know the truth. One thing to do with them, make them disciples of Jesus. Tell them the truth.”
“Right!” She replied.
“Ok, if we don’t go to church because we are the church now, then what is our worship then? How do we worship?” It’s obvious she don’t know.
“Our worship is in spirit and in truth. Because God is spirit (I overheard she whispered ‘God is a spirit.’), and those who will worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. Like the wind, did you see it? (‘No’ she said behind my back). But can you feel it? Can you see the trees moving? Means you’ll know that the wind is present. That is you worship everywhere because God is everywhere.
“How? Second is, offer your lives as living sacrifice.” I began a quick story of how the OT people do worship by offering lambs etc. “Our worship is living a holy life. It is when God is pleased when we don’t commit sin, meaning we do His will. His 75 commandments.”
“Seventy-five?” She was shock hearing me “I thought it’s ten?”
“Then ten actually becomes two. Loving God and loving your neighbor (I’m quoting the whole verses here and explain.) Jesus fulfilled all laws of Moses and gave us a new commandment. It includes loving one another, forgiving one another and others. So to summarize, it’s about seventy-five of them all.”
“I see.” She affirmed.
“Keep reading your bible. You will find more of these things that we are talking.”
“Anyway, third is our worship is bearing fruits that will last. Jesus says that He is the one who choose us, not us choosing Him.” She’s got another shock feeling when she heard this.
“Really?” She stops me for awhile.
“Yes, the bible says that we are the ones who are lost. If so, then how can we find Him?” She got it. “So, He chose us to bear fruits for His Father’s glory, that is making disciples. It’s part of Jesus 75 commands that we go and make disciples. It’s like what we are doing now to Ashley.” We are approaching at our house gate now as come to this point.
“It is when we make disciples to our friends that God is glorified. It’s an offering to Him from us. This is our true worship.”
(Two things I am showing you here: intentional discipleship (making disciples) and relational discipleship (parenting). We don’t do our teachings separate from life’s situation. We integrate them. Life discipleship, that is. It’s simply like how Jesus did to His disciples when He said, “Look at the birds…” And it becomes a lesson on faith. “Look at the grass…” At it becomes a lesson on trust.
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Tags: Albert Pacquiao
Categories : Baptisms, being a disciple, being church, equipping, fathering, great commission
Making disciples is costly. Yes that means money. But to say that making disciples is dependent on money then that’s different. (And that’s not how we function here.) One is dependent on your attitude towards the Great Commission and the other is a total obedience to Christ’s command.
My first trips (not doing seminars or conferences, done with that) for the purpose of making disciples and immediately baptized people were done because I heard God wants me to go not because someone wants to pay my airfares. Most of the time when someone offered free airfares I often take it as ‘not from God.’ Because you can’t equal opportunity and God’s call. Grabbing opportunity for the sake of it often ends up in a mess simply because the devil can manipulate to appear like it’s God’s will. My trips does not only end up making some people a disciple up to the 3rd generation but also the Lord has been faithful providing what I need while in the field.
True mission is going to a place where no making disciples happen yet. Not going from church to church doing seminars and conferences where talented speakers were not staying ‘from house to house’ but ‘from hotel to hotel.’ I have enough of it. Bringing this kind of attitude and lifestyle to my next generation I simply cannot allow myself to pave a way that leads to comfortable Christianity. So my trips have change. One of my first trips was when I flew for two hours and ride a bus for 6hrs and arriving at my destination at 3 o’clock in the morning with only $1.10 left in my wallet and I have to stay in the area for four days. The next day I baptized one. The next day someone sent $200 in my account. After a year, the area have reach up to the 4th generation in making disciples.
I have learned a lesson in that trip regarding money. That resources is sent in the field not in your home. If I am a soldier and have been ordered by my commander to go to Iraq then resources like food and guns shall not be sent to my home here in Cebu but to Iraq. Simple as that. Means, I have to obey God first. I have to go to the field and God will provide.
Now, how did I get my air ticket. Did I raise funds? After I knew God wants me to go to a specific location I normally look for cheap/promo fares. Then later would ask friends to fund it. Even so, either they give or not it doesn’t matter anyhow coz I’ve already booked my ticket. That’s when I ended up having $1.10 when I arrived at my destination. This does not only happens once though. Stories after stories are in my site. Even this very story is documented for the purpose of helping others do mission just as we were told to do, not having our own opinions of the Great Commission. That is to obey and trust God when it comes to doing ‘His’ work.
Now about sending disciples to make disciples. Do we need money before obeying?
We ‘all’ wait for the ‘go’ signal. ‘All’ because not just me who decides when and who decides to go out. And a ‘go’ signal because we just don’t go for the sake of going. We are a body of believers that sends disciples, not individuals who does our own thing. And more than that we are told to be spirit-led.
So, one time while we were doing relational discipleship, means doing something while talking, discussing, persuading, teaching about Life, God, Bible etc. We don’t just sit and do bible study, we don’t do program to raise spiritual kids. We work something together like in this case we are making cabinets. In the middle of our discussion Albert and Jomie said harmoniously “Kuya, we are going to Olango island.” I agreed but something in me disagreed. Why? “They could have ask first if I’ve got money to send them.” That’s my concern. For two days I kept asking and start worrying where to get the funds as the days to go nearer and nearer. Then suddenly as I open the door of my room I heard God speak to me saying “The Holy Spirit sends them.” Then I remember two scripture in Acts that says the same exact words. (It’s right there in your bible).
I am glad I got some confirmation but at the same time have felt shame because I worry much of the finances issue than what Jesus has told Albert and Jomie to do. I lack trust of the Holy Spirit to speak to them. That’s mostly our problem. We trust God to talk to us but not to others. This is the very reason that we like this ‘leadership’ role because it stops us to do something and start telling people what to do!
Now, this island that God wants them to go, how did we reach them out without planning much of where to get finances? We bought used tire and made it into a flower pot. The used tire cost 5 peso ($1-40peso). We create something out of it, a flower pot, and we sell it for P100 ($2+). We’ve made 20 of them so that’s $50. They will sell it in the island and use the money for whatever needs they would have. They will find ‘house of peace’ and make disciples there. Now, there many families there who are Jesus followers. They’ve reach up to the 6th generation. This is a very good sign to start an apostolic hub!
Are we needing funds to go and make disciples? Oh yes. Making disciples is not free. It is costly. But we’ve paid the price ourselves. Why? Obedience first. It’s not the issue of money, it’s more than that. It’s our hearts that wants to obey.
People, friends who gave to us because they are seeing us functioning ‘already’ as a sending ecclesia. They ‘laid down at the apostles feet’ like in the early church. They give without question. Simply because they see us how we live but most of all is that we have relationships with them.
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Categories : great commission, Housechurching, Making Disciples
“I think I’m going to be dipped in the water as well!” Edgar came into conclusion after being convinced by his friend Romy who stops smoking after his baptism.
“So Edgar,” I’ve started my conversation with him after his baptism today, “what is this story that I’ve heard about your friend Romy?”
“Yeah, it’s unbelievable!” Edgar exclaimed. “Who would believe he could do that? I knew him as a smoker for 30 years and it’s quite a shock to see him stops!”
“And when did he stops smoking anyway?”
“After his baptism.” Edgar replied.
This photo was taken today. He was baptized by his friend Litoy who is also a disciple. Edgar’s wife was baptized by Albert.
Like Romy, we should live a life that demands questions.
“Jesus died for our sin, and so are we. You are dead in God’s sight and what should we do with dead people?” These are the words that I spoke to Edgar during his baptism.
“We should bury them.” Answered Edgar.
“People who wants to follow Jesus must be baptized in the water as a symbol of his death. Your old life that’s the result of sin we buried in baptism. Why? Because you will be given a new life. A new life for you to live in following Him. Are you ready to to follow Jesus and become His disciple?” I ask Edgar.
“Oh yes!” Was his big answer.
“Are you ready to become a part of His kingdom?”
A resounding yes we heard while taking a video.
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Categories : Baptisms, Christian Life, discipleship, great commission, how to make disciples, Making Disciples, relationship