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Go Make Disciples

Go Make Disciples

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matthew 28:19–20, NKJV)

After Jesus rose from the dead, and before He ascended into heaven, he told His disciples to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, teaching those disciples all that Jesus had taught them. In other words, replicate in others the work I have done in you. Because of their faithfulness, and the faithfulness of Christian disciples throughout the centuries, many of us today have heard, and responded, to the message of the Gospel. Paul was one of those who faithfully followed the Lords command and reproduced in others, like Timothy and Epaphroditus, the heart to continue the work of the Christ.

In Philippians 2:19-30 Paul highlights the lives of these two disciples. Paul says of Timothy,

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.” (Philippians 2:19–24, NKJV)

Paul declares Timothy to be like-minded with him in his genuine care for people. One of the greatest aspects of Christ’s character that drew people to Him was that He was genuine and sincere. When He wept for Lazarus the people around him responded by saying, “See how He loved him”. And when the leper said to him, “If you are willing you can heal me”, Jesus responded with I am willing and touched the man and healed him. A true disciple of Christ no longer lives for them selves, but for the one who died for them.

and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15, NKJV)

Cleary it was evident in Paul’s life that he was not living for himself and that character was reproduced in Timothy.

            Epaphroditus came from the Philippian church that Paul planted in the midst of persecution. He came to Paul to bring the offering the people gathered for Him to care for his needs. On his way he became sick and almost lost his life. Paul says of him.

Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.” (Philippians 2:25–30, NKJV)

Paul calls him a fellow brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier who came close to loosing his life for the sake of the work of Christ. Jesus gave His life so we could be freed from the bondage of sin. We all know that Paul was willing to lay down his life for the sake of the Gospel and was ultimately beheaded. Now we look at Epaphroditus and see he was willing to lay down his life as well. The mark of a true disciple of Christ is seen in their willingness to no longer live for them selves, but to live for Him who laid down His life for them.

            We need to follow Christ’s example, just as Paul and the other Apostles and countless faithful servants of Jesus over the last 2000 years have done. Let people see the sincerity of your faith and love. Share with them the hope of the Gospel and reproduce in them servants of Christ who are willing to lay down their lives for His sake.

BE RECONCILED TO GOD
HAVE YOU ASKED HIM?
 

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019