September 28 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, make us your disciples, that we may make disciples by your grace and power. Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20

Journal: What is the relationship between being a disciple and making disciples? How are both processes going in your life and ministry these days?

Reflection: It is to a group of disciples that we now turn in the second passage, right at the end of the gospel of Matthew (Matthew 28:18-20). It is called the Great Commission, but when you look at it closely, you might want to call it the Great Omission, because what Jesus said to do here is rarely done.

Here is what Jesus is saying: I have been given say over everything in heaven and on earth. As you go, make disciples. Immerse them together in the presence of the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yes, baptize them in the name, but, dear friends, that doesn’t just mean getting them wet while you say those names. It means to immerse them in Reality. After you have done that, teach them in a way that they actually do what Jesus said. That is the process of spiritual formation. And what comes out at the end is the joy of living in the easy yoke, for you find that to do what Jesus said is the easy and strong way to live forever and in time.

Look at those passages again. First, Jesus said, “I have been given all authority.” In other words, “I have been given say over everything.” We are not sent out without equipment. We are sent out with all the equipment we can possibly use, and as we go, we make disciples.

I think the best way of translating this is “As you go, make disciple.” This presents making disciples as a kind of side effect, and that is really important to understand in relation to making disciples. In life, some things that can be pulled cannot be pushed, and some things that can be pushed cannot be pulled. Making disciples is a matter of pulling people, of drawing them in through who we are and what we say.

Disciples are those who have been so ravished with Christ that others want to be like them. Others look at those disciples’ life in the kingdom of God and they say, “This is the best thing I ever saw in my life. I must have that.” (Living in Christ’s Presence by Dallas Willard)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Isik Abla hosts a satellite TV program called “Light for the Heart” on the Kanal Hayat Turkish-language channel. She also hosts a live call-in program that is simulcast on the Turkish and Farsi channels throughout the Middle East and Europe. These TV programs deliver the message of love, healing, and freedom through Christ Jesus, reflecting on Isik’s own life experience. Pray today for Isik and the “Light for the Heart” program to be used by God to reach many with the gospel.

The Philadelphians Prison Ministry has been ministering in Tennessee prisons for 27+ years. Its purpose is to change the thinking of a prisoner through the power and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is done through strong Bible teaching with praise and worship services, weekly in-prison group meetings, the HELP program, and a transitional housing program, the HELP House, in Knoxville. Christian ministry counseling is given to inmates’ loved ones, the “silent victims” of crime. Pray today for the inmates that this ministry is reaching.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, so often we have heard the phrase, “It takes one to know one.” Help us to know that in the case of discipleship, “It takes one to make one.” How can we ever expect to make disciples—which is the mission you have called us to here on earth—if we are not disciples ourselves? Help us, Lord Jesus, to be ravished by you. Help us to become fully yours; that we might be fully a part of the work you have called us to do. In your name we pray. Amen.