Disciple Making and Encouragement… 3 Practices of Jesus

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Undoubtedly, Jesus was the greatest disciple maker… ever. He was perfect in all that He did and was perfect in His disciple making. One of the things that Jesus used in the disciple making process that we’d do well to do ourselves, is to use encouragement when making disciples.

Multiple times in the New Testament we’re told to encourage one another. There’s a great reason for this. Encouragement builds up and ultimately leads to the person being discipled fully embracing their identity in Christ. This is a breakthrough that every disciple maker takes note of as it is at this point that the one being discipled has overcome the debilitating whispers of the Enemy and is holding fast to the powerful name of and the presence of Jesus.

The Enemy’s stronghold has been overcome and in the disciple’s newfound freedom, growth will occur that may have been stunted in the past.

Jesus seemed to use three types of encouragement when disciple making. Check out the three types of encouragement Jesus used to grow Peter.

  1. Encouragement to move forward in faith – In Matthew 14 Jesus comes walking on water. He approaches his disciples who had gone ahead of Him in the boat. When Peter sees Jesus he cries out, ““Lord, if it’s You, command me to come to You on the water.” Jesus encourages Peter to move forward by simply stating, “Come!” Scripture then describes what Peter did, “And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus.”

Disciple makers who aid those they’re discipling to become mature disciples don’t keep them in their comfort zones, they encourage them to move into dangerous places in faith.

  1. Encouragement to embrace a new identity – Matthew 16 describes a moment in time when Jesus called Simon by his new name, Peter. The HCSB Study Bible describes what took place, “Although Matthew previously referred to Simon as Peter, this is the first time in the Gospel that Jesus did so. Jesus identified Peter as the rock on which His church would be founded.” (p.1644) Jesus revealed Peter’s new identity. Peter, a man who was once flagrantly and outrageously spastic in his ideas and actions, went on to lead the early church. Jesus gave Peter a new identity and it changed Peter’s perspective of himself and his role in the Kingdom of God.

Each time a discipler reminds a disciple of their new identity in Christ, that they are Jesus’ ambassador, His child, His priest, and His bride, the disciple steps up and lives the life of a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

  1. Encouragement to forgive themselves – As we all know, Peter denied Jesus three times. What many people don’t realize is that Jesus made certain that Peter understood the forgiveness he received by speaking of his forgiveness to Peter three times, what many call, Jesus’ Threefold Restoration of Peter. This occurred after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection and is described in Matthew 21.

Check it out…

15 When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”

“Feed My lambs,” He told him.

16 A second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”

“Shepherd My sheep,” He told him.

17 He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?” He said, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.”

“Feed My sheep,” Jesus said. 18 “I assure you: When you were young, you would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go.” 19 He said this to signify by what kind of death he would glorify God. After saying this, He told him, “Follow Me!”

Just as Jesus had done when asking Peter to join him on the journey of a lifetime, to become one of His disciples, Jesus once again Jesus says to Peter, “Follow me.” Peter’s sin of denying Jesus was forgiven and Peter was now ready to go, once again, and make disciples himself.

Every disciple sins and every discipler has the opportunity to remind them of Jesus’ grace and in so doing reinstate them back into the discipling relationship. This kind of encouragement is a must as none of us will ever fully escape our sin nature till Jesus comes to take us to our new home in heaven where there will no longer be any sin of any kind.

 

 

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