Jesus Wants Us To Make Disciples
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19)
Lena’s mom was sitting at the kitchen table with twelve cardboard tubes laid in a row in front of her. She was cutting out pieces of felt and gluing them around the tubes. “What are you doing, Mom?” Lena asked.
“I’m making disciples,” said Mom. She laughed. “I really am! I’m teaching my Sunday school class about the twelve disciples. These little cardboard figures represent the twelve men Jesus chose to be His special followers. Would you like to help me glue their faces on?”
As Lena and Mom worked on the cardboard disciples, Mom told Lena about a verse in Matthew that says Christians are to "teach" all nations. “Do you know what the word teach means in that verse? It means to make disciples!”
“Like this?” Lena finished gluing Peter’s yarn beard in place and held him up.
“No, not the way we’re making disciples. The verse means that Christians are to teach other people how to be followers of Jesus – just like these twelve disciples were His followers.”
Lena thought about that for a few moments. “How can we help people be Jesus’ followers?” she asked. “Does that just mean telling people how to be saved?”
“That’s only the beginning of it,” said Mom. “After people get saved, they need other Christians to encourage them and help them grow. Helping somebody might mean praying with him about his problems, taking him to church, answering his questions, or telling him what a verse in the Bible means.”
“That sounds like a lot of work,” said Lena.
Mom carefully drew a smiling face on one of the disciples she was making. Then she looked up at Lena with a smile of her own. “It’s not always easy,” she said. “But Jesus promises to be with us always – and all the power in the universe is His. Isn’t it worth putting in a little extra time and effort to serve a Master like Him?”
Jesus wants believers to make disciples of other people.
» Do I know anyone who needs encouragement to follow Jesus?
» How can I help that person?
Truth In Real Life
“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!”
Before Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, or Fanny Crosby were ever born, Thomas Ken became known as “England’s first hymnist,” or England’s first hymn writer. His birthday is unknown (he was born in 1637), but his hymn “Praise God from Whom All Blessing Flow” – also called “the Doxology” – is one of the world’s best-known hymns. Churches throughout America and England sing the Doxology every Sunday.
Ken was born in London. After his parents died, he was raised by his married half-sister. From a young age, Thomas enjoyed both poetry and music. When he entered college, he joined music groups and was given solos in important choirs.
Thomas Ken felt strongly that his fellow students should spend time reading the Bible and praying every day. He felt so strongly about this that he wrote three songs about spending time with God. Until this point in history, there was no such thing as an English hymn. Christians had been taught to sing only the Psalms in church. When Ken introduced his three songs, people began singing hymns. The chorus of one of those songs is what eventually became known as the Doxology:
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Ken was eventually given the job – and honor – of being the chaplain for England’s King Charles II. He tried to point people to God with his life and spent time daily in devotions. He died on March 11, 1711.
In your mind, what does it mean to praise God? Do you praise God daily? Do you have a favorite hymn? Why do you think it is that your favorite hymn ministers to your heart?
Psalm 146:2 – While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.