April 2020

Dear friends,

Last night when I was supposed to be sleeping, my mind was busy with the people I am guiding in the footsteps of our Lord through the gospel of Matthew. And then the Lord first of all spoke to my heart, about my relationship with Him.

 Matthew 4:19: He said to them, “Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people.”  They left their nets immediately and followed him.

  1. Jesus called the disciples to follow.
  2. He only made them fishers of people years later.
  3. But they followed immediately.

Implications

First focus on following. The Lord is giving me people to disciple without effort on my side. Not one of the people I am discipling as well as a few that is on the point of being added,  were of my doing. My own efforts came to nothing, more than once. Actually, to be honest, every single time. He is the one making his own disciples and I am honoured to be used to some extent by walking alongside for a while.

I should not do His job. He is making me a fisher of people, He gives disciples.

My role is to follow. Only then will the passion I have for disciple-making be fulfilled.

So how do I follow?

I follow by spending time reading Matthew, being impacted by Jesus way of thinking, beginning to think the way He does. As my mind is transformed I will become useful as disciple-maker.

Someone discipling within the context of a completely different culture and religious system remarked yesterday that by the end of  Matthew 7 so much would have happened already in following Jesus, that all the hurt, rejection and desolation the disciples would have experienced when deciding to follow Jesus instead of the religion of the community, by then would have been healed. The transformation would have happened. That does not happen only by hearing the teachings of salvation and doing Bible study. That happens by following.

 How long does it take to get to chapter 7, walking step by step behind Jesus? Months? A year? Two years? It depends on the pace Jesus is walking.

Now this question.

Are you following?

Are you walking step by step behind Jesus through Matthew? Taking time to hear His voice and see what he does?

Are you doing your part?

Or are you frantically trying to do His part?

I had to answer these questions for myself.

So now I ask you to think about these same questions. 

Do not be side-tracked by the possibility of how disciple-making may look if your plans and strategies work out the way you want.. Do not focus on the testimonies, plans and strategies other successful disciplers have. You do not need that now because the Lord is not preparing you for their ministry and context. He had the place and the people in mind where it will just flow without effort from inside. You will be the gift to the people you will disicple in His name

.You do not need to be mobilised. You are already mobilised! You need to follow.

So spend time. Wait. Listen. Look.

Before using the gospel of Mattew as a training resource the life of Jesus flowing through you must become a reality, must become integrated in your life.

That will not become reality by attending a workshop or even our extensive in-house training. It happens through following.

With the love of Christ,

A follower,

Piet

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