what makes a disciple a disciple? (chapter two)

Tenacity and courage are the marks of a true disciple. A disciple is in the world but not of the world. He has become different from his past and from the world.

A previous cowardly and fearful person has become courageous and bold, ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit. A former doubting and wavering person has become a man or woman of faith. A former uneducated and untrained working man or housewife has become full of wisdom and understanding in matters of God, preaching the Word of God without fear of man.

Let us read some passages from the New Testament Scripture for some examples of ‘boldness‘ of those saved and followed the Lord.

Summary notes:

1. They witness with their lives:  they become living proof of Jesus. Others (even the enemies) can see.

2. They pray effective prayer:  God answers and grants  them their request.

3. They have the power of hope: Jesus – the hope of glory  in them.

4. They have faith:  courage and boldness in the faith -in Christ Jesus Himself.

5. they live before God:  made possible by the blood of Jesus.

6. They focus on one goal: speak the Word of God, made possible by being filled with the Holy Spirit.

7. They are like Jesus (as He is, so are the disciples) in this world, made possible by the perfect love of God.

[ The Name of Jesus Forbidden ] Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:23 [Full Chapter]

[ Prayer for Boldness ] And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.
Acts 4:29 [Full Chapter]

Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,
Acts 4:31 [Full Chapter]

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
2 Corinthians 7:4 [Full Chapter]

Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
Philippians 1:20 [Full Chapter]

according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
1 Timothy 3:13 [Full Chapter]

For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 10:19 [Full Chapter]

[ Hold Fast Your Confession ] Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
1 John 4:17 [Full Chapter]

[ The Consummation of Love ] Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
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What makes a disciple a disciple? (chapter one)

This is a question the watchman has been hearing in the spirit. The only way to find out is to look at the Bible recording of some of them. Today we read chapter one of the book of John to identify some of the traits.

1:12 They have believed Jesus and accepted Him. He gave them the right to become children of God.

13 They are reborn by a birth that comes from God.

14 They have seen the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

16-17 They have received God’s unfailing love and faithfulness through Jesus Christ, one gracious blessing after another.

36-37 When they hear the Good News about Jesus, they follow Him.

40-41; 44-45 They go and tell others about Jesus and ask them to follow Him too. They testify that Jesus is the Messiah – Christ.

49 They proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God.

51 They will all see heaven open and the angles of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.

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It is amazing how much we can read from just one chapter of this book. There are more if we read again:

1:1 They know Jesus was the Word at the beginning with God, and He is God.

1:3 They know God created the world through Jesus, the Word.

1:4 They know Jesus is the life and the true light of the world.

In summary: What makes a disciple a  disciple? He hears the Good News about Jesus, believes, sees the glory of God in Jesus, follows Jesus, testifies for Jesus, goes and makes disciples of others for Jesus. They will see the greater glory of Jesus when He returns.

Bible key

when God says, “Behold”

Matthew 12:18 “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.

Matthew 11:10 For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’

Matthew 13:3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.

Luke 13:32 And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’

Matthew 20:18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death,

Matthew 21:5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

Luke 22:10 And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters.

Luke 22:21 But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table.

Matthew 25:6 “And at midnight a cry was heard:Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’
Matthew 26:45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Luke 24:39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
Luke 24:49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
John 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!

Matthew 10:16 [ Persecutions Are Coming ] “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
harvest

Today’s prayer: the watchman’s 3 am prayer

Dear heavenly Father:

Today I read of the faith of Abraham. Abraham mourned and wept for Sarah who died at 127 years old, he went to buy a piece of land so he could give her a proper burial. The owner offered to give it to him free. But he said, “No, listen to me. I will buy it from you. Let me pay the full price for the field so I can bury my dead there.” So Abraham bought the plot of land for use as a permanent burial place.

Prior to this episode, Abraham heard from your angel from heaven regarding his descendants’ future, “This is what the Lord says: because you have obeyed Me and have not withheld even your only son, I swear by My own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed –all because you have obeyed Me.”

Abraham was now a very old man and You have blessed him in every way. Then he sent his oldest servant to go to his homeland to find a wife for his only son (of promise).

Father, I pray You open my eyes to see why this episode about Abraham’s last lap of his faith journey was revealed today?

Please give me spiritual wisdom and insight so that I may grow in my knowledge of You.

I pray that my heart and those of my loved ones (including my brethren in the house church and all who have been led by the Holy Spirit to read this prayer) be flooded with light so that we can understand the confident hope You have given to those You called –Your holy people who are Your rich and glorious inheritance, and the rich and glorious inheritance You have given to Your holy people.

As there are so many hurting and suffering people in this world, Lord, I also pray that we (Your children, the sons and daughters of God) will understand the incredible greatness of Your power for us who believe You, the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of power and honor at Your right hand in the heavenly realms.

Your Son, Christ Jesus, has now all authority in heaven and on earth, including all realms (physical and spiritual). He is now far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else –not only in this world but also in the world to come. He has commissioned us to go and make disciples of all nations and teach them to obey all the commands that He has given us. But Lord, look at us, we are not manifesting His authority and power!

The thief has come in to steal, kill, and destroy. Your people are still being imprisoned, oppressed, and destroyed physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We are not exercising the authority and power Your Son has promised and indeed given to His disciples.

Lord, once we were dead because of our disobedience and many sins. By Your grace we have been saved. You have raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus, as vine branches united with the vine. Yes, Lord, we believe!

The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Jesus has sent His disciples to go and announce that the Kingdom of Heaven is near, heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Jesus declared clearly that He is the Healer. Power came out from Him. He healed all. The disciples did likewise as Jesus had commanded. Power came out from them and they healed just as Jesus did. As they went everywhere and preached the Good News, Your Spirit worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.

Lord, speak through us. Grant us favor from heaven as You have granted Abraham, who walked by faith, believing in the unseen, and not by sight. Open our eyes to see the spiritual heavenly realms just as Abraham had seen. He was walking so close with You that You even called him friend. He was strong in your mighty power. He could see into the spiritual realms. How else can we explain the unquestioning faith and obedience to let go of his self, and unrelenting pursuit to be separate from the rest of the world and its way (devilish wiles), even paying high costs?

Yes, Father, we want to imitate You, in everything we do, because we are Your dear children. We want to live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. We want to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. We want to be strong in You and in Your mighty power, so that we may be able to stand firm against the strategies of the devil. Help us to put on every piece of Your armor and stand our ground.

O, Spirit of Christ, help us in this hour of our weakness. For we do not know what to pray as we ought. Intercede for us with groaning too deep for words. Help us to set our minds, like Abraham did, on the things of the Spirit, walking according to the Spirit, receiving Your life and peace.

Father, we thank you for You have poured Your love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. You called Abraham friend. Jesus had called His disciples friends. And now, we are called Your children. You have given us the Holy Spirit who bears witness with our spirits that we are Your children.

By Your Spirit, we are led as Your children. And we now cry, “Abba, Father!” Thank You, Abba Father, for hearing my prayer.

In Jesus name, I pray. praying_hands_bible

Walk with Jesus: Purposeful in the midst of turbulence

jesus-christ-in-gethsemane

Walking with Jesus in His last three days journey on earth is not easy as it gets heavier each day. Today we are surrounded by evil and murderous plot from the authorities, betrayals, empty vows and repeated denials from loved ones, armed intimidation, illegal arrest, humiliation, falsehood, greed and unjust conviction of the innocent. But  Jesus remained calm and majestic. He is purposeful. 

Is there any hope among His followers? Yes, there was one who walked by the spirit and not by flesh, a woman who really believed in what Jesus had prophesied. she came to Him prepared for His last journey before His death and burial. How unique and totally out of human reason and ration her action was. All the important people involved were walking by their human nature (flesh), and here came this spiritually discerning woman who was a nobody. Her act of faith is recorded in God’s record book.

There is also the institution of the Holy Communion, the body of Jesus and the blood of Jesus. How awesome!

 Matthew 26 (American Standard Version)

1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these words, he said unto his disciples,

Ye know that after two days the passover cometh, and the Son of man is delivered up to be crucified.Then were gathered together the chief priests, and the elders of the people, unto the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas;and they took counsel together that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.

But they said, Not during the feast, lest a tumult arise among people.Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

there came unto him a woman having an alabaster cruse of exceeding precious ointment, and she poured it upon his head, as he sat at meat.

But when the disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

10 But Jesus perceiving it said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.12 For in that she poured this ointment upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.

13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which this woman hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,15 and said, What are ye willing to give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they weighed unto him thirty pieces of silver.16 And from that time he sought opportunity to deliver him unto them.

17 Now on the first day of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Where wilt thou that we make ready for thee to eat the passover?18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Teacher saith, My time is at hand; I keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.19 And the disciples did as Jesus appointed them; and they made ready the passover.20 Now when even was come, he was sitting at meat with the twelve disciples;

21 and as they were eating, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began to say unto him every one, Is it I, Lord?

23 And he answered and said, He that dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.

24 The Son of man goeth, even as it is written of him: but woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had not been born.

25 And Judas, who betrayed him, answered and said, Is it I, Rabbi? He saith unto him, Thou hast said.

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it; and he gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

2for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.

29 But I say unto you, I shall not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out unto the mount of Olives.

31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended in me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.

33 But Peter answered and said unto him, If all shall be offended in thee, I will never be offended.

34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

35 Peter saith unto him, Even if I must die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go yonder and pray.

37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and sore troubled.

38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: abide ye here, and watch with me.

39 And he went forward a little, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42 Again a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, My Father, if this cannot pass away, except I drink it, thy will be done.

43 And he came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.

44 And he left them again, and went away, and prayed a third time, saying again the same words.

45 Then cometh he to the disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46 Arise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that betrayeth me.

47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priest and elders of the people.

48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he: take him.

49 And straightway he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Rabbi; and kissed him.

50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, do that for which thou art come. Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

51 And behold, one of them that were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and smote the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.

52 Then saith Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

53 Or thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?

54 How then should the scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be?

55 In that hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a robber with swords and staves to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and ye took me not.

56 But all this is come to pass, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples left him, and fled.

57 And they that had taken Jesus led him away to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together.

58 But Peter followed him afar off, unto the court of the high priest, and entered in, and sat with the officers, to see the end.

59 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death;

60 and they found it not, though many false witnesses came. But afterward came two,

61 and said, This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

62 And the high priest stood up, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God.

64 Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.

65 Then the high priest rent his garments, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard the blasphemy:

66 what think ye? They answered and said, He is worthy of death.

67 Then did they spit in his face and buffet him: and some smote him with the palms of their hands,

68 saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ: who is he that struck thee?

69 Now Peter was sitting without in the court: and a maid came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilaean.

70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.

71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and saith unto them that were there, This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth.

72 And again he denied with an oath, I know not the man.

73 And after a little while they that stood by came and said to Peter, Of a truth thou also art one of them; for thy speech maketh thee known.

74 Then began he to curse and to swear, I know not the man. And straightway the cock crew.

75 And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

American Standard Version (ASV)Copyright © 1901 by Public Domain