Is culture influencing you, or are you influencing culture?
Jesus was a culture changer. His ministry during the first century turned the Roman Empire upside down and contributed to its demise.
Millions since have decided to follow Jesus, and their lives have never looked the same. When it comes to shaping and influencing culture Jesus’ call to love others in the same way that He loved us, is counter to what culture today calls us to. Live your best life. Experience everything. Fulfil your dreams. Our culture disciples us to live for ourselves. Jesus calls his followers to live a self-less life, love others, feed the hungry and give to those who are thirsty or in need.
When it comes to sharing Jesus, at what does evangelism end and discipleship start? Discipleship is often thought of as a program in the church designed to help mature some believers. Jesus called his disciples to follow. He promised to make them fishers of men. He called his disciples to go, make disciples. At what point according to the Gospels did Jesus’ disciples put their faith in Him before they were sent out? These are interesting questions to ask as you read the Scriptures.
Jesus’ disciples learned while they followed and practised – through observation, imitation, application and repetition. He would send them to practise what they had seen Jesus do, and when they returned they shared all they had experienced. On one particular day Jesus is asked to heal a boy who is possessed by an evil spirit. What is particularly interesting here is that the Gospel writer Mark records that the disciples had tried to pray the spirit away, “but they could not” (Mk 9:18). Practise as we learn.
The disciples practised even while Jesus was with them. We learn that following Jesus’ ascension during Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and a great number of people began to believe and many people were saved.
Jesus promised to be with us as we go. If you have repented of your sin, put your faith in Jesus, been baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit, then you’re equipped. So go.