O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! Jeremiah 17:14 (NLT)
Praise has come up in several different contexts over the past several weeks: prayer times, on the radio, reading the Scriptures, within the depths of my heart, and visiting people, at a social distance of course. I began to think more about praise when I heard there are several words in the NT for praise. I did some research and found 6 different words for praise: 6 verbs and 3 nouns; the 3 nouns have the same root as 3 verbs totaling 6 different words for praise.
I found this exciting as I thought through and discovered a deeper understanding of praise, it makes sense how my life has radically changed and how praise is an integral part of me. I pray you are encouraged and find something that will bring praise and glory to God as well.
Here are the words for praise in the New Testament:
ainéœ (ahee-neh'-o) (lit. "extol, glorify"; Luke 2:13,20; 19:37; Acts 2:47; 3:8)
To express the greatness of God, through outward expressions of joy and excitement for what He has done. One can be so touched by God’s greatness that no word can express the awe and thus a quiet reflection is all that can be expressed. God is glorified in the praise!
doxázœ (dox-ad'-zo) (lit. "extol, honor"; Matthew 6:2; Luke 13:13; 17:15; 23:47; Acts 4:21)
Honor is given where honor is due; to lift up the honor of God. To express the touch of God, through outward expressions of joy and excitement for what He has done. One can be so touch by God’s work that no word can express the awe and thus a quiet reflection is all that can be expressed. God is honored in the praise!
epainéœ (ep'-aheen-o) (lit. "approve, praise"; Romans 15:7-13)
Jesus made away for the Gentiles “so that God will be given glory.” For the Gentile, we remember God’s mercies towards us which brings praise (Romans 15:9). This tends to be an outward expression.
exomologéomai (ex-om-ol-og-eh'-o) (lit. "confess, praise"; Romans 14:10-12; 15:7-13)
To express the “awe” and greatness of God, through outward expressions of joy and excitement for what He has done, doing or will do. We all have so much to confess considering God’s greatness.
hymnéœ (hoom-neh'-o) (lit. "sing hymns of praise"; Hebrews 2:12, many Psalms: 9:2, 9:11, 47:6)
An outward expression of glory and honor to God through song.
psállœ (psal'-lo) (lit. "play a stringed instrument," "sing to a harp"; RSV "sing praise," James 5:13, 1 Peter 1:6-7, and many Psalms).
As many of the Psalms, Peter, and James point out, singing and praising God is done regardless of circumstances.
In the NT "praise" translates the Hebrew/Greek words as nouns: The object of the action is a noun: I never thought of praise as a noun until I looked at the context of how praise is used in these Scriptures.
épainos (ep'-ahee-nos) (lit. "approval, praise"; Romans 2:29; Ephesians 1:6,12,14; etc.)
Seeking/receiving praise from God or someone who would bring “praise” to God.
dóxa (dox'-ah) (lit. "glory"; Luke 17:18; John 9:24; 12:43)
Give “praise” that is glory to God for His great act of Mercy, Love, Grace.
aínos (ah'-ee-nos) (Matthew 21:16; Luke 18:43), and aînosis (Hebrews 13:15).
Giving or receiving praise…praising God or offering “a sacrifice of praise to God”
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Electronic Database Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc.
Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.
Text book definition
Praise: An act of worship or acknowledgment by which the virtues or deeds of another are recognized and extolled. (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
Let’s look at two major objects of praise for the Christian life – man and God, that is, praise of: man-toward-man; God-toward-man; and man-toward-God.
We know that the praise of man toward man can be very helpful and encouraging (1 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Timothy 1:3), because it is important to build each other up and to encourage each other. Although, it seems that praise can be quite a snare to man (Proverbs 27:21; Matthew 6:1-5). I have experienced this snare in my own life and because of the experience, I find it difficult to give praise to people. I try to be very careful and express praise in context to what God is doing or has done within the person’s life. To help build up, so that God is glorified and the person is given proper praise.
We know that the praise of God toward His children is the most satisfying approval a person can ever receive. When God is glorifying/praising it reflects the true servant's heart (Matthew 25:21; 1 Corinthians 4:5). A person after God’s own heart, brings praise and glory to God, because of God being pleased with him/her. It is humbling to think of serving God and pleasing Him; that I could please God, through Christ Jesus, is exciting, bringing joy and awe to my life….so very humbling. How wonderful the words are “well done good and faithful servant.”
Our, followers of Christ Jesus, highest priority and our main focus must be “true” praise. True praise is always directed to and for God. The praise of a person toward God is the way he/she expresses: awe, joy, love, hope, adoration, and thanksgiving to the Lord (Ephesians 1:3-14).
We are to praise God both for who He is and for what He does (Psalms 150:2), the major purpose of our praise is: Praising God for who He is, defined as adoration and Praising Him for what He does, is defined as thanksgiving. (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
There are a variety ways “Praise” of God is expressed: Often we praise in song (outward or inner expression) or prayer (outward or inner expression), maybe individually or collectively as the Family, perhaps praise is spontaneous or prearranged.
Praise originates from the emotions of knowing God or from the will of God who now dwells within us, through Christ Jesus our Lord. It is important to point out that praise can be an inward expression or an outward declaration of both who God is and what He does, and is a part of the very fabric of our life as a follower of Jesus. (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
Oh, that we might echo King David's words,
Psalms 71:6 Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother's womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you! (NLT)
Psalms 71:14 But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more. (NLT)
J.C. Lambert explains the duty of praise to be: - Praise is everywhere represented in the Bible as a duty no less than a natural impulse and a delight. To fail in this duty is to withhold from God's glory that belongs to Him (Psalms 50:23; Romans 1:20); it is to shut one's eyes to the signs of His presence (Isaiah 40:26), to be forgetful of His mercies (Deuteronomy 6:12), and unthankful for His kindness (Luke 6:35-36). If we are not to fall into these sins, but are to give to God the honor and glory and gratitude we owe Him, we must earnestly cultivate the spirit and habit of praise.
From holy men of old we learn that this may be done by arousing the soul from its slothfulness and sluggishness (Psalms 57:7-10; 103:1), by fixing the heart upon God (57:7; 108:1), by meditation on His works and ways (77:11), by recounting His benefits (103:1-2), above all, for those to whom He has spoken to by His Holy Spirit and Son, we focus and praise Him for His unspeakable gifts (2 Corinthians 9:15; compare Romans 8:31-33; 1 John 3:1-3).
(International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Electronic Database Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc.)
As we continue to grow in our love for God and understanding His ways, I pray that the praises of His people will flood all of heaven; that God’s praise of His people will permeate their lives, that others might come to know the One true God; and that we as Children of God, will encourage and build each other up through praising for what God is doing in and through our lives.
I pray that all of our circumstances are seen through the lens of Scriptures. Even though life seems harsh and perhaps even lifeless that we would remember the Love, Grace, and Mercy that is extended to us through Christ Jesus our Lord. That we would, with an open heart, listen to the Holy Spirit as He comforts us.
Oh, thank you Lord, for a life full of praise.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. (NLT)
Good morning Family, I am looking forward to the day we can all gather together arm-in-arm to praise and worship God our Father, Jesus our Lord, King, and High Priest, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you all for creatively finding ways to stay connected. This Sunday, April 19, lets all, at our homes, gather at 10:00 on our front porch, on our deck, at our windows, someplace looking out and pray as the Holy Spirit leads for as long as the Holy Spirit Leads. Let us all gather to pray and worship in Spirit and Truth. I pray you are encouraged by todays message, may you experience hope, peace, and joy as we share together.
Love you all and miss you lots
Today's message comes from Luke 24:13-49
I appreciate how patient Jesus was. How He listened to the men as they were walking away. What I find really noteworthy is that Jesus knew all that had transpired and yet He asked them to give their version of the story. He wanted to hear how the recent events had affected these two men, His disciples. This reminds me of a Psalm
Psalm 62:8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.
God wants to hear what is on our minds and in our hearts…Yes, He knows, non-the-less He wants to hear. Through Jesus we have access to the Holy of Holies, just three days earlier the Curtain was torn, access, to pouring out our hearts to God, was granted to all who trust Jesus!
Hebrews 4:16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
These two men, discouraged and mourning, were leaving the place they could receive comfort, two sheep wondering off. We are likely to miss Jesus and withdraw from the strength found in other believers when we are preoccupied with our dashed hopes and frustrated plans. Only when we are looking for Jesus in our midst will we experience the power and help only He can bring. Jesus, as Lord, brings to our lives the transformation to live His ways especially when things are not going according to plan.
In verse 25 Jesus, after listening to their plight, responds to the disciple’s discussion on their way to Emmaus.
Luke 24:25 Then Jesus said to them, "You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures.
Foolish or “slow of heart” in this context is one who is struggles with the ways of truth. It refers to one who easily gives way to doubtfulness and even distrust. These men saw Jesus’ own hand heal and feed the multitudes. They knew He taught with impeccable authority and still they could not conceive what had been accomplished. I do not believe Jesus was condemning these men, just simply pointing out, the foolishness of their hearts, all our hearts really. The problem these men had was not what was in their head, it was what was in their heart.
Knowing full well that these two men needed more, Jesus began to teach. He began to open their hearts to the Scriptures.
Luke 24:27 Then Jesus quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the Scriptures said about himself.
Jesus helped these two men understand their faith. The imperfection found in these two men is strong evidence of the transforming work found in the Truth of the Gospel. Oh, how it benefits us to take time to grasp the fullest assurance of the Scriptures in context to our situation. Jesus brings to our lives the fullness of the Word of God. He brings clarity and understanding; He never brings confusion or despair to our lives.
What a wonderful testimony to the New Covenant Scriptures, people like these are. They were chosen: First and foremost, to believe the scriptures; secondly, to proclaim them in the world; and, thirdly, to die on the evidence of those truths. The blessed influence of the Gospel, (Christ Jesus Reigns) felt in their own hearts, and fully lived out in their lives. This brings hope to all of us, who like these guys struggle too.
As they continued on the road:
Luke 24:28-30 28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus would have gone on, 29 but they begged him to stay the night with them, since it was getting late. So, he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took a small loaf of bread, asked God's blessing on it, broke it, then gave it to them.
It came time for supper and the three sat down to eat. The three were sharing a meal together; Two old friends and their new found friend, who they have not really met yet. I am reminded of Revelation 3:20
"Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.
They began to eat and
Luke 24:31-32 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! 32 They said to each other, "Didn't our hearts feel strangely warm as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?"
In these Scriptures we find two men who were in quite a mess. They were down hearted, experiencing intense mourning, they were trying to put the pieces together. Jesus’ acting as head of the family, in taking, blessing, and distributing the bread among them, caused them to see Him. His words and inflections, His mannerisms they had often heard Him speak, and those hands by which they had often been fed, brought assurance and clarity to their minds and hearts.
This is the position of the master or head of a family; and this was our Lord's usual custom among his disciples. Those whom Christ walks with he feeds. He feed the bread He, Himself has blessed, and this sharing together not only strengthens, but also enlightens the soul. For Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:48).
We see here the very beginning of the formation of what so many long for today; connectedness. The very existence of the church happened because of Christ Jesus’ revelation to mankind. Hearts are stirred, minds are opened, Truth is known and transformation begins. How I am looking forward to gathering as the Family of God, worshiping and praising together arm-in-arm.
Many questions came to mind as I pondered this encounter with Jesus. Here is one: When Jesus vanished, did He really leave, was He really gone?
When we get to those times and feel like Jesus has left, after He was revealed to us, take heart He has never left. The Scriptures tell us
John 14:20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
Colossians 1:27 For it has pleased God to tell his people that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory.
That is where our Lord is living, in us! Making us His very own. There are times of doubt and when we are in those times, we know that we are never really alone, Jesus has never left us nor will He.
Hebrews 13:5-6 5 Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." 6 So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?"
Jesus said, … And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20
Our lives are made in such a way that we need to be connected. These scriptures have a great deal to do with faith and connectedness. God grants us the faith to stand strong in times of adversity and Jesus as the Vine, keeps us connected to Him; the one who brings encouragement, perseverance, hope, and faith to our lives. The hearts of these two men "burned within," as Jesus was revealed.
John Rawlinson puts it this way “Spiritual feelings must be sustained by the means which first produces them. Do you wish to keep your heart warm in this sense? Often walk and talk with Jesus. Let Him be much in your thoughts.”
Connections are vital to our lives and life in the church. Our connectedness comes when Jesus is Lord of our lives. I am so looking forward to connecting with you the ones God has given each us as brothers and sisters here in Garfield, very soon.
5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6 but the angel said, "Don't be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn't here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died." 8 The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened. Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen.
The angel made sure the ladies knew to tell Peter that Jesus has risen from the dead. We know from several accounts that Jesus appeared to Peter very soon after His resurrection.
Paul gave us his account in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
Luke gave this explanation Luke 24:33-35
What we know for sure is that Jesus appeared to Peter first. It is not known precisely when this happened, as the time and place are not mentioned. We know it was very soon after Jesus’ resurrection.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.
(Note: “the Twelve” is believed to be a reference to the apostolic team Jesus discipled, there were 11 after Judas died, the men brought in Matthias to complete the twelve (Acts 1:22-23), then later Paul was appointed by God as an apostle (Romans 1:1). There was Twelve appointed by Jesus.)
Remember in Matthew 16:13-20 Jesus describes Peter’s faith as a “rock.” There were many times Peter demonstrated real and personal faith in Jesus. Sometimes, it appeared to be stronger than others, non-the-less, it is faith, no matter the size, that brings us close to Jesus. I can only imagine what Peter must have felt when Jesus appeared to Him personally. This act of Grace and Mercy that Jesus showed Peter, gives all of us insight into the very nature of Jesus.
I believe Peter’s encounter with Jesus is not unique to Peter. Many of us have the very same struggles, we love Jesus deeply and want to follow Him with all that we are, and yet we struggle with temptation and fall into sin; even the very sin Peter struggled with, denying Jesus.
Off and on over the years I have found it very difficult to share with people my beliefs, my convictions, and my faith. In essence I have struggled with my denial of Jesus. I cannot count the times I have denied Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I find it very difficult at times to stand bold and be declarative about my Lord and King. I have this passive attitude of offense permeating my thoughts. Anyway, moving along, I find Peter’s encounter with Jesus to be one of the most life-giving encounters in the Scriptures.
Jesus appearing to Peter is a mark of unique love and special favor (grace), and particularly, after Peter's denial. This shows how ready Jesus is to pardon and impart comfort to those who are penitent. Jesus is ready to restore at all times, His relationship with those whom He calls His sheep. Jesus seeking out Peter, demonstrates God’s heart for relational restoration. A powerful demonstration of forgiveness!
I would like for all of us to imagine for a moment the anguish in Peter’s heart. Peter announces before all the disciples that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, and then Jesus says to Peter upon this rock (faith) I will build my church. Jesus, Peter’s Lord, has been killed after denying Him three times. The heartache had to have been overwhelmingly crushing.
Now, try to imagine what was going on in Peter’s heart when Jesus appears to him, before the other 10 disciples. Jesus declares to Peter his profound Grace and Mercy, this had to have been overwhelmingly emotional. I am not surprised that what transpired between them was not written down. The very character and nature of Jesus is the message given through His appearing to Peter.
Peter is easily able to declare
2 Peter 1:1-2
This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. 2 May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
Pete became more aware of how the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven were going to be used by him. We have, through this personal encounter with Jesus, what the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven are used for; life-giving restoration and redemption for all who choose the Son of the Living God as Savior, Lord, King, and High Priest. For a description of the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven read Matthew 5-7.
Happy Resurrection Day!
Today we celebrate the most miraculous event in all history; the rising of the Son of Man, God’s own Son. The Son of God rose from the dead changing forever the way mankind views the world. The Old Testament revealed the King to come in Zechariah 9: 9-11 and Isaiah 9:6-7. The Messiah, the King, established a new order that is a new way of Life in Truth. Truth that has existed since the creation. This new Way reconciled God and man’s relationship. This newness, much like the dawning of Spring, brought life and freedom through a New Covenant. All of the Old Testament pointed to Jesus who would seal the New Covenant.
Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day," says the Lord. "I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
This new life, available to all people in all walks of life came from King Jesus! He established the New Covenant, the New Way!
Luke 22:20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, "This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.”
This cup, the “cup of redemption” Jesus fulfilled that day on Calvary. The King, the Lamb of God shed His blood on Calvary and a new covenant was formed. The consequences of the work on the cross are many, one very wonderful consequence is forgiveness. God, through His Holy Spirit, simply gives us an invitation to join the Kingdom of Heaven. And through our acceptance of this invitation we are given direct access to the Holy of Holies; direct access to God, the One True God (Matthew 27:50-53; Hebrews 6:18-20).
Jesus established a new order, a new way of life; He brought clarity to life. We have available to us Living Water, poured out to us through Christ, that all people can have a real, practical, and personal relationship with God the Father. Regardless of anyone’s personal thoughts, the fact is Jesus has always ruled over His creation. Regardless of humanities willingness to believe, the Truth remains the Truth. Jesus is Lord of all!
Lord of our lives!
Romans 14:7-9 7 For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die. 8 While we live, we live to please the Lord. And when we die, we go to be with the Lord. So, in life and in death, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and rose again for this very purpose, so that he might be Lord of those who are alive and of those who have died.
Jesus died and rose again that He might be Lord of your life today and into eternity. This word LORD means Master. Our Lord Jesus, by His death, did not purchase a right to a fraction of us. By His death and resurrection, He purchased a right to every part of us. Simply put, we, all humanity, are in desperate need of the Savior and Jesus is, our Savior. The one and only one who brings us into a right relationship with God the Father is Jesus, the Risen Savior!
The Lordship of Jesus became real to this man:
A native born of interior China wanted to become a Christian but couldn't understand how Christianity was superior to the major religions of the Chinese culture. One morning he came rushing up to the missionary full of joy and excitement saying, "I dreamed last night, and now I understand! I dreamed I had fallen into a deep pit where I lay helpless and despairing. Confucius came and said, 'Let me give you advice, my friend; if you get out of your trouble, never get in it again.' Buddha came and said, 'If you can climb up to where I can reach you, I will help you.' Then Jesus came. He climbed down into the pit, picked me up, and carried me out." “Now I believe!” (Author unknown)
Jesus as Lord/Master is much different than what the world has to offer. Jesus, the Servant King, demonstrated that He the Savior of humanity is willing to be such a King. Only one who is Lord, the Servant King, would stoop so low (pick me up out of the pits of yuck) as to save a sinful soul like yours and mine. The visual of Jesus picking us up out of the despairs of life, is real. Many of us know this first hand.
Anything that keeps Jesus from being Lord of our lives and fulfilling His Lordship in our lives is called sin. Sin keeps us from experiencing the fullness of what God has for us. Jesus is the Way to the Father, because He paid the price for the penalty of sin. Jesus is the Truth who shows us the reality of sin. Jesus is the Life we need to live the fullness of what God the Father has for us. (John 14:6)
May God show us all the sin(s) that keep us from living life for Him to the fullest, and may we all take time to repent of what the Holy Spirit shows us, and may we all experience the forgiveness God has for all who confess their sins and repent.
Jesus is Lord! The amazing thing about Jesus as Lord, is not that we accept Him into our lives, it is that He, before we were ever born accepted us into His life.
Romans 5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. As Lord, Jesus is like a potter molding, shaping, and making us whole. Our King shows us the way; our Lord through His Holy Spirit equips us to live the way; and our High Priest intercedes in our behalf making us right before God.
Personally, and practically Jesus, Lord of your life, is about His Holy Spirit giving you a new identity, equipping, and guiding you to love as He loves. It’s about hope, even when trials come, it’s about joy, regardless of circumstances, it’s about love, even when things seem the worst, it is about forgiveness, even when we are at our worst. It is this that we pass on to others.
Jesus’ promises do not depend on us, they depend solely on Him. May you submit more fully to the Lordship of Christ Jesus and may you experience all the promises He brings into a transformed life.
Happy Resurrection Day!
Discipleship in a nut shell is most often one-on-one (for Jesus it was often 1-on-3), life on life relationship where Christ Jesus is the very center and focus of the relationship. These relationships can be short term or long term is depends on what God is doing in and through the relationship. I personally have a long term relationship where three men are pouring into me regularly, that is I am their "Timothy." If you are interested in reading a short book about disciplemaking, John R. Kimball has put one together. We have several in the library, so help yourself. I happily encourage everyone to read it.
Biblical Understanding of Discipleship with a Timothy and a Barnabas perspective
Affective Timothy type relationship (disciplemaking) and Barnabas type relationship (encouraging) happen when we are in a Biblical Relationship.
Jesus demonstrated the model for disciplemaking, which has been called the rabbinical way or model (Meet the Rabbis, Brad H. Young).
Jesus had 72 he equipped and sent out … Luke 10:1-20
Jesus had twelve he purposefully chose to develop more…shown throughout the Gospels, Luke 9:1-6
Jesus had 3 He singled out and poured into… Matthew 26:36-38; Mark 5:37-39; Mark 9:2; Luke 5:8-11
Jesus himself poured into Paul (Galatians 1:12) as well, showing Paul the true rabbinical model of discipleship; which by the way was the way Paul was mentored to be a Pharisee.
Who poured into Peter, James, John, and even Paul?
Who did Paul pour into? John Mark (for a short time), Timothy, Barnabas, Silas, Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25) …
2 Timothy 2:1-2 Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
Acts 4:36-37 For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means "Son of Encouragement"). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.
Other Scriptures… Acts 9:27; Acts 11-15
There are those who are full of encouragement and they come along to support us. They may or may not be in discipleship relationship with you. They most likely are those outside of our sphere of influence who lift you up and lighten the day when they are around. I have several of “Barnabi” in my life.
Then there is the arrow point down, the someone(s), Timothy, that you are in relationship with for the major purpose of discipling in the faith.
The major focus of this relationship is to work together so that he/she can then work with someone else who works with someone else… 2 Timothy 2:1-2
I believe that if we are going to pour into someone, a Timothy, we need someone pouring into us (I can only give what I have). We cannot give what we do not have.
Being a Paul, a Barnabas, and even a Timothy requires one to be intentional in the relationship. The absolute most important thing we must always remember, that Jesus must be in the center of ever disciple-making relationship. Jesus’ Way of life is the example we learn and model as His followers. I pray you are encouraged as you spend time seeking God's heart for who He would have disciple you and who you might disciple.
Post a SOAP this week. Post in the comment section of the post. May God richly bless you as you seek His heart and hear from His Holy Spirit.
Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it out.
Observation: the Holy Spirit showed you(personal)
What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this Scripture in your own words.
Application: the Holy Spirit revealed
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this Scripture can apply to you today.
Prayer: the Holy Spirit brought to heart
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.