Matthew 28:16-20, Acts 1:6-8, I Corinthians 1:3-4, James 5:16, & Galatians 6:1
For “Vision Sunday,” Steve preached on how God will empower us to do whatever we need to do, based on Matthew 28:16-20. He said we must remind ourselves that it is only by Christ’s power and authority we can act; otherwise, we will get into pride and legalism about what “I’m” going to do.
Not only do we need constant sustenance to follow Christ’s Great Commission, Steve said we should keep going as long as we are alive: “The temptation is to sit in a chair and do nothing. We want credit for sticking to the pew. This sermon goes against the grain of American church culture.”
We should go out as He told us, keeping in mind we go with His power and authority. We don’t need to pray about this, Steve said, but simply act. He said this passage contains three simple truths about making disciples: 1) go, 2) teach people to do what Jesus commanded, 3) trust in Him.
The latter is important because Jesus said if people hated Him, they will hate those who follow Him. Yet, He didn’t leave neutrality as an option. As we teach others God’s Word, we will face tremendous pressures to ignore it or discount it. But if we compromise what Scripture says, we are bowing down to the world, Steve said.
“Believe the Word is truth,” Steve said. “Oprah says, ‘Live your truth.’ You’ll go to hell if you live your personal truth. That means doing what I want to do and going where I want to go. Being a disciple means doing what Jesus wants us to go. Going means going where Jesus says to go. Making disciples means make disciples.”
This is difficult because it goes against the grain of American culture, which is all about comfort, peace, and ease, Steve said. But we should recognize we are empowered by Jesus to make disciples, something he said is our church’s vision for 2019. That means teaching people how to live. Discipleship is demonstrated by the woman who counseled Steve’s mother when she was in her 20s and had a heart flutter that made her fear for her life. This woman talked to Steve’s mother at any time of day or night and always pointed her to biblical truth.
“Discipleship is a one-on-one thing,” Steve said. “It’s where you care about other people’s lives and on purpose pour your life into others. You don’t need to be an expert to do that. You just have to be willing.”