HE SHALL REIGN FOREVERMORE
One of the things that we all have are memories. Some may be wonderful and others not as wonderful, but we all have them. Sometimes we may even say something like, “That was such a wonderful experience, I wish I could do it again.”
Based on these wonderful memories, we try to replicate them in different ways, but as much as we try to do that, instead we create new memories. Memories are special moments that occur and we are able to reflect on them for many years.
You may be reading this today and have already celebrated Christmas. As we are in this season, do you have any special Christmas memories?
While I truly appreciate and am thankful for memories, I am grateful that “He Shall Reign Forevermore.”
Jesus is much more than a memory and from generation to generation, He is the Same God. Are you grateful for this today?
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
In a world of constant change, we can find comfort and joy that Jesus doesn’t change. He is the same God and He shall reign forevermore.
As children of God, this is one of the most powerful things because at any age, with any situation, God is with us and He doesn’t change.
Here are some other words for the word forevermore: consistently, constantly, regularly, eternally, invariably, forever, always, continually.
God will reign always.
God will forever reign.
God will reign eternally.
God will reign invariably.
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah,
and He will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15
For the next few moments, I would like to outline a couple of reminders for us about this powerful truth.
On February 24, 2022, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine began. Unfortunately, this invasion has caused many devastating and challenging things for people in the Ukraine and all over the world: tens of thousands of deaths, no access to food, water, health, and other essential supplies, significant loss of human capital, destruction of agricultural trading infrastructure, cost of food and goods, rising energy prices, and so much more.
While these effects as a result of the invasion are heart-breaking, let us be reminded that no matter what happens, God will reign forevermore. He is still on the throne and is well aware of everything.
If you feel led to help with the crisis in the Ukraine, please click here to help support these wonderful people who have been through the unimaginable.
2. No matter how we feel, God will reign forevermore
“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Feelings can sometimes be complicated and that’s ok. We all go through different seasons and situations that are hard. But, these feelings do not determine the fact that God is with us and He will reign forevermore.
Paul said it well in the verse we just looked at in Philippians. He learned to be content in all situations and it was not based on his own strength, but through the strength that God gave him. No matter how we live on any given day, we can be assured that God will give us the strength that we need to overcome.
There is a beautiful song that can be heard any time of the year and it is what helped inspire this blog. It’s called: He Shall Reign Forevermore by Chris Tomlin. You can click here to listen to this wonderful song.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
May God continue to bless you, equip you, lead you, guide you, and encourage you, as you live for Him!
MAKING DISCIPLES IS HARD WORK!
Our world is saturated with easy life marketing. “Use this product, ___________ (fill in the blank) and your life will be easier.” This is part of why shifting from a church member/attendee approach can be challenging. We like things to be easy. The easier, the better. But this is not the way of Jesus. He said it’s the easy path that leads to destruction, and the hard road to life eternal (Matt. 7:13).
As Disciple Making practitioners we ask the question. How do we motivate those we are sharing Jesus with to choose a difficult path? What about those we are trying to inspire to join us in working to see a movement of disciples released?
The attraction of the easy path is real. To motivate people toward something difficult, they need to feel either pain or great hope.
Without that, there is no doubt, they will revert to the easier, less demanding (but less fruitful) system of doing church. Simply being a church member who shows up a few hours a week and is entertained. This is far easier than living the life of an obedient disciple.
Coaching Toward Change
I believe in the power of coaching. My coaches have made a great difference in my life and contributed to the progress of the ministries I’m privileged to lead. Coaches ask good questions and make you think. They then assist you in setting practical goals.
As we think about how to motivate others for disciple making and multiplication, let’s consider two things. These will help initially, but also over the long haul. Return to them often.
1) Identify People’s Pain Points (Especially Regarding Life Purpose and Impact)
What are they frustrated with? Maybe it’s being stuck in a job they find mundane or unfulfilling. It could be family issues and kids who aren’t very serious about their walks with God. Find out what bothers them and then connect it with a choice to take the harder road of being an obedient disciple.
Most people deeply long to live a life of purpose and impact. The majority of Christians are not content with the level of impact their lives currently have. They want to know God more and make Him known to others, they just don’t know how to do so. Connect with that longing and inner frustration and you motivate them toward change.
Another thing that is key in identifying these is to empathize and relate to them through your own story. Share about your frustration in the past and the present as well.
How did you feel before you started this DMM journey? How do you feel now? What motivates you to make the necessary changes to live as a disciple maker? Share these things with those around you often.
2) Infuse Your Network With the Hope of a Different Reality
The best way to do this is to tell stories. Share both current and historical stories of those who have seen movements. Talk about the Biblical stories of the movements of Jesus and Paul. Why aren’t we seeing this today? Could we see this here? Ask and discuss these questions. As you do this, the Holy Spirit will begin to stir up hope within the hearts of those He is calling to join you in DMM pursuit.
Hope is a powerful motivator. Become a person who instills faith in others for what God has said He can do and wants to do. “Yes, it’s hard, but multiplication and movements are more than possible”- must be your repeated mantra.
For those who like to read, point them to books about Disciple Making. There are some great resources that we can recommend. Ask in the comments and we’ll send you a list.
Take the Hard Road
God has called us to be overcomers, those who are willing to choose hard paths over easy.
The reward is great and the view from the top is amazing! Not to mention that we get to journey with Jesus, our wonderful friend, and guide.
Has the draw of an easier, less demanding path been pulling at you?
PEER MENTORING GROUPS
Welcome back to the Discipleship blog series. If you have not read the previous posts, you can find them here.
Last time we learned how being Part of Two Churches is essential for multiplication and faithfulness.
In this post we will discuss the Peer Mentoring Group and its importance to multiplication.
Jesus said - “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
A Peer Mentoring Group is a group that consists of people who are leading and starting 3/3 Groups. It also follows a 3/3 format and is a powerful way to assess the spiritual health of God’s work in your area.
Peer Mentoring Groups use leader-to-leader mentoring with individual followers of Jesus, with simple churches, with ministry organizations or even with a global simple church network that reaches around the world.
Peer Mentoring Groups follow Jesus’ example of ministry from scripture, ask questions of one another and give feedback -- all using the same basic time structure as a 3/3 Group. The purpose of these groups is not to judge - to lift one member up and tear another down.
Jesus said - “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Instead, the purpose of a Peer Mentoring Group is to provide a simple format for helping followers of Jesus grow through prayer, obedience, application and accountability. In other words -- “to love one another.”
Here’s how it works:
Look Back (VISUAL - 1/3) During the first third - spend time in prayer and care just like you would in a basic 3/3 Group.
Then spend time looking at the group’s vision - How well are we individually abiding in Jesus as we read scripture, pray, trust and obey God, and live out key relationships?
Finally, during this first third, have the group review and respond to each individual’s action plans and commitments made in the last session.
Look Up (VISUAL - 2/3) The middle third of the group’s time is spent Looking Up for God’s wisdom and direction through scripture, discussion and prayer.
Offer a brief and simple prayer, asking God to teach you His will and His ways through His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead your time.
Group members should share what they have learned from the Lord about their area of leadership - either through God’s Word, Prayer or from Other Followers.
Have the group discuss the following simple questions:
Look Forward (VISUAL - 3/3) The final third of the group’s time is spent Looking Forward to how we can each apply and obey what we’ve learned.
Spend time in silent prayer with everyone in the group asking the Holy Spirit to show them how to answer these questions:
Finally spend time as a group talking to God in prayer. Have the group pray so that each member is prayed for and ask God to prepare the hearts of all those the group will reach out to during their time apart.
Pray for God to give each member of the group the courage and strength to apply and obey what God has taught them in this session. If a seasoned leader needs to pray specifically for a younger leader, this is the perfect time for that prayer.
Since these groups often meet at a distance, you are unlikely to be able to celebrate The Lord’s Supper or share a meal, but be sure to make time to check-in about health and family and friends.
Jesus showed us again and again that, even though He accomplished the most important works, He balanced it, always, with time for the ones He loved. A Peer Mentoring Group is a simple but strategic tool to develop stronger leaders.