The disciplemaker should be a special instrument, one who cleanses himself from what is dishonorable. He should be many things:
In a sense, this has already happened in the life of a believer. The moment he or she came to faith, he or she was “set apart.” But Paul is not talking about a believer’s position in Christ; he is talking about one’s practice.
To be set apart is to be reserved for holiness unto God. In other words, the disciplemaker strives to practice righteousness and not practice sin. He or she deals with sin and the self-life, putting it to death so that the Holy Spirit within can control and empower him or her to live a life pleasing to God.
When I first met Nick, he was far from God. Even though he professed Christ, he was not following Him and was engaging in activities other college students his age were doing.
Nick’s dad prayed for him and almost tricked him into going to an Experiencing God weekend. During that weekend, God dealt with Nick and showed him that those who profess an authentic relationship with Christ prove it by living life under His lordship. They live up to the faith they profess to believe. Nick drove a spiritual stake down and purposed to turn from the things that were keeping him from being devoted to God and trusting God to make him the man He desired him to be.
In time, Nick grew in his faith and become one of the student leaders in our ministry. He, along with his wife, Tara, serve at a church in south Louisiana. He is a godly pastor and is intentional about investing and pouring into the lives of others.
I often pray that God will keep me clean and close—clean from the stain of sin and close to Him. This doesn’t happen by accident. We must die to self and crown Jesus King over our lives. As we go hard after Him, we must put to death anything that doesn’t bring Him glory and embrace those things that help cultivate a rich and growing relationship with God.
As Christ lives His life in and through the disciplemaker, he or she can love as Jesus loves, serve as Jesus serves, and live as Jesus lives in total dependence and surrender to the Father.
Useful to the Master
The useful servant of God is totally surrendered, both as an instrument God can work with and a vessel He can work through. He or she is submissive and obedient to the master of the house, who is a picture of Christ.
In the same way, a disciplemaker should be surrendered and obedient to the Spirit of God. His attitude and mind-set should be “Not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42b). After all, those you invest in are not really your disciples; they are disciples of Christ. When we model surrender and obedience to the will and purpose of God, we are not only useful to Him but are great examples for those we disciple.
As Robby Gallaty often says to those who make disciples, “You can’t expect what you don’t emulate.”
According to Jesus (Luke 14:26–33), three things will keep you from being fully devoted to God: other people, your priorities, and material possessions. These things will attract us and at the same time distract our attention from godly devotion.
In Luke 14:26, Jesus warned us about people. Notice what He said: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be My disciple.”
In the language of the New Testament, to “hate” means to “love less.” To be the kind of man or woman who is useful to the Master, we must love God supremely. To be His disciple, we must love Him more than anyone else.
Jesus not only talked about our relationships with people, but He also talked about our priorities. Our priorities can keep us from being useful to the Master. Jesus said in verse 27, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
When Jesus said that we are to bear our own crosses and come after Him, He was saying we are to identify with Him completely. In other words, we are to make our relationship with Him our first priority. When we make Him our first priority, all other priorities should fall into place.When we make Him our first priority, all other priorities should fall into place. Click To Tweet
Jesus also said that our material possessions can keep us from being His disciples, from being people who are useful to the Master. He continued in verse 33, “In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33).
Jesus knew that our material possessions could preoccupy our minds and keep us from being fully devoted to Him.
Prepared for Every Good Work
The idea here is that the vessel that God can work through is available. This person is ready and willing to serve. I like what Henry Blackaby said: “God is not so much concerned with your ability as He is about your availability.” He went on to say, “Many believers are not useful to God because they hold on to sin. They are not submissive or obedient to God, and they are reluctant to do anything for Him!”
Cynthia came to the campus from Houston, Texas, on a volleyball scholarship. She was a great student and a gifted student athlete, and she had a heart for God and His Word. She became involved in the BCM as soon as she arrived on campus, and it was obvious that she was an amazing young woman.
It wasn’t long before Cynthia became one of our student leaders. Her availability to God highlighted her life and ministry. She was always willing to invest and pour into the lives of her teammates and others on campus. In fact, while she was a student leader in our ministry, she led many to Christ and then discipled them so they could grow spiritually. Cynthia and her husband, Byron, serve the Lord today in south Louisiana. She is a gifted counselor, and he pastors a local church in Baton Rouge.
Is that you? Do you want to be useful to God?