Day: November 23, 2013

Make Disciples

Vance Havner Imageby Vance Havner

Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations…. Matthew 28:17 (A.S.V.)

We would not strain for a point here, but it is evident that we are to make disciples, not just believers. Of course, in the Early Church there were no distinctions; a believer was also a disciple and a witness. There we no taking Christ as Saviour now, as Lord later-maybe never. Men confessed with their mouths Jesus as Lord while they believed in their hearts.

But today churches are filled with “believers” who have never been made disciples. Some of them perform perfunctory religious duties, but they have never denied self, taken up the cross, and followed Christ. They have not been taught to observe all things commanded.

The early Christians believed, became disciples, and that sent them out as witnesses to make disciples of others.

We need to learn our Great Commission all over again.

by Vance Havner

Obeying Faith

John MacArthur Imageby John MacArthur

“By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb. 11:7).” (1 Cor. 16:14).

When James said, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26), he stated a principle that’s consistent throughout Scripture: True faith always produces righteous works.

The people described in Hebrews 11 made their genuine faith known in the things they did. The same applies to us today. Paul said,

“The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12).

Perhaps better than anyone else in history, Noah illustrates the obedience of faith. Scripture characterizes him as “a righteous man, blameless in his time . . . [who] walked with God” (Gen. 6:9).

I remember a sportscaster interviewing a professional football player and asking him what he thought of his team’s chances of winning the Super Bowl. The player replied, “We believe that if we just do what the coach says, we’ll win.” The team had absolute confidence in their coach, but they realized they had to do their part as well.

That illustrates the quality of faith Noah had in God, whom he trusted absolutely as he pursued a task that seemed utterly foolish and useless from a human perspective. Imagine instantly surrendering all your time and effort to devote 120 years to building something you’d never seen (a vessel the size of a ocean liner or battleship) to protect you from something you’d never experienced (rain and flooding). Yet Noah did it without question.

Noah’s faith is unique in the sheer magnitude and time span of the task God gave him to do. He didn’t argue with God or deviate from his assignment. Is that true of you? Are you pursuing your ministry as faithfully and persistently as Noah did his? Is your faith a faith that works?

by John MacArthur