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Discipline In Discipleship

If Not For God / Mike Zwick
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2022 8:30 am

Discipline In Discipleship

If Not For God / Mike Zwick

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September 28, 2022 8:30 am

Mike Zwick sits down with Matt Willis to discuss his new book Master Life Together. The book discuss how Christians can have a discipleship journey with Jesus in the journey of life.

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Your host Mike Zwick all right if not for God with Mike Zwick. Got my good friend Matt and Allison Willis met each other in college on an Internet that with her three children who are now 14 1311 years old, not how to grow through transitions and trials with our assuming Kyles read Ms. Granddad Avery Willis Matt has a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Southwestern Baptist theological seminary.

Allison authored a simplified version of be transformed discovering biblical solutions to life's problems. Scope ministries international, and which she she helped translate into South Asian languages and used to train women overseas.

Allison is a registered dietitian with a Masters degree in an diet dietetics I dietetics and also has and also is served as a nutrition counselor, but Matt, I actually grew up at Calvary Baptist, but you grew up in Tulsa Oklahoma. Is that right that's correct to my wife and I both in Oklahoma. So coming from a state that has neither beaches nor mountains. We really love Carolina yeah I'm sure you know it's funny we've actually talked about that in the woods guys name not Kenneth Coppola know that we have mentioned him, but there's a guiding Oral Roberts and you said Tulsa, Oklahoma, and I said was that near Oral Roberts and you said was 3 miles away from where I grew up. You have the University to invite you grew you went to.

You grew up Baptist. After I went to Oklahoma Baptist University for land all my gosh and you been in North Carolina for six years now. That's right. And so what brought you out here so before this I was serving in South Asia as a missionary and they are was against these huge populations of lostness, millions, tens of millions of people who've never heard the name of Jesus and realizing how small I am is one person or one family. What can we do, and felt like the Lord is leading us back to the states to mobilize more people for missions and so I had a mutual friend with Calvary and they had a position open for missions pastor so interviewed with them. Thankfully, the Lord is open that door and is a seamless transition while and I actually met you over it Wednesday in the word this morning and you you actually going to be at the I were having a revival on November 4, fifth and sixth, right next to the Cox Toyota dealership in Burlington North Carolina now.

November 4 I want everybody who's listening to. Come November 4 to be at 6 o'clock November 5 and sixth. It's good to be at 5 o'clock and you're actually good to be bringing this book what's inevitable. It's called master life together that I co-authored with my wife and the subtitle is a discipleship experience for small groups while and so what what correlated on your heart for you guys to write this book but I think the best books are written out of just real life ministry that are happening so it's a simplified revision of material that my Granddad Avery Willis wrote called master life, written 40 years ago. Over 330,000 people have gone through it translated into 50 languages. It was more popular when I was growing up as a kid and so I didn't have the opportunity really go through it as it was intended over a six-month period and small group community. So I decided just to three years ago to lead a couple of groups through the material and as I did that there were some people I discipled who went on to disciple other people and groups using master life. But then there are others who said this is just too long of a process. I don't know who's willing to commit six months to grow as a disciple, so we decided my wife and I what if we could have a shorter version that would just be a little easier for people to get that taste in the mouth of what it's like to be holy in all into being a follower of Jesus that could lead to a lifelong discipleship journey while, and in we had talked about this a little bit before Wednesday in the word but a lot of people have have grown up in the tradition of you get up on Sunday morning you go to church. You leave church after church is done and that's all it is, but with small groups. It's a little bit more than that.

Is that right yeah that's right so we wrote the material for some flexibility of new or existing group so can be a Sunday school class but it will raise the bar of expectations for people because each day there's five days of guided quiet times. Okay, here's what we encourage you to read in the word is a couple of pages of questions to answer and come together on the weekly time.

So much of what's done in small groups in the United States is that you show up once and you're not expected or held accountable to do anything with it and that we can come back and you learn some more and think discipleship that is just knowledge base isn't really discipleship me. Knowledge is important, but we also need to obey it applied in our lives and fall more in love with Jesus you absolutely and so you know, Jesus told us to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and the and of the Holy Spirit.

I think you ask a lot of Christians and you say will what is it mean to make disciples and they come to see what I don't really know what is that mean yeah so a lot of people have never been discipled, so it's hard to know what it means when you never been discipled. I would say discipleship is a personal love relationship with Jesus Christ that's demonstrated a lifelong journey of obedience with them. The results of that is that our character becomes more Christlike are values become his values and we join him on mission in our home, the church in the world while and so you know we were talking about this a little bit before I think sometimes we can get we can get excited about something we can want to do something but then there's always good to be something that actually holds us back from doing it night. I told the story this morning with Stu about there was a little boy who was that he wanted to be get into gymnastics, and he was trying to was trying, he was working doing all these things and then the day were his first event came up and he actually said to the teacher. He said sir he said I'm too scared.

He says I can't do this.

I don't think I can do this and the teacher says don't worry about it. He says broke your heart over the bar and your body will follow and so I think sometimes we think, oh, you know were to make disciples were to start small groups and there may not be you know it's it's gonna be pretty simple. It's knocking on docket have all these problems, but we were talking about this this morning. There are obstacles that do come up. So how do we overcome those obstacles yeah well Jesus said in Luke 923 and 24 whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

So it really doesn't begin in our heart. Discipleship need not be over complicated the process that we wrote here in the material is a minimum of 12 weeks, with a few recommended sessions of weeks after that, but it really does come down to a will that surrender to the Lord in discipleship so discipleship really is not intended to be optional for Christians like well I don't know if I want to be really a disciple arrives want to be a nominal Christian in name only really one week accept Christ as our Savior. We also are to accept him as Lord and that's Lord over all areas of our life, but that second 10 you will surrendering to in our time. Her talents are treasures different ways that that manifests itself sure and you actually are actually telling a story about an instance where you actually faced optical obstacles in another country, a southeastern Asian Asian country where the police got involved with that right yeah that's right so sharing the gospel with people who had never heard the name of Jesus. In fact, I was traveling with a local believer and I would ask them. I said your shepherd. I've got a good friend who's a shepherd. His name is Jesus.

Have you ever heard of him that I know. But the next village is over there and you can ask maybe Jesus lives over there would never heard of in their 80 years old account in the world never heard even his name.

One time was where sharing the gospel with some people. There were many people who accepted Christ gladly. But there were some who did it and one of them called the police on us and so they came out intercepted us, interrogated us, asked us to give them the different Christian materials that we had with us and then they also threatened us with imprisonment. They said were to come back tomorrow and if you told anyone else about Jesus will throw you in jail. All man the that that is that is something else. And so, but it but the cool thing is is about that. Were you said you shake it, shake the dust off of your feet and you move on and think sometimes people get right off yeah so there's one thing that we mentioned in the master life together material that I think is maybe helpful for those who are listening and it's red light yellow light green light if you think of everyone that you're sharing the gospel with Susan on believer with when you're telling them the gospel there, one of three responses so that red light is the wipe the dust off your feet and move on his Jesus said in in Luke 10 in Jude 122 and 23 it says be merciful to those who doubt that the yellow light. I got another time interested in RA to commit yet it says snatch others from the fire and save them. That's the green light there people who are ready to receive Christ if someone would just tell them and show them God's love and then it says to others show mercy, mixed with fear, hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh, which is what the red light is and so I think it's just important for us to have better mind when were sharing the gospel, which of course is necessary to make disciples.

You know, if we just keep talk about discipleship among Christians is just spiritual inbreeding. You know, we need to lead new people to faith and so when were doing that were afraid of those red lights but that's really the minority of responses. The majority people and share the gospel with early that yellow light there interested to have a conversation in here more and so we talk some about strategies of how to go about that and after that yeah so one thing that I tried to at any time.

Eating out is to ask the server how we can pray for them now in the past I used to just ask you know, can we pray for you and sometimes they would say no or I don't know what to even pray for.

They just are far from God in their hearts. And so what I started doing is to say, were followers of Jesus and Serena pray before food and rigging to pray for you to so how can we best pray for you, whether that be health job, whatever, and when I say it that way you know it.

I'm just saying I'm going to pray for you. So how can I best do that then their life. Yeah that's right that's right so it's almost always you know a positive response. At that point even if they're caught off guard. They don't know what to even ask prayer for then at the end with the tip. I give them a couple of different cards there some cards. I have a have a QR code that points them to the Jesus film and then also just invite to our churches well loved it. Continue the relationship yet that's right. And in that passage that you just talked about from John for right before that in verse 35 and 36. He said what I think was my favorite passage in the steps of the pandemic. When he said, do you not say four months more and then the harvest I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields they are ripe for harvest. Even now, the reaper draws his wages even now he harvest the crop for eternal life with the sower and the reaper may be glad together is is a sustained one sows and other reefs is true. I sent you to reap what you have not work for others have done the hard work and you reap the benefits of their labor. In other words, it is easy for many Christians to say in the pandemic. While you know in four months from now, six months are now 12 months from now then were going to minister more and share the gospel and get out there and unfortunately I fell like to me churches didn't rise to the occasion where more people were open to the gospel than before, and yet too many Christians were shrinking back in fear, worrying about their own life and it's okay to take some wise steps to steward our health by not to the point of not being willing to sacrifice our own health for the sake of other people's eternity Billy Graham on talk yeah definitely. Sometimes we talk about mouth to ear evangelism so that people are hearing that and doing that in relationship and so when I'm training people in how to share the gospel. It's usually gospel conversation training which also involves modeling so sometimes I'm doing that sometimes him having other people come Mike Shipman with any three has written a book out there that's great.

He's living in Raleigh currently but is been a missionary in Southeast Asia with the IMB and it's called anyone, anytime, anywhere how you can share the gospel with anyone.

He did a training at Calvary within the past few weeks and he sent us out in the afternoon go out and share. So I took a guy with me and we went and share the gospel at a place where it was owned by a Hindu guy from India and we end up sharing the gospel is in it he accepted pricing that it was the very first time we had met him is from the same state in India as some members of our church and so we exchange phone numbers and their having them over into their home to just take those next steps of discipleship. There are things from the small groups that you won't be able to get by being in a church so when you go to a church. It's quiet. You're listening to the pastor.

It's great, but there are some things that you can also get by being a small group that you may not be able to get from a church in one of those things is questions and answers mean because when somebody is a new Christian.

A lot of times they do have questions. Yeah that's right so in the material of master life together. The discipleship experience for small groups.

We spent 12 weeks walking through simple yet comprehensive, 360 view of your life.

As a follower of Christ in one of those weeks is on witnessing. So just to say okay here's one of several different areas. We look at and then those practical sessions I mentioned. After week 12.

One of them is practice sharing the gospel sewing spent a couple hours working on your testimony, how to share the gospel with people your story and Jesus story and then the week after that is actually going in sharing the gospel like let's just go do this and so yes there there is the five days of guided quiet time.

But then there's the weekly gathering where were able to ask questions and facilitate that discussion yet because it's easy to talk about talking about sharing the gospel.

That's a whole another thing to actually go out there and do it and so you one of the things I think holds a lot of people back is fear is fear of rejection or these people are gonna listen to me or whatever but actually it's it's funny and I've gotten this way is that the more that I share it the more when not when I'm ready to share the gospel. Now it's like God wants to say that person, the owner of the Truth Network. He did it Wednesday in the word. One time he said that Peter is Philip opened up his mouth when he was talking to the eunuch and he says first thing that we have to do is just open up her mouth, but in addition to that we all have the skill set of tubular okay what is the most effective way to do this you talk about the red light green light.

The yellow light.

What are some other skills that people cannot pick up on the help share the gospel. While some of it is doing it together so in Luke 10 Jesus sent the disciples out to buy two to every village where he was can ago when were thinking of evangelism you for thinking about doing it on her own. It's harder, but when we do it with someone. Another believer by our side. That's great. One of you may be sharing in the other one sprain or one of you is able to speak at a different time. The two of you are able to do it together and so I think that doing it together and be accountable to it like hey were going to go this Saturday. Let's find a time share the gospel. Both of people we know and new people. I think that's part of it. More than just a certain skill even though training is important. I read a book gospel fluency by Jeff Weiner still and in their he said you know people don't really need training on how to talk about their favorite sports team or to show pictures of their kids or grandkids.

They just do it because they love the things or the people and if we would just fall more in love with Jesus and lost people were going to want to share the gospel with them. Even though some of them are going to turn down Christ. Yet the John Wesley said one time he said I set myself on fire and people come to what Barnett II do believe that especially in the I believe were living in the last days. It is we are living in these last days.

People are looking to Amoco yelling find on Amazon or lifeways. The publisher and so easy link that they could get to is a link so it's VIT.LY/master life together and October 3. Just a few days from now is when it's going to be published that yeah that's right my wife is an amazing woman and as you mentioned in the bio she's a dietitian by trade.

She's temporarily working as a substitute teacher at Calvary day school about her real heart is for discipleship and so when we lived in South Asia. She was training local Christians to make disciples USENET B transform material by I'm so thankful to have gotten a co-author this with her and I were currently leading a group through this material on Sunday nights so we got a dozen people in their some of them are brand-new believers. One couples from Kenya. One lady is from the same province in the same country in Asia were my wife and I went 20 years ago and how we met on a mission trip.

So here we are 20 years later still ministering to people from that part of the world through material that we've written and there is something helpful in the back of this book, which is a leaders guide. So if anyone is listening to this and say okay this is really not intended to just be your one-on-one Bible study alone with God. It's supposed to be in community. I would say find two or more people to go through with and there's the guide in the back to help you know how to make the most of the material you've known one mission long-term. Yeah that's right into it.

Speak to the other thing that you're saying. One of things we do in the material of mass life together is Scripture memory so we have a verse that were memorizing every week and when we come together we break up and groups of two or three and say right. Let's quote the verse from the last week. So yes there is that loving accountability that says while God's word is valuable to memorize and meditate and apply in our lives and then to the question about long-term missions. Yeah so I knew that God was calling me is been part of my life as an international missionary when I was 18 years old and then went through years of schooling to get more equipped for serving overseas and we lived for seven years in South Asia and it felt like longer than seven because we are in a place that was so dark and so different from biblical worldview is really challenging and yet the Lord is doing something really special.

There are multiple networks of church planting movements that are happening throughout South Asia. I'm going to South Asia taking a team to train leaders of church planting movement networks in master life together just in a few days from now. So appreciate your prayer for that but doing that I was the one network were focused on the most. There has planted almost 2000 churches in the last 15 years and just explosive growth that the Lord is doing in parts of the world wow definitely the need to abide and depend on Christ and spiritual warfare is real and sometimes it's more intense when you're on the front lines when you're trying to take the gospel and shine the light where there's never been a light shown the enemy, Satan hates that demons fight back and so we feel like soldiers in the sense of just being wounded some, but ultimately not victims were victorious, thumbing through Christ, but a practical thing related to missions, I think, is understanding language and culture that something you can't really get on a short-term mission trip.

You learn one word or one phrase, but there's a big gap even if you're sharing the gospel.

Depending on the worldview. The people you're sharing with you may not really be understanding the words that are coming out of your mouth and so by God's grace, we learn the local language and that helped us to really understand. They had terms and concepts that have no English words for. And so, just to understand the worldview of where they're coming from and trying to get the gospel at the core to replace that worldview through salvation and discipleship. That's what ultimately will change people's lives and communities. So when you did that for a while your back, but now you help other people who want to do for mission yeah right yeah that's right. So in my role as missions pastor and helping people in our church, but also other churches as well. So just two nights ago. Started this year's cohort is like a nine month cohort of people who are praying about being missionaries so there's 10 people in the group, representing four different churches sure.

And so we did this Mark Gelber and Eiko let it last year took eight people through it and taking some of his people on the mission trips as well saying a come with me, so I think there's there's two different things. One is trying to minister broadly the people there are things I do. Whether or have an IMB president Paul Chitwood preach at Calvary on December 4 preach into thousands. Okay that's important. Sure within drilling down deep with the few that are really committed to lowering what Christ is doing in their life is a both and it's both of them and the you know wanted to tell you guys a little bit about he's not. If you want to be able to meet Matt. He's gonna have these books with him and your actually be bringing a friend of yours, possibly from Southeast Asia. That's really the revival on November 4 at 6 PM at Cox Toyota in Burlington November 5 at 5 PM and on November 6 at 5 PM as well, but when he's there. I think you know if if you guys have any questions for him. I'm sure you're going to have some questions because there is a lot in this book would definitely pick up this book. It's called master life together. I discipleship at and Allison will will list it well.

I would say think of who you know who you respect who is a follower of Jesus and ask them to have a conversation with you soon. Now there are no perfect people.

There's no perfect church that we we admit that, but hopefully were becoming more like Christ. And I think most people who decide to make the best decision in their life which is give their life to Christ really does in relationship they know follower price and so say.

Ask him to go out coffee for lunch. Just tell them where you're at and you ask them paying what can I do to be saved. Why are you saying tell me your story. I think there's plenty of Christians that are wanting to share their story. They just don't know who's really open.

Please, please, please share your faith with others. People are dying and going to hell.

Please tell them the good news about Jesus that said RA for my YouTube channel. If not for God with Mike Zwick is like driving that notification will be awarded at verdict you consider joining the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America also known as PRC a life PRC life is a fraternal benefit society that offers a variety of different life insurance folios for all stages of life he are CUA life also offers fixed indexed annuity plans with the yield at 3.75%. AP why as a fraternal organization PRC UA provides member benefits such as education, scholarships, sports tournaments, numerous Polish American cultural programs and much more to become a member and for more details visit PRC or contact local PRC UA representatives at 336-776-7456.

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