A Master Class in Disciple-Making

1 Corinthians 4:14-21

Posted by Dan Jarms on May 14, 2023
A Master Class in Disciple-Making
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Effective disciple-making comes from being a humble disciple who makes humble disciples. Take Paul's fatherly warning and imitate Paul's example by considering humble power and making yourself easy to love.


  • A disciple is a…
  • An apostle is a…

Main idea: Effective disciple-making comes from being a humble disciple who makes humble disciples.

  1. Take fatherly warnings (4:14-15)
    • Colossians 1:28-29
  2. Imitate Paul’s example (4:16-17)
  3. Consider humble power (4:18-20)
  4. Make yourself easy to love (4:21)


  • 1 Thessalonians 5:12-14
  • Automated Transcription
  • 0:13
    All right, stand with me for the reading of God's Word. We're going to be at first Corinthians chapter four. First Corinthians chapter four. It's in the new testament to the right of the Gospels, First Corinthians chapter four. And we're finishing out a section in which Paul has been exhorting some proud and arrogant speakers in the church, some self proclaimed philosopher, super apostle sort of thing, and he is admonishing them. And I want you to notice the the affection even though there is a seriousness that he has for this church. First Corinthians four, verse 14, I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel, I urge you, then be imitators of me. That is why I sent you, Timothy, my beloved and faithful child and the Lord to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere, in every church. Some are arrogant as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people, but their power, for the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. What do you wish that I come to you with a rod, with a rod or with a spirit of love and gentleness? This is the word of the Lord. Will God put these words by your Spirit, bind them on our hearts help us be responsive as those who want to grow as disciples and those who are making disciples. Help us be faithful and humble, and trusting ourselves to you at all time. Christ's name, Amen. You may be seated. Well, I'm going to start this morning taking two sidebars like, Yeah, I'm gonna start start with the sidebar, two of them. First, I want to talk about what a disciple is. And then second, I want to talk about what an apostle is. I know there's lots of new visitors, lots of people come in from the neighborhood, and you might be attending church and you hear Christians talking about disciples, what's a disciple? A disciple of Jesus Christ is a learner of Jesus, the literal translation of that word from Greek to English, we've used disciple but it's learner, a disciple is a learner by spending time with a person listening and imitating this is this is what the core of discipleship with, it's the picture of a student who moves in and lives with his instructor. That's, that's the picture of being a learner, it's very personal. Spending time with the person, we do that through reading God's word and praying, listening to the commands with the intent to obey and imitating. So we are all called to be imitators of Jesus. Let me let me give you a picture that starts to move down that road a little bit. It's not perfect, but it helps. I've been married more than three decades to my wife, Linda, and I am still learning her. I'm still learning her. I don't pick out an encyclopedia of Linda and read articles. That'd be weird. Although there could be an encyclopedia of articles. I don't have a curriculum. I don't have a work. I don't have growth guides on Lynda. Right? It's personnel, all those things are helpful. I'm not saying that but it's learning a person learning a person this is Jesus call to you. If you're if you're here and you're not yet a follower of Jesus, He wants you to be His disciple. He wants you to learn him, spend time with him. Listen to Him, obey Him, imitate him. I mean, imagine if you will, the those human directionals that advertise tax services now, you drive around and and there's a person dressed like the Statue of Liberty, you know, like and like it just puts you a ton of confidence. You know who I want to do my taxes. I want to do my tea I want I want somebody's dress like the Statue of Liberty doing my taxes. But it's just to get your attention. Now imagine if there was such a thing as a classy and dignified human directional. That would be what Christians as disciples, and disciple makers are. We are trying to draw attention, we are trying to point to Jesus Christ, we're looking to him to learn from him. And we are helping others. Look to Him and learn from him. That's what the church is, as it gathers it is to be a directional to Christ. So the others here, look to Christ and trust him. And it is what we are to be individually. Now pride can override disciplemaking, with two easy moves. You know, the influence or side, if you have any kind of ability to influence pride can override disciplemaking with two easy moves. Do what I say, because I'm really important. Or do what I say because I'm really smart. Those two moves can override true discipleship because it becomes about the person giving the influence instead of about Christ. Humility, on the other hand, says do what Christ says. Because Christ is the only thing. Christ is the only person imitate me. Only and as I imitate Christ, that's what humility says. Likewise, the person who is hearing needs to learn and we're going to hear about that, Paul is going to give four, four really helpful directions, and how to learn from as well as how to use your influence. Second sidebar before we begin is this and that has to do with an apostle, what's an apostle, an apostle is someone selected by Jesus Christ to personally represent Him, and that was during Christ's life. If you read through the Gospels, he selected 12, one of them, betrayed him that was Judas after he died and rose, two more were selected. Mattathias and the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Paul is the most famous of all of them. An apostle as a an eyewitness of Jesus, and then sent as a representative of Jesus was when they were present. And when they were ministering in that office of apostle was Jesus like they were, they had the authority to represent Jesus. Man, that means that the letters they wrote and the actions they took, as apostles, were the letters and actions of Jesus. Now, if you hear that, I mean, one that sets a great foundation, when you read the New Testament, all written by prophets and apostles connected to Jesus, oh, that's all Jesus words, but you could start thinking, and you can start imagining that that kind of power could go to your head, can imagine that you could be the person speaking for Jesus. And it could go to your head, the authority could go to your head. And so it God in His kindness, made the apostles suffer. He made them suffer great hardships. All but one was a martyr. It was a kindness to them to suffer, to keep them humble, independent. It's a kindness to us, too. So again, if you're, if you're coming here wondering, is Christianity true? And I'm kind of checking out this thing should stick in your head. The apostles were hand selected by Jesus sent to bring His message to the world. And why would they preach a message they knew what's a lie when they had to endure such hardships? In fact, the hardships and sufferings of the apostle automate you think, Well, I wonder what they were talking about. Because if they were willing to suffer for it like that, there must be something to it.

    But here's here's something's really interesting about this. Their aim wasn't to gain power but to use power To point others to Christ. That's, that's a, that's a culturally challenging reality. I don't know how to say his name because I don't speak French. I think it's the philosopher for call, who said that all truth claims are just grabs of power. If you have the truth, then you can have power over people. If that was true, in this case, you would have seen the apostles, doing what the Roman Catholic Church did with the apostles, exalting them, claiming this power for control and authority. But that's that's not what you see these apostles doing. If it was a claim to power, the truth is a claim to power. It's the power of Christ, because they suffered for what they did. The aim of the apostles was to make disciples who would humbly make more disciples and we've been standing on their shoulders for 2000 years. Our mission as a church to be a loving community, making disciples of Jesus Christ followers, learners of Jesus Christ. The first four chapters of Corinthians is about how pride has corrupted the disciple making progress in the church at Corinth, pride in knowledge, pride in ability, pride and speaking was producing strife and division, not disciples. So in correcting this, we come to this, this end of the section on worldly wisdom and worldly power and ability. And Paul gives a master class on making disciples and being a disciple. It's a masterclass, especially when the when the people you're trying to make a disciple out of you're trying to use your influence for good, they are stuck or they're resisting. It's a masterclass when you are stuck and resisting on how to make the turn to following Jesus in a humble way. The big idea is this this morning, effective disciple making comes from being a humble disciple who makes humble disciples. We're gonna see how that works out. We want to be humble disciples who make humble disciples, we've already prayed for the single women in our church, and we prayed for the mothers in our church. And many of you are maturing women, and you have ability and you have a charge by God to invest in younger women. This is gonna help you this this is some of the most helpful instruction on how to be a influencer. That's that's the popular word today and influencer without the social media. If you aspire to be a mature man who invests in younger men, if you aspire to be a mature women, a woman who invests in younger women, this is for you. And if you're not yet a disciple of Jesus, what I hope this will do is compel you to see Authentic Christianity in action. Here's the claims about Christ. Here's the community that is following him. And the cruciform life, the self sacrificing life of his followers, is a directional to the one who has suffered and died for us. So let's look at four principles of effective disciple making four principles of effective disciplemaking. And they're the kinds of things that move us to being humble disciple makers who make humble disciples number one take fatherly warning, take fatherly warning. Every Christian Needs to be ready to be warrant when he's off track. We all do. And we should never be so self assured that we don't pause. We don't think deeply and humbly when somebody warns us or comes to us with a concern. Here's the apostle Paul, I do not write these things to make you ashamed. That these things refers certainly to that immediate context where Paul has sent out this blistering irony and sarcasm. Basically, you think you're great and we're terrible. Oh, how I wish we were as great as you. Instead we suffer right? He's written this irony. Normally irony and sarcasm is for shame. We try to shame people with our sarcasm. But that's not his goal. He says, That's not my goal. I don't write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. Notice this fatherly tone. Paul isn't writing to embarrass he's not writing to humiliate. This word is really important this this ashame, this admonished word knew the toe, we use it in biblical counseling. It's used eight times in the New Testament. And it's a crucial idea. Sometimes it's translated as instruct sometimes as worn, and most of the time is admonish, but but think of this idea of warning. I mean, you can imagine the movie scene. I recently saw one of these, in which a person at a train station slips off the platform onto the rails, and about a quarter mile away a half a mile away comes a through train, through trains not stopping 40 miles an hour. The person's down there. Busted ankle. They're gonna die. You're standing at the platform. Take my hand, take my hand. Take my hand. That's admonishment. train's coming, you're gonna die. I mean, you could go. I don't like the tone you're using. You're being harsh with me. How dare you yell at me take my hand. Warning This kind of warning is you're experiencing consequences from your sin now or you're going to experience worse ones and there is a a fatherly affection and concern Take my hand take my hand

    brother, watch out, Sister Watch out. And it's always accompanied with proper instruction. Sometimes it's actually translated as instruction. But there's always this sense of affection and an earnest appeal. You can see it all the way through this section although the Apostle Paul has some very hard things to say and in four six he calls them all brothers here he calls them beloved children. In just a minute he's gonna say I became your father I am fatherly I am affection. And this word admonishes Oh is used with an affectionate sense. One of the anchor verses in our disciple making mission or loving community, making disciples of Jesus Christ comes from Colossians, 128 and 29. It's like one of the anchors of our biblical counseling. And here's, here's this verse, him we proclaim Christ, remember, directional him, we proclaim, warning, everyone, that's that admonished word, teaching everyone with all wisdom that we may present everyone mature in Christ. Remember the nature of the Gospel, the message of the gospel, is that you and I have all rebelled. And there is, there is a train of judgment coming. And through Christ, we are offered a way out. The sins that we continue to pursue, are destructive for us. So this one we proclaim. But this is a very affectionate idea that we may present. Everyone mature in Christ. That's the goal. That's the aim. And Paul says, For this, I toil struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

    For 15, for for though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. The guides word here has really no American English equivalent, because in ancient times, a wealthy Roman father would charge a slave or hire a servant, to be the, the pedagogue base pedagogies where we get this instruction. For a child, the Pedego gaze was a person who directly oversaw a son's training and physical or a daughter's training and physical, ethical social behaviors, like a full time live in tutor. Here's the thing about it. A live in tutor does not have the same degree of affection as a father. That could be really good, but they're still they still don't have the ownership and the care and concern of a father. You might have many guides, you might have many tutors to only have one Father. I have responsibility and care and affection for your soul. I profoundly interested in your welfare. This speaks to the character of apostolic writings. You read through the Apostle Paul read through Peter, writer of Hebrews. There was a fatherly affection throughout, quick to affirm, slow to warn and admonish. This is the nature of the whole of the New Testament. This fatherly tone, warning and admonishing when that kind of thing is necessary.

    When being warned, then we need to take this fatherly warning when being warned. What do you assume of the person warning you? What do you assume of the person warning you? Do you assume it's for your good? Or does your inner lawyer say How dare you? Alright, can't believe you or your to a heart with me. Assume the motive is good. Take that fatherly warning. Likewise, if you are a person who has influenced make sure anytime you have to move from coming alongside to that urgent warning that you're doing it with family affection, family affection, fatherly type affection, motherly affection fatherly affection if we apply it across the board to all So first take fatherly warnings give fatherly warnings. Second, imitate Paul's example, imitate Paul's example. And we all need to learn doctrine and principles we do. The Bible is a book God communicates to us through a book. And so we need to learn doctrine and principles. But you also need examples to show you what it looks like. So the apostles set the foundation, content and example. So we're going to follow their example. And for 2000 years, we've been standing on those shoulders following the example after example, verse 16, I urge you then be imitators of me. That's a pretty bold statement, isn't it? Can you say that imitate me? I mean, he said this, not because he was great, but because he he mimicked that's imitate. He mimicked Christ. He followed Christ. He did what Christ did. Do what I do and what I say. And I just all say, side comment, if you're new to faith Bible Church, and you're putting your toe back in the water. It might be because you had bad examples, you saw hypocrisy. And some of you are looking at some of the Christians who have been in your life. And you've you've really felt and smelt, they're hypocrites. I mean, the the reality is that due to indwelling sin, none of us are going to be able to perfectly carry out what we say. But for the apostles case, when it showed up among the apostles, Paul confronted it, read Galatians chapter one and two, when it showed up in churches, he confronted it because the desire and direction of all followers of Christ is to be more like Jesus, in action and word, not just word. And so here he gives the example. In fact, what you notice about Paul is that he confronted hypocrisy. But he also showed how he did it. He humbly preached Christ crucified, he boasted only in Christ. He didn't trust his own wisdom and abilities. He endured these enormous hardships. He considered himself a field worker, a house manager, not an owner. He was willingly and joyfully mistreated because he was a follower of Christ. There's so many examples we could use of him. He says here, that is why I sent you, Timothy, my beloved and faithful child and the Lord. Timothy traveled with Paul in the second missionary journey all the way through Corinth. Timothy lived with Paul for years, if not decades. And so Timothy was sent to expand on all the different ways the Apostle Paul was an example. He says, as I teach them everywhere in every church, this is not just isolated for you, Corinthians, this is what I teach everywhere. I mean, I think of one specific example. I mean, what would you do if somebody you were actively influencing serving? And there were some people that you were allowed to do that suddenly that was taken away from you? What would you do if another set of people rose up and say, hi, you know, one of the ways I'm going to put this guy in his place, I'm going to have a bigger ministry. And then at the pastoral level, imagine that going on. Well, the apostle When Paul preaching across the Roman Empire was eventually jailed for it, there were actually young guys who thought they were gonna make Paul jealous show, Paul who was really effective by their growing ministry. They were gonna actually try to make him jealous by how effective their ministry was Paul's in jail. And what does Paul say? As a response? Fantastic. More people are trusting Jesus through their ministry. That's amazing. He wasn't jealous. How can you make a guy jealous? who only wants followers of Jesus? Certainly Timothy's reporting to these kinds of guys. You think you're making Paul jealous about that? This read Philippians chapter one. I just rejoice the Christ is preached. Remind of my ways in Christ as they teach them everywhere in every church. Paul taught these principles showed them how to live at every turn, take So first take fatherly warnings imitate Paul's example, I could add to that, who are the examples of people in your life that you learn from? That you want to put their life into practice? Third, consider humble power. Consider humble power. Now that's that's usually an oxymoron. It's usually doesn't exist. Humble power. In our world power is used to achieve something for self. But whatever influence and power you do have, you might have it as a parent, you might have a spouse you might have as a teacher. You might have it as a leader or a pastor or a friend, friends have influence. Use it for making disciples of Jesus Christ, not for selfish ends. How do we get there? Look at verse 18. Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. Now. Arrogance, really strong word for self assured pride. We can get proud and unhappy. Because people aren't giving us the attention we think we deserve is the classic old church mentality where a congregation hired a pastor so the pastor would come and visit them. Why isn't the pastor visiting me? I would love to visit every family in the church every week. But there's a lot of you. It's just not possible. But in the old church mentality, we hire a pastor so that he pays a lot of attention to us. Certainly I want to pay attention. But there is that underlying thing here where Hey, he's not coming to see us. We were going to show him what real ministry is. Yeah, that's that's one way the school here's another way it could go. You know what, Apostle Paul's never come in here. You know why he's never coming back. Because he knows we're really doing the work of ministry here. Ours is really effective. He's never coming back. The scholars who study this thing, it's number two. He he wouldn't dare to show his face here again, because we'll show him what real ministry is like. Apostle Paul answers that with this, but I will come to you soon. If the Lord wills. Paul recognizing recognizes all plants are ultimately in the Lord's hands. And that really, that phrase if the Lord wills is crucial to humility, because the Lord is the one who raises up who strengthens who sends who makes sure things can happen. And so the Apostle Paul is demonstrating what real humility is coming not by a force of his own well, oh, yeah, I'll show you I'm coming to you know, if the Lord wills outcome, it's not for lack of courage or concern that you're so successful. And he says this and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. What is that? The idea is that they are priding themselves in their skills as speakers in their wisdom and the following their achieving fear to simplify it, they talk big. They use big ideas and big words. Big talk big words, big ideas. But Paul's asking, you know what, I'm gonna come I'm gonna come out and find out what their real power is. Let's see if they're really effective. What that power really looks like? In Paul's mind, there's at least three tests to confirm whether it's about the leader or about Christ because that's the whole issue. Is it about the leader or is it about Christ? First it has to do with their preaching. Are they preaching Christ crucified? I'm going to come and check it out. Lord willing, I'm gonna check it out. Are they preaching Christ crucified because in 118, says, We preach Christ and Him crucified the power of God.

    Preaching the gospel of Christ crucified for sinners is the power of God for salvation. Meaning is there one thing and one thing only, that we trust? To be right with God? And to please God, Christ crucified? Or is there some skill or ability or service that has started to make us feel good about ourselves as self saviors, even the phrase, even the phrase, which is part of Jesus call to us taking up your cross daily? can lead a person to trust a sacrificial service, not his savior? What do we call a person who trusts a sacrificial service and not a savior? We call it we call a person, a person with a martyr complex. Look what I've done. nobody appreciates me. Nobody knows how hard I've worked. Okay, I'll serve you. Again. Like the martyr complex. I'm that guy that can insidiously you can even be a sacrificial person, but insidiously doing it for the attention that you want. And so the constant preaching of the gospel is Christ crucified? Because it is the power of God that worked through a crucified and risen Messiah to forgive sin, the conquered death, and to provide an eternal kingdom? Test number one, is it is it all about preaching Christ and Him crucified? Test number two, is their Christ like living? Is their Christ like living? Is it producing humility and unity in Corinth? Not so much. Is it producing love of God and love of others? Not so much. Is it producing a growing hunger to spend more time with God? in Corinth, it's actually producing just just the opposite. There are factions and as we turn the page to next week, there is serious and gross sexual sin. If we're gonna look at the fruit of this preaching, is it Christ like living? Third, is it done in weakness? This is the great test is done in weakness? Is it accompanied by enduring hardships? With joy? Is it accompanied by enduring hardships? With joy? Remember, Jesus promises every Christian to face hardship? And does that produce an overflowing gratitude and fervent prayer? When the great test says we feel and are actually weak, God works powerfully. Remember, it's the weakness of A crucified Messiah, from which the power of salvation comes? And is the embodiment of weak and sacrificial servants proclaiming that message that the power of God comes. The Gospel message was preached by Paul, who had an entire back riddled with scars, from the frequent beatings for Christ. Is this done and weakness? I want you to listen to the lesson that no human really wants to learn. You don't really want to learn this. I don't really want to learn this. But weakness is the key to being a useful instrument of God. After suffering enormous hardships, Paul Paul gets three more of these catalogs of hardships that come in second Corinthians. At one point he has some issue going on. He calls it a messenger of Satan. It's probably a false teacher that was dogging him somebody It was talking to him, but we don't know. He prays, God, can you deliver me from this? Since I prayed three times, and the Lord's answer was no. But God does answer him, says, My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. So this is what Paul says after the Lord told him though this, Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then I am content with weaknesses. This is the lesson nobody wants to learn. I am content with weaknesses. This is the lesson nobody wants to learn. I'm content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong, because God amply supplies in human weakness.

    And he gives the crowning theology of that, verse 24, the kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power. It's not big talk big ideas and big words that God uses. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified for sinners raised in glory. And he's speaking of the reality that the Kingdom reign of Christ is already happening. It's already happening. We use the word inaugurated, he started and he's advancing it until the completion of Christ's return and the message and the words go out. While the backs of the laborers may be riddled with the scars of their beatings with their weaknesses, how is that what why is it that God conquers that way? Why does this work like this? When a person turns to Jesus Christ, two things have happened. They have recognized the massive weight of their sin and guilt before a holy God. And they say, I can't pay, I can't pay. That's one thing that happens. This second thing that happens is they say, everything that's offered to me in this world is useless. And meaningless. I can get it all and I'm going to still die. And I'm not going to have anything two things happen. And the people who are living for all the kinds of things in this world, see that the person who has trusted Christ has said, You're worthless to me, to their sin. God, you have to take it. And suddenly there's a crowd. Those who love their sin and delight in their sin are saying, how, how dare you now condemn my sin? And the people on this side are saying, How dare you leave us we're so important, we're so valuable. It's where everything to live for. And all of a sudden, they are, you just stepped on their toes, you're saying we're not valuable. And suddenly, there's a hostility from the world from the people who still think that everything they ever want to get is still here. And they go on the attack. And the person who trusts Christ walks into hardship, because they have found in Jesus, the only one who could wipe their sins clean, and the only one that could fill this massive chasm in their heart. He is the only one with enduring value, and sure and certain hope, and they get his hold of the glory of Christ restored to God now with a kingdom to hope and out there, and none of the world matters anymore. And their sin has been taken care of. And they condemn it because they condemn what they have done to bring on their shame. It is everything to them. Why would they endure hardship? Why would they endure? Because they have found the true treasure of their soul. And so as they start marching on and they have this Good news. There's a crowd of onlookers attacking. Oh, you think you're better than us. So you don't think that our stuff matters? Oh, you are weak and useless. But there's somebody in the crowd who's gone silent. It's their friends and their family start attacking. And they look at the person who's suffering willingly and bringing the message. And they ask themselves this really important question if they finally found it if they found it, because I've been saying that everything here's really matter, but it's really not working the sinner over here. so how dare you they got family and friends plotting their sin and, and condoning the sin and and fanning it into flame and writing movies about it

    if you found it, if they found it, because I don't know why they would be willing to suffer like they suffer unless they found it.

    That is how the Kingdom of God moves forward in weakness. Because people buried in their sin often talk like people, people moaning and groaning and buried by the guilt of their sin are often often talking like people who love it. But inside there's something different and when the gospel of Jesus comes, proclaimed by a person willing to endure some of them are saying they found it. Pull wants to know, do these guys have that power? Do these guys with big words, big ideas, big talk? Do they have that?

    They realize that Jesus Christ is like no other God and no other person being highly exalted. He took on humble human flesh was crucified for sinners, to give people eternal life. And the gospel going out and weakness is the gospel going out in the power of God to give something better than this world? I want to see if they have that power. See if they have that power. These are the tests. I'll see if it's big talk big words, big ideas. Or if it's the power of the gospel of Christ, in humble people enduring weaknesses and hardships with joy.

    Take fatherly warnings. Imitate Paul's example. Consider humble power. Finally, make yourself easy to love. Make yourself easy to love. Paul's a true father, true shepherd. And he's going to give Corinthians what they truly need and he's going to be tough. If he needs to be tough. He's going to be gentle, if at all possible and that's what he wants to be what do you wish? It's kind of like the no brainer version of would you rather? What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod or with love and a spirit of gentleness all of you are like spirit of love and gentleness. Okay, well then, take my warnings, start repenting, really change this this rod I mean, it's a common Old Testament proverbial reference. The rod of reproof drives out the folly of a child, and it is about child training. Am I going to have to come with bold rebuking displeased words aren't going to come to you with love and gentleness and don't forget the kind of power apostles could wield in Acts chapter five, and an IS and Sapphira decide to sell a bunch of land, take the money tell the church that they're giving all of it when they only give half and they show up and both of them die in Peters presence. The apostles could do miracles of help and healing and they could also do miracles of judgment. With no idea what kind of rod Paul would come with but he is coming

    so here's the question for you Do I make myself easy to love Do I make myself easy to love? What What can I do to make myself easier to disciple? Do I make myself easy to correct and rebuke? Or am I defensive or on yielding? I think of a really practical thing to I create a regular feedback loop for constructive criticism. Six or seven years ago, I learned this really important lesson if you don't have a feedback loop for constructive criticism, whether it's in worship ministry, or it's in the pulpit ministry, people who have frustrations, legitimate or not, don't have anything to do with them until they're boiling angry. Do you know that the kind of constructive criticism you get from people when you've not constructed a positive feedback loop? They throw up and blow up? That's all they've got. Is that all your wife has husbands? Thought all she got? You know, the only way I can give you input is if I throw up or blow up. Because you don't ever ask me. How's this going? How can I? How can I love you better? To act defensive and hostile when someone points out an area of sin in my life? I mean, you're, you're about to be run over in the train track. How do you want them to talk to you? I mean, you as I need it, tell me. I started with the sidebar. Let me let me finish one with about being discipled and discipling, flick over to the right to First Thessalonians five, and it's going to use our admonished word two times First Thessalonians five, it's to the right, a bit. I'm gonna read it. Part of the section says we ask you brothers, this is 512 to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Paul is telling the Thessalonians how to be easy to love in the church. Respect them esteem them. No ordinary godly person gets up in the morning thinking I wonder who I can rebuke today. And a lot of people do that on social media. I wonder who agonist show them was up a godly people don't do that godly people hate to rebuke and admonished and warn. They love to come alongside. So make their labor easy. They're taken arrows, they're taking shots, they're suffering hardship, they're going through all kinds of difficult things. Make it easy for them. It's not a glamorous position. You know, elders, pastors leaders, we call them shepherds. Shepherds is a fantastic name. There was no glorious Shepherd concept in the Old Testament or the New Testament, shepherds were stinky guys out in the field, whose wife would be like, I'm sorry, but you need three showers before you're coming back into the house. And they're working with sheep out all on their own. It's not a glorious position. Although the pastoral picture of it is precious. Here they are with sheep, caring for them laying down their life. One way you can make yourself easy to love as Be at peace with the other sheep work things out humbly and quickly. Giving your leaders fewer issues to deal with verse 14, we urge you, brothers admonished the idol encourage the faint hearted help the weak be patient with all so there's been words to to those being discipled. Now here are words to people who are discipling we urge you brothers admonish the idle. There's our Warren word. Who is the idle the idle is the person who is not doing anything to grow or change. They're not doing anything to grow or change. One of the links in my mind that's come with me this week is time. You might have people who are investing time to help you grow. Are you investing the commensurate time in growing? That person's putting in time for me to grow? Am I putting any time in to grow if you're not putting time into grow? You're the idle but if somebody's willing to sacrifice time to meet with you give you homework and you don't show up having some homework to do. Is that is that making yourself easy to love?

    I think of some of the single gals in our church, I think of of like Lady Hiya, Kenny and Tanya Kammok, who are in their mid to late 30s. They love to be married. God hasn't provided for them. A husband, you could read it in his article, and they pour out so much time. And if you're single, you can justify using time for yourself any way you want. Because there's nobody checking up on you. But these guys are pouring time. Are there people pouring out time? And are you eager to grow? The idol is a person who's not doing anything to grow. Make yourself easy to love. You know what shepherds want to do you know what they're really hungry to do. When when you are wavering in the attempts to please the Lord. The word here is faint hearted. This is so difficult to grow in this area. I'm trying to conquer the Senate. It's so hard. Shepherds love to help faint hearted people. Shepherds love to help the weak. I just can't even do this. I'm so overwhelmed. Do you want me to help you do it with you? Take my hand. Go ahead, take my hand. I'll do it with you. Shepherds love to help the weak and they love to help the faint hearted. So don't be the person who doesn't grow

    make yourself easy to love

    the faint hearted and weak want to quit the difficulties over their head that this is what shepherds want to do. So make yourself the kind of person easy to love so that you can join in the task of loving others who are faint hearted and weak. If more to say on this for now, may the Lord set this on our hearts Father, we would pray that you would make us a church that is eager to hear from you day by day. And when when we're a little stiff neck or stubborn or blinded in pride help us take fatherly warnings help us give fatherly warnings help us follow the apostles example and the example of countless mothers spiritual mothers spiritual fathers in our midst. And may we be effective at making disciples of Jesus Christ. In his name we pray. Amen.

Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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