The Spirit Of Discipleship

August 16, 2002 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

The book of Matthew chapter four. When you reach the book of Matthew chapter four, please signify by saying amen. And please stand for the reading of God’s Word tonight. Amen. Matthew. The gospel of Matthew chapter four. In that chapter we’re going to look at verses eighteen through verse twenty-two. Eighteen through twenty-two. Amen?

18. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

19. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

21. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

22. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for who You are and for what You do. Dear Lord, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. And as I decrease I ask that You would increase, Jesus. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name.

And the people of God said amen. You may be seated in the house of God tonight.

How many of you know and still realize that God is still using the means of discipleship? God is still moving and teaching the people of God through being disciples. Hallelujah. He’s teaching us how to be followers. Hallelujah. He’s teaching us how to be listeners. He’s teaching us how to be learners. He’s teaching us how to be students and pupils of the Word of God.

When we look at the book of Galatians chapter one, we look at the apostle Paul. We find that the apostle Paul was a special case. The Bible talked about him and how he went on the backside of the desert in Arabia to go and be discipled of the Holy Ghost.

But too many times now days we’re looking just to be discipled by the Holy Spirit. But God will use a man. And God will use a woman to lead us and to guide us into things that God has called us into.

God is still moving by discipleship. Look at your neighbor and say, “I’m still a disciple.”

You see, now days, you see, in the church, you see, a lot of times we get so much Word. And we get so much knowledge. And we get so much wisdom until it seems as though (glory to God) we don’t need somebody to lead us. And we don’t need a man or a woman to give us guidance and direction.

But God is still moving the same way that He used to move. The Bible says that He’s the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. The Bible says He’s never changing. He’s always the same. He’s still moving through the spirit of discipleship.

Look at your neighbor and say, “I need to get in line.”

The Bible says that He spoke to them, and they did not hesitate. You see, if I’m going to be the real disciple, I can’t hesitate. The Bible said that they immediately followed Jesus.

You see, when you begin to see and the move in the Anointing of God, you have got to follow that Anointing. You don’t have time to hesitate. Come on. Talk to me. If you hesitate, you might just miss God.

When you look at Jesus, when He told them to follow Him, that meant that He was on the move. Listen. Listen. You see, Jesus was saying, “I’m about to do something. But if you don’t follow Me, you’re going to miss what I’m about to do. If you hesitate I’m going to be gone. I ain’t got time to wait.”

Your Bible says they immediately left their father. They immediately left their business and followed after Jesus.

These are the days where God is looking for folks that have teachable spirits. These are the days that God is looking for folks that are just not looking for a prophecy. Come on. Talk to me tonight.

These are the days that God is looking for students. And God is looking for pupils. He’s looking for somebody that wants to spend a little time. He’s looking for somebody that wants to gain a little knowledge, a little wisdom, and a whole lot of understanding. Who are the disciples in this house?

He spoke and they followed. The Bible says that, “My sheep hear My voice.” You see, when you hear the voice of God, and you know His voice, because you belong to Him, you can’t help but to be drawn to Him. Do you hear what I’m saying?

And the Bibles says the voice of a stranger they will not follow. So I will recognize the voice of my Master and where he leads me. Come on. Talk to me. I will follow.

He’s looking for somebody that wants to get in line. He’s looking for somebody that’ll follow Him, that’ll get behind Him and say, “I’m going with You. I don’t care where You go. I’m going with You. I don’t care where You lead me. I’m going with You.”

He’s looking for disciples. He’s looking for them. He’s looking for somebody with that spirit, that just doesn’t want to lead. Come on. Talk to me. He’s looking for somebody that wants to learn something. And not just learn something because of what they heard was going to be on their life, but wants to learn more about Him, more about His ways, more about what He does, more about what He got to say.

You see, it’s one thing to want to follow Him for the fishes and the loaves. But it’s another thing to want to follow Him because you want to be like Mary and sit at His feet and get that good part that shall not be taken away from you. Come on. Talk to me tonight.

The disciples, they didn’t know Him. But they knew His voice. There was an Anointing on His life that was calling them. It was calling them, saying, “Come with me.”

You see, if you get hit right with the Anointing, you’ll leave everything, won’t you? Come on. Talk to me. But if it ain’t about nothing, it’ll make me hesitate. Come on. Talk to me. It’ll make me drag my feet. It’ll make me say, “I got to go home and bury thus and so and thus and so.” It’ll make me say, “I can’t leave that. I got to have that in my life.”

But if I get hit right with God’s Anointing, I’ll go wherever He wants me to go. I’ll be like Isaiah when he said, “Here am I, Lord. Send me.”

He’s looking for real disciples. Get in your mind that, “I am a disciple.” Just because I’m a pastor, it does not mean that I’m not a disciple. I’m a disciple of Christ. Come on. Talk to me.

And even though I don’t have a whole lot of fathers in the ministry, I can recognize an Anointing that’s on a man of God that has been there, that has done that. And I can sit there. And I can learn from him. Because I’m always a disciple. Once you are an educator, you’re always a learner. Come on. Talk to me.

He’s looking in the earth for somebody to say, “Lord, not my will but Thine will be done.” He’s looking for somebody that wants to be like Andrew. He’s looking for somebody that wants to be like Simon. Come on. Talk to me. He’s looking for somebody that’s willing to leave it all to follow after Him. That’s what Jesus is looking for. He’s still moving and teaching through discipleship.

We’ve been off track a lot of times in the body of Christ. Because everybody wants that finished product of discipleship. You see, there was a lot that went on before the Day of Pentecost. Come on. Talk to me. There was a lot of learning. There was a lot of cutting. There was a lot of pruning. There was a lot of pulling before the Day of Pentecost.

You can’t have your Pentecost. Come on. Talk to me. ...until you learn how to be a disciple. You can’t get to the upper room (glory to God) from the beginning. You’ve got to travel a lonely road first.

The upper room was for those that had been walking with Jesus. Do you hear what I’m saying? See, they didn’t have no strangers up in there. Come on. Talk to me tonight. I’m trying to pull it out of you.

You see, they didn’t have no folks that were following Jesus from afar off up in there. But they had family folk up in there. They had folks that had been around Him. They had folks that had been to the cross. They had folks (Come on. Talk to me tonight) that knew and understood what it took. That’s what they had in the upper room. Real disciples.

You see, you may want to come up a little higher to the upper room. But you got to be willing to be a disciple first. Hello, somebody. See, in the upper room, that’s when you are the one that’s laboring in prayer, because you understood the process that it took for you to be able to get there.

See, everybody is not going to be invited to the upper room. Let me say that again. Everybody’s not going to be invited. But it’s a shame when you’ve been invited several times and you ain’t made it there yet.

Real disciples, they know how to follow. They know how to get in line. They know how to let God cut on them. They know how to receive rebuke, reproof, whatever it takes, Lord. They know how to receive those things. Because they understand the end result.

After their discipleship the Bible says that they were anointed as apostles. You see, if you’re going to come into your real calling, you got to learn how to be a disciple first.

You see, a lot of us want to step into our callings, but we have not been discipled properly. And therefore when we step into our callings we’re not in our callings properly. We don’t have enough love where we need to... Come on. Talk to me. ...where we need love.

We wear chips on our shoulders. And as soon as somebody say something we got an attitude. As soon as it seems like it didn’t go our way, we don’t want it no more. You haven’t been properly discipled. It’s time to be what? Reprocessed.

Discipleship. It’s going to take all of you out of you. It’s going to strip you of everything you though you were. It’s going to cost you.

And that’s what it cost these men. In those verse, eighteen through (excuse me) twenty-two, it cost them everything. You mean, the Anointing... We ain’t even talking about the Anointing yet. We talking about just to follow Jesus. It’s going to cost you everything.

Am I a real disciple? God was still moving through discipleship in the book of Second Kings in the Old Testament. You remember Elijah and Elisha right? Glory to God. The man of God, Elijah would ask Elisha, “What have I to do with you?”

And he followed him from place to place. Bethel, Gilgal, all of these places. He was being discipled. He had been with the man of God. He had learned the ways of God through what he seen the man of God do.

You think the man of God was perfect? No. But God used the man of God to disciple the men of God. That’s what He was using him for. He discipled them.

And I’m sure there were flaws in Elijah. I’m sure there were things that Elisha said to himself, “Mm. What about that?” But see, when you are a real disciple, and you know that you’re with somebody that’s a real man or woman of God, you see, you’ll understand that they are human also. Come on. Talk to me.

See, a lot of us think that we’re on go twenty-four hours a day. Bam. “All I got to do is talk to pastor and he know. Bam.” It ain’t like that. Like I’m walking around here like, you know. My head is all up in a cloud all the time.

It’s not like that. But I’m still discipling you. And the things that I do and the things that I say should still cause you to see the Christ in me. But if I say I don’t know, you better believe I don’t know. Hello, somebody.

Where are the real disciples? Who are they? They’re those that have left everything to follow Jesus. There was a man that said, “Lord, I’ll follow You everywhere You go.”

And Jesus said, “Well, go sell all of your possessions and come back.”

And the Bible said that he went away so hurt. Do you hear what I’m saying?

Are you a real disciple? That’s why the Bible says it’s harder for a... It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to be saved.

You know why everybody in the body of Christ ain’t rich yet? Because they’ll probably lose their salvation trying to stay rich. Hello, somebody.

Where’s the real disciples? How bad do you want to be a disciple? Do you want it badder than you want that mansion or that Mercedes Benz, or that, you know, whatever? Do you want it badder than that? Do you want to follow Christ even harder than that?

I do. And I can say it with a pure heart. “Lord, You’re more to me than silver and gold.” I mean it with all of my heart. And these light afflictions cannot be compared to the glory that’s going to be revealed in me.

Not only will I preach riches to you, but I’ll preach keeping your salvation to you.

Being a real disciple. I have to ask myself this question. “Am I a real disciple? Why am I following Jesus? Do I just want to be in the service where the next miracle takes place? Why do I follow Jesus? Why? Is it because I really love Him? Or is it because He promised me so many things, and I’m waiting for Him to keep His promises?”

The Bible says He’s not a man that He should lie nor the son of man that He should repent. If He said it, it’s going to come to pass. So why are we scared? Why are we worried? Why are we impatient with God?

Sometimes you got to walk a little while longer. Do you hear what I’m saying? Sometimes you got to make $5.15 an hour a little while. Come on. Talk to me. Does that mean that God ain’t faithful, because I make $5.15 an hour? I beg to differ.

Where are the real disciples? Disciples. Can I ask myself that question? Am I real? Am I true? Am I a real disciple? Is my mind always on me or is it on Him? Is my mind always focused on my problem or focused on who He is? Where is my mind?

Even in service while the preacher is preaching, am I still just hoping that God will give me a word about my problem? Or am I receiving the Word of God? Come on. Talk to me.

Jesus is here. He’s in the midst of us. And He is going to do everything He said He would do. Now stop crying and follow Him. Stop arguing and complaining and murmuring and follow Him. Do you hear what I’m saying?

“But pastor, you just don’t understand.” I understand. Trust me. But follow Him anyway. He began this good work in you. And the Bible says He’s faithful to perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ. It shall be completed because God doesn’t leave anything half done.

We are disciples. We’re disciples of Christ. We’re disciples of Christ. There were disciples of John the Baptist. But after Christ came... Come on. Talk to me. We’re disciples of Christ. You’re not disciples of Chris Abernathy. Yes, I’m your pastor. But we are disciples of who? Christ.

Keep that in your mind. Keep that in your heart, that everything that you say or do will bring Him glory and honor. Keep it there. You got to say it, “I’m a disciple.”

The Bible said in the book of Acts that they began to call the disciples Christians. That word “Christian” means to be Christlike. Amen? We’re Christlike. We are Christlike. We have His character, because we’ve been with Him.

You see, if you’re with somebody long enough... The Bible says iron sharpeneth iron. So if you’ve really been with Him, then all the fruit of the Spirit are going to be birthed in you. And yes, you may be angry, but you’ll sin not.

We are disciples of Christ for the rest of our days. In Jesus’ Name.

Come on. Give God some praise.

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