S45P12 – Notes on discipleship: God’s empowerment

Matt. 28:18-20

Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

He was raised as an orphan in a bygone era with no home to call his own. At that time and in that place, family lineage was of utmost importance. His childhood would be one traumatic experience after another as the other children chided him for having no good name to speak of. He spent many of those years hoping for the day when he would be an adult and be able to live a different life. In such a small town, however, everyone would always know where he came from. After years of oppression and ostracism, a vital truth would surface. This orphan was no orphan at all but came from one of the most notable families of that nation’s history. With this discovery, the lowly village man would come into the power and authority that was his birthright.

When we come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we realize our place in God’s family lineage. Discipleship is the method by which we teach each other of that heritage. Part of this teaching is the recognition of the power and authority that we have through our Savior Jesus Christ. He was given all authority in heaven and on Earth by the Father, and He operates in that authority through us. There are no orphans in God’s kingdom. We all have found our place in his family, and we are children of the most high king. It matters not how people saw us before we were Christians. What matters is that we are now part of a royal priesthood. When we disciple others, we help them realize who and what they are in God’s kingdom. This is a great process of spiritual empowerment.

The work that God has for us to do is not easy. Even when we operate in his strength instead of trying to do it in ours, the work is difficult. We must abide in him so that we have the power and perseverance to complete what He has for us. He brings us to a place of power that we could never reach on our own, and He performs miraculous deeds through us. It is a wonderful thing to raise up another brother or sister in Jesus Christ and watch this power unfold. It is an encouragement to us to see others operate in their spiritual authority. Discipleship allows us to watch others grow into the powerful men and women of God that they had no idea they could be. Father, thank You for the power and authority that You give us, and make us people who desire to develop this in others.