Tag: disciples heart

Developing a Disciple’s Heart – Introduction

January 22, 20122 Comments

This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “Developing a Disciples Heart”.

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Scripture Reading

Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was. He could have come up with a very complex detailed answer, but He didn’t. His answer was simple and perfect. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. This was Jesus answer to being asked the big question, “what is the most important thing in life?” Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

If that is the most important thing then it just makes sense for us to make it a priority. Loving God and loving others is what comes out of a disciple’s heart. So, developing a disciple’s heart is where our journey must take us.

1. Developing a Disciple’s Heart

What does that look like in a practical way? For me, it looks like this.

a. being thankful

I remember to love God by being thankful for at least five things every day.

b. encouraging others

Then, I try and encourage at least two people every day. This is how I love my neighbor. And as far as loving myself goes, I try to live each day by doing the next right thing.

c. doing the next right thing

These three things really help me to stay focused and experience and enjoy Jesus moments each and every day. But life being what it is, it is very easy to get distracted and then get off course. Maybe you can relate to the disciples in point number 2.

2. The spirit is willing

Matthew 26:40-41 (NIV)
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane, praying and crying out to God about the cross. He has brought all the disciples to the garden, but He has left most of them in one spot, and taken Peter, James and John to be with Him as He prays through this situation. He wanted His friends to be with Him. He separates Himself a little to wrestle through the anguish and sorrow He is feeling and then He comes back to His friends and they are asleep.

Could you not give me an hour?

It is interesting that the question is directed to Peter. Just before they had come to Gethsemane, Peter had said that He would never forsake the Lord. I believe that expresses Peter’s heart for the Lord, he means it when he says it. Yet here in the time of Jesus greatest need, Peter couldn’t even pray and hang out with Him for an hour without falling asleep. Jesus encourages Peter and the disciples to watch and pray and He also acknowledges the weakness of the human flesh.

And that is the issue for all of us. My deepest desire is to be with Jesus. To be His disciple, to follow and serve Him. But sometimes, my flesh, my selfishness, my issues get in the way.

So, in developing a disciple’s heart there is a need to get even more practical. Being thankful, encouraging and doing the next right thing are what I am shooting at in being a disciple, but I need something to help me stay on track, to stay focused. So I started thinking about developing…

A method – already taken, thanks a lot Methodists
A plan – could become an end in itself
A structure – sounds too rigid, might become legalistic
A strategy – too heady
A strategery – too Saturday Night Live
A guide – too mappy

I was dwelling on this when I believe I had a flash of spiritual insight. The heart is like a pump, and in order to make a pump run properly you have to keep it primed, so what I should develop is a primer …the

3. Disciple’s Heart Primer

Sounded good, felt right. I wanted to check out exactly what a primer was, so I looked it up:

Primer – provides instruction in the rudiments or basic skills of a branch of knowledge

Primer – a fuse containing an explosive (I like this, because the word for the power of the Holy Spirit is dynamis where we get our word dynamite from – See Acts 1:8 and I could run down a serious bunny trail with this, and I might at another time, but I am thinking more about priming our disciple’s heart so we can live as Jesus disciples.)

There is a song by the Kingston Trio called “Desert Pete”. The song talks about a water pump in the middle of the desert. In order for the pump to work it had to be primed with water. Left under a rock nearby was a note from Desert Pete and enough water in a jar to prime the pump so that you could get all the water you needed. Even though you were thirsty, you would have to pour out the water you had into the pump to get more water. The chorus goes like this:

“You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe”
“You’ve got to give of yourself ‘fore you’re worthy to receive”
“Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet”
“Leave the bottle full for others, Thank You kindly, Desert Pete”

The song goes on to describe the actions of the thirsty desert traveler who has found the pump, the note, and the small jar of water:

Well I found that jar and I tell ya nothin’ was ever prettier to my eye
And I was tempted strong to drink it, cuz that pump looked mighty dry
But the note went on “have faith my friend, there’s water down below”
“You got to give until you get-I’m the one who ought to know”
So I poured in the jar and I started pumpin’ and I heard a beautiful sound
Of water bubblin’ and splashin’ up outta that hole in the ground
I took off my shoes and I drunk my fill of that cool refreshing treat
I thank the Lord and thank the pump and I thank old Desert Pete

Over the next weeks we will be working through what the Disciple’s heart primer is all about. We will be revisiting some things we have talked about over the past few years, adding some new things, giving you some tools to use, so that we can all be the kind of disciples He has chosen and called us to be.

The Disciple’s Heart primer is broken into seven sections with each section having its own Bible verses. The seven sections are as follows:

a. Get Focused – Hebrews 10:19-25
b. Get Thankful – Philippians 4:4-8
c. Get Connected – Matthew 6:9-13
d. Get Dressed – Ephesians 6:12-18
e. Get Encouraging – 1 Corinthians 13-4-8a
f. Git r done – Matthew 6:33 and Matthew 7:12
g. Git r done? (End of Day review) – Hebrews 12:1-3

I read and reflect on these passages of scripture every day. They are so helpful to staying connected to Jesus and doing the things that He did. They are critical in helping me try to love like He loved, think like He thought, see like He saw, and serve like He served, allowing a disciples heart to grow and flourish within me. It keeps me focused on being thankful, encouraging, and living by trying to do the next right thing. Even when the flesh is weak, ….

“You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe”
“You’ve got to give of yourself ‘fore you’re worthy to receive”
“Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet”
“Leave the bottle full for others, Thank You kindly, Desert Pete”

2 thankful5(s) and/or Comments

  1. Ruth Koson says:

    It is so simple! It is my prayer that all people who call themselves “Christian” truly live this message. Going to Church and calling yourself a Christian and not living what the Bible teaches is something that saddens my heart and I have seen this create much destruction. Don’t let Satan in, let the Bible win!

    • Steve says:

      Hi Ruth, I am glad you got something out of the message. I think it is going to be a very good series. Blessings!

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