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Discipleship is About Touching Hearts

An elderly gentleman lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the next-door neighbor’s little boy went into the gentleman’s yard, climbed into his lap, and just sat there. When the boy’s mother asked what he had said to their neighbor, the little boy replied, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”

Discipleship comes from the word ‘disciple’ and means one who follows another. In order to be disciples, we need to become more like our model example, Jesus Christ. Discipleship requires a deep sympathy and sorrow for people who are spiritually lost and a very strong desire to help alleviate their suffering by sharing the good news about the gift that God has given to people in the person of Jesus Christ who is able to deliver all of us from suffering and save us from eternal damnation. God had so much compassion for people that He allowed His only Son to give the ultimate sacrifice for us to have eternal life; “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Jesus Christ was the ultimate example of compassion for people and end demonstrated that during His ministry. When Jesus saw Mary and the people crying out about the death of Lazarus, the Holy Bible says that Jesus was very upset and deeply troubled to the point that He cried (John 11:35). He helped him cry but then He delivered a healing (John 11:39-44). According to the Resource of Leadership Training Learner’s Guide, Volume III titled “The Leaders Example”, there are three basic principles associated with discipleship:

  1. Be a good example – Titus 2:7
  2. Follow the example of Jesus Christ – 1 Peter 2:21
  3. Help people be good examples to others – 1 Corinthians 11:1

Discipleship is a process that involves transforming believers into maturing and reproducing followers of Jesus Christ which begins at the moment of salvation when a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Discipleship is like human growth. Immediately after salvation, we are babies in Jesus Christ who are very dependent on others for spiritual feeding and security; “As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). We grow from babes into children who gain independence by becoming aware of Biblical truth and the consequences of our actions; “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11 KJV). We then move away from childhood towards youth or adolescence where we become independent and aware of moral choices and desire role models; “That our sons maybe as plants grown up in their youth…” (Psalms 144:12 KJV). We mature into spiritual adults becoming interdependent or mutually dependent on other believers and realize our vulnerability and need for each other and for God’s protection; “Help each other with your troubles. When you do this, you are obeying the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 ERV). We become spiritual parents, church elders, fathers, and mothers when we reproduce the next generation that has the same Christ-like characteristics as we do (1 Timothy 1:2).

In the infant phase, the ‘Disciples Instruction’ asks believers to come to Jesus Christ. In the child phase, the ‘Disciples Invitation’ asks new believers to follow Jesus. In the adolescent phase, the ‘Disciples Invitation’ asks believers to commit themselves to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In the adult phase of every believer, the ‘Disciples Identification’ asks believers to abide in Christ and take on the nature of Jesus, grow in their relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In the parent phrase, the ‘Disciples Implementation’ involves sharing all that we have learned in order to teach others about the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Discipleship requires that all believers make a decision about their Christian walk with Jesus.

We must decide where we want our ministry to count – in the momentary applause of popular recognition or in the reproduction of our lives in a few chosen people who will carry on the work after we’re gone.” – Robert Holman

Submitted By Bro. Eustace Murrain

Rethinking Our Position on Missions

These current events have us re-thinking life as we know it. We have come to expect so many things based on our traditions, rituals and customs, and they may vary from person to person. Where we once worked from home, as a leisure, it is now mandated. Where we once were free to walk about wherever we wanted to go, entering, and exiting at will, now big bold letters demand that we must wear a mask. Things have changed dramatically, and perhaps our lives will never be the same. We have experienced change before, and we have adapted, whether willingly or by force. I remember the first time I went into the bank to make a deposit, and there were no pens or deposit slips. I was shocked and appalled. But I made the adjustment. It was no longer a choice if I wanted to continue banking. I remember when we could come to church on a Sunday morning, freely, and worship and that is changed too. Maybe forever. Truth is, we are having to re-think most things that affect our daily lives. December is the time of the year on our Church calendar where we focus on Missions. We are good at Worship, Fellowship, and Giving, but this focus gives us the opportunity to re-think our position on missions. I do not know that we understand or give enough attention to its meaning or God’s directives.

What do you think it means? In checking my concordance, and my bible dictionary I did not find the word “Missions” at all. Yet we know that missions are a mandate from God. Much like wearing a mask these days, it is not an option. Not for the Church. The best definition I could find using the internet is, “a Christian mission is an organized effort to spread Christianity to new converts; or having a strong sense of duty to do or achieve something.” So, then what should we be doing, as the Church, when it comes to Missions? What is your understanding? I am not equipped to give you the answer to this important question. My goal is to stir you enough to ask the question of yourself, and our goals together as the Shiloh Baptist Church. We have a mission statement, and I feel that our directives are well-stated. But do we put feet on it. How do we put hands upon it? How do we put eyes upon it? As Christians, we are born again. Therefore, we have a new nature; elected to God in Christ Jesus, we are a new race; aliens on earth and kingdom-dwellers at the same time. We are set apart, servants of God created for His purpose. I do not know that we clearly understand what that means. But it does not mean that we are saved to live a life of prejudices and patriotism to what we deem important. The creative purpose of God for our lives as Christians is that we lay them down, take up our cross daily, and follow Him. If we have any mission at all, on this earth, it is stated in our Mission Statement: “To Be like Jesus.” Through the salvation of Jesus Christ, the purpose for which we are created is to serve God. He has put his very nature in us and empowered us to do his will.

“When he had washed their feet, taken his garments and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know that I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you.”

John 13: 12-15

A key test of our commitment to Christ is our love for one another. We realize, in rethinking our position on missions, that it is not just our words, but also our attitudes and actions that express our willingness to do and to be all that God has called us to. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are made supernaturally. We cannot be that on our own. The grace of God in our lives begins with His election, and I am humbled every time I think that Jesus wants to use ME. With all that He knows about me, He has invested His power in me, and He empowers me to do His will. Through Him we have supernatural capacity to serve Him. He only asks us to do the things we are perfectly fitted to do by His grace, as we look at His commitment in dying on the cross. In our Lord’s life, Jerusalem was the place where He reached the climax of His Father’s will upon the Cross, and unless we go with Jesus there, we are incapable of entering into His work. Nothing ever discouraged our Lord on His way to Jerusalem. He never hurried through villages where He was persecuted, and sometimes He stayed too long, or did not show up when He was expected to. Neither gratitude nor ingratitude turned our Lord away from His purpose. May our understanding of our mission be the same. When the works of God are manifested through us, people will be blessed, some will show gratitude, and others will not, but nothing should stop us from Being Like Jesus. The disciple is not above the Master.

Submitted By Trustee Stanley Ridley

Who Am I?

Who am I? I know who I was. I was a pitiable, despicable, and contemptible person. At times I was mean and miserable. Many times, I found myself in very unfortunate conditions and circumstances. The Apostle Paul gave a vivid description of me; “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24 KJV). The Prophet Isaiah was even more graphic; “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6 KJV). Even if I thought for a second that there was at least a little good in me, King David made certain that I knew that wasn’t true; “Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 53:3 KJV). The Prophet Isaiah confirms the fact that I am not alone because he makes it clear that none of us were any good; “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6 KJV). To make sure that we’ve got that point down pat, Paul reiterates it again; “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10 KJV). Whatever good I thought I had in me was nothing but pride because even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ says there is only One that is good; “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18 KJV). A true obedient Christian believer knows not to think too much of themselves (Romans 12:3).

God has a purpose for all of our lives. Mordecai reminded Esther what could happen if she thought too highly of herself just because God put her in a good place; “Don’t think that just because you live in the king’s house you’re the one Jew who will get out of this alive. If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:13 The Message). If we read our Holy Bibles very carefully, we will see clearly, ‘Who’ is really in control:

  • God created – Genesis 1:1
  • God moved – Genesis 1:2
  • God divided – Genesis 1:4
  • God called – Genesis 1:5
  • God made – Genesis 1:7
  • God led – Exodus 13:18
  • God blessed – Romans 9:5
  • God doeth this – Numbers 24:23
  • God shall deliver – 2 Chronicles 32:11
  • God of heaven hath given – Daniel 2:37
  • The Lord stirred up – Haggai 1:14


There are many examples of people in the Holy Bible who knew who they really were. We demonstrate true humility when we tell the truth about ourselves; “Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” (2 Samuel 7:18 KJV). King David was seen as a man after God’s own heart because David told the truth about himself; “I’m not very important, and neither is my family” (1 Samuel 18:18 CEV). People that are honest about themselves know that the truth is that we don’t deserve to be allowed to stand in God’s presence; “Sovereign LORD, I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, nor is my family” (2 Samuel 7:18 GNT). It’s a rhetorical question because many of us already know the answer. If you don’t know the answer then ask Moses. Moses was considered the meekest man on earth because he told the truth about himself; “I am nobody” (Exodus 3:11 GNT). Lord, why am I so important to you? Why is my family important? Why have you made me so important? Why have you showered your blessings on such an insignificant person as I am? What is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life? For the honest Christian believer, the answer is always the same; “God, you’ve done all this not because of who I am but because of who you are” (Exodus 3:11 The Message). The attitude for those that honestly love the Lord is also always the same; “LORD God, you have done so much for me and my family. And I don’t understand why” (1 Chronicles 17:16 ERV). God gives grace to the humble but the humble are those that tell the truth about themselves (1 Chronicles 17:16). A true demonstration of King Solomon’s wisdom was shown when he asked that same simple question; “…Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee” (1 Chronicles 29:14 KJV).

But me, ‘Who am I.?’, and who are all the fellow believers that you’ve allowed to be in my life that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from God and when we give anything back to the Lord all we are doing is giving back what we’ve been given from His generous hand (1 Chronicles 29:14). When we express an attitude of humility and we demonstrate our love for the Lord by obeying His Word then God allows us to do great things for Him; “But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? Who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?” (2 Chronicles 2:6 KJV). When we commit our lives to obey the Lord’s commands, we should always give Him our best efforts because our God is far better than any other competing gods, beliefs, and religions. But if we are honest then we will always ask the same rhetorical question, “‘Who am I.?’, to think I can do anything for God? All we are good for is to give sacrifices to Him. We need His help.” We need Jesus Christ to save us and the Holy Spirit to help us. Nehemiah lets us know that the real indication that we know for ourselves how helpless we really are without the Holy Spirit is what we do when someone asks us what we want in life; “Then the king said to me, “What do you want me to do?” Before I answered, I prayed to the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 2:4 KJV).

Submitted by Trustee Stanley Ridley