The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 10 July 2020 – Disciples, Not Puppets
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TOPIC: Disciples, Not Puppets
READ: Acts 14:21-28 (NKJV)
- And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
- strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting [them] to continue in the faith, and [saying,] “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
- So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
- And after they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
- Now when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
- From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed.
- Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
- So they stayed there a long time with the disciples.
The pattern of ministry I see in Acts is noteworthy. A number of lessons can be learned from them by us today. For example, “So when they had appointed elders in every Church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed” (verse 23). Note the following: (1) I see that the Apostles did not possess the Churches God used them to found. They were not the “owners” of the churches they founded; they did not stamp their identity on them.
(2) They appointed elders from among them, from among the locals. They did not “import.” Local people must be raised in every Church environment; otherwise the Church will be a foreign impostor among them.
(3) They commended them to the Lord. This is a good principle in follow-up and discipleship. Do not raise men to depend on you; do not make them feel that without you, they cannot survive. Raise disciples, not puppets. Raise men to know and depend on God.
Finally, it is interesting to note that when Paul and Barnabas finished this phase of assignment, they returned to the Church that sent them in Antioch to give account of their stewardship so far. Have you become independent of the Church? Are you accountable to the brethren, or you are too big now to be held accountable?
PRAYER: Father, help me raise disciples, not puppets.