Friday, January 19, 2018


Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:16-20

Today let’s focus on v. 20, teaching them to observe all that I’ve commanded you.  Notice that Jesus says we should teach obedience, and not simply transfer knowledge.  Often, we fall into the rut of believing discipleship is simply a matter of filling a new believer’s head with the Bible.  My phone can download information, but it’s not being discipled.  We know we’ve made disciples when we see new Believers observing (obeying) all that Jesus has commanded.  Knowledge is necessary, but not sufficient.   

Riding from village to village, I was getting to know Ramesh a little bit.  His phone kept ringing and he kept ignoring the calls until it rang again and he said in Hindi, “I need to take this.”  He talked to a fellow on the phone, “Yes.  I’m sure I want to follow Jesus.  I’m happy in this new life and I know He’ll take care of me. . . No, I’m not going back to my old life. . . Thank you.” 

I wondered who he was talking to, when a ministry partner told me how up until recently, Ramesh was one of the top Mafia enforcers of the area.  He followed Christ and told the Mafia heads that he was quitting his job because it didn’t honor Christ.  Since he knew all the secrets and inside information of the mafia, his quitting was a death-sentence.  But because his former bosses respected him, they asked Ramesh to come back and work and promised a pay raise.  He told them he couldn’t, and amazingly the bosses gave Ramesh their blessing to leave the organization. 

Everybody in the surrounding cities and villages knew who Ramesh was and they were really scared of him.  Over time, they saw the change in his life and the power Jesus had to transform lives.  Hundreds were open to the Gospel because of the change God brought in Ramesh’s life.  Today, he’s a pastor in one of those villages, and sees his job as training leaders in his church.  And it’s happening!  But it’s only happening because they see that disciples of Christ need to obey the commands of Christ and not merely know them. 

Lord, today I pray that false forms of the Gospel, like the “prosperity Gospel,” would wither and die in India. I pray for myself that I would obey your commands and be a true disciple.

Devotional Archive