Day 30 – What Comes Next? (Part 2) and Conclusion
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” -John 13:34-35
Looking through the scriptures, we see followers of Christ living out surrender to God’s plan, and as a result, lives are changed and cities are impacted. Amidst it all, a clear example arises, displaying what Christianity is meant to look like. Jesus started His ministry with the word “Come”, and He ended His ministry with the word “Go”, though it was what happened in between these statements that forged what we know as true discipleship. His devotion to the relationship with His disciples was the perfect model of discipleship, making way for the blueprint Jesus set in place.
With the Bible as our example, we must ask ourselves – does my life look like these pages? When I examine the fruit of my last week, month, or year, I must allow the Holy Spirit to show me if the fruit I’m producing is an expression of the Father’s heart. It is with this perspective that we must also survey our evangelism and follow-through, as most modern day evangelism lacks the lasting relationship exemplified in the Word of God.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” – Acts 2:42
In this verse from Acts, we see a clear demonstration of how the early Church discipled their way into changing the world, using these four essential elements:
Apostles’ Teaching: Followers of Christ committed themselves to learning and obeying the teaching from the apostles.
Fellowship: Early Christians were committed to living in community with one another, sharing their lives, experiences, and resources. They supported and encouraged each other, as they spurred each other on in their faith journeys together.
Breaking of Bread: The deliberate practice of sharing their lives led to the natural sharing of meals, cultivating deep fellowship among them. This communal breaking of bread was a request of Jesus, that they would do this in remembrance of His life laid down for them.
Prayer: This was a central part of their devotion. They communicated with God, sought His guidance, and interceded for one another, not just individually but during coporate times of prayer.
These essential elements of the early church: teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer – are not reserved for individual spirituality but are meant for building a community founded on the teachings of Jesus because He is the chief cornerstone to build everything upon. This was the most pure expression of discipleship that the disciples had personally experienced firsthand with Christ, now being reproduced through their lives. This blueprint must serve as our model we use to expand His kingdom.
Challenge: With Christ as the foundation for everything we are and everything we are to reproduce as Christians, read 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. Allow it to challenge previous attempts at building using external materials, other than His biblical ones.
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
Scriptures: Matthew 28:19-20, John 13:34-35, Acts 2:42, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:4-6.
Though we have come to the end of this devotional, recognize that this is really just the beginning. As we have allowed the Holy Spirit over these 30 days to provoke us to full surrender, our prayer is that you will continue to cultivate deep hunger to know Him more and learn to abide in Him every day, choosing to take up your identity as a follower of Christ, and give yourself over to making Him known everywhere you go. Answering the call of Jesus, “Come follow Me”, changes everything. It requires us to pursue Him fully with nothing held back. Having been immersed in His transformative love, we, in turn, will immerse everyone we come in contact with that same love. Immersion is all encompassing- there is no half in, half out. As a people completely transformed by Christ, every aspect of our lives will exude Him. You won’t have a city immersed until you have a people immersed. This is the starting point of making Him known.
The byproduct of a people immersed is their city immersed, not just because of what they are doing but because of who they abide in. Every area will experience transformation: our schools, homes, families, crime rates, and workplaces.
When Jesus is given the place of Lordship over a city, it looks like His prayer:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:9-10.
To see this become a reality in your city, you may begin the work alone, but don’t let this discourage you; you will have the joy of issuing the invitation for many to come follow the Lord, fully walking out the Great Commission together. It’s through this unity we can be confident that the world will know that Jesus was sent by God, just as Jesus prayed. By answering the call to unity, we have the unique honor to fulfill the request of the Son to the Father:
“That all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me,” – John 17:21
When Jesus sits in Lordship over a city, the church is found fervent in prayer and fasting, walking out the kind of discipleship Christ first exemplified, fully grounded in deep fellowship with one another. As the Body of Christ unites as one and churches
begin to walk together in obedience to His desires, artificial walls of division are obliterated. This oneness with the Father and oneness with each other results in our city streets revolutionized.
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” – Isaiah 58:12
We must elevate our expectations to His standard. We have to allow Him to become our desire, so that we will look like His desires. This could look like prayer both in our homes and our city streets, every displaced child housed, every addict mentored by someone who won’t give up on them, every school experiencing an outpouring of continued love by believers… it looks like the God of the impossible bringing about the freedom He desires through a surrendered people.
“They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” – Isaiah 61:4
Deeply consider these words from Isaiah and the implications they will have through your surrendered life. Your city is about to experience full immersion in Christ’s healing and restoration.
There is one final challenge we would like to offer: don’t fall for the anesthetizing lie of “gradualism” that has taken great hold on the Christians of this age. Our war on gradualism must begin today, refusing to adhere our souls to the fallacy that the fully surrendered life is something we are meant to progressively attain by way of gradually giving ourselves over to Him.
“This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The time is short, and we are not promised tomorrow. Jesus is calling, “Come follow Me.” We can respond to this divine invitation with full surrender or remain in
self-made comfort, but we must not fail to recognize that the choice stands before us here and now. Jesus declared war on gradualism and so must we.
Now is the time to:
● Forsake all other attachments
“Let the dead bury their own dead but you go proclaim the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:57- 62
● Lay down any relationship that comes first above our relationship with Him
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:26
● Deny any obligation outside of obedience to Him
“No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Matthew 19:16-22
● Give up anything that holds back our full surrender
“Looking at him, Jesus showed love to him and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But he was deeply dismayed by these words, and he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.” – Mark 10:21-22
He is the treasure in the field, of greater value than any other pursuits. As His Bride, may we answer Him with our whole lives laid down; He is worthy of this.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” – Romans 12:1
Source: Immerse Ministries, Making Him Known – 30 Day Evangelism Devotional. 2023.
Preorder for Making Him Known is available now – Release Date: November 1st, 2023