Kingdom of God for Disciple Makers
The Kingdom of God (Kingdom of Heaven) was an important topic for John the Baptist, Jesus, and Paul
John the Baptist in Matthew 3:2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus in Matthew 4:17 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The same event is described in Mark 1:15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
The Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew is called the Kingdom of God in Mark. For this reason we are using Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God interchangeably.
Jesus after He rose from the dead with His followers in Acts 1:3 “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”
Paul while in Prison in Rome in Acts 28:30–31 “He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.”
Let’s look at the Kingdom of Heaven/Kingdom of God and see what we can learn about being more confident, effective, and consistent Disciple Makers.
The Story Jesus Tells — The Parable of the Sower
Jesus tells a story (parable) and then explains it to those who ask.
Here is the story Jesus told to a large crowd …
A farmer went out to plant some seed.
Some of the seed fell on a walking path where it got stepped on and the birds ate it.
Some of the seed fell among rocky soil. It grew quickly because the soil was shallow. But because they had shallow roots they died due to the hot sun and lack of water.
Some of the seed fell among thorns. It grew at first but the thorns choked it and killed it.
Some of the seed fell on good, fertile soil. It grew and produced a crop of thirty, sixty, and one-hundred times what was planted!
Some of Jesus’ followers asked Him what was the meaning of the story.
Jesus explained to them the meaning of the story as follows.
The seed is the Word of God.
The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the Word of God but don’t understand it. Before it can take root in them Satan comes and takes it away.
The seeds that fell on the rocky soil represent those who hear the Word of God and received it with excitement. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, but then fall away when they face temptation, problems, or persecution.
The seeds that fell among the thorns represents those who hear the Word of God and are excited about it. But very soon the Word of God is crowded out by their desire for money, things, and pleasures in this life. So they never produce any fruit.
The seeds that fell on the good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s Word. They produce a huge harvest of 30, 60, and 100 times as much as was planted.
7 Takeaways for Disciple Making
What is the application of this story to being a more confident, effective, and consistent Disciple Maker?
I believe there are several. And these have helped me tremendously in my development as a Disciple Maker.
Takeaway #1: Understand How the KOH/KOG Operates
The more we understand how the KOH/KOG operate the better we can align our disciple making efforts with Kingdom principles.
We want to be working within the Kingdom principles as much as possible.
Takeaway #2: Check Yourself Against the Four Soils
Use the four soils descriptions as a gauge to check yourself.
Are you ignoring/rejecting what God is telling you?
Are you disobeying God when it get uncomfortable or difficult to obey Him?
Are you devoting yourself to chasing after money, lifestyle, things, etc.?
Are you producing a crop that is 30, 60, 100 times more than was sown into you?
Takeaway #3: Do NOT Prejudge
The Sower threw the seed everywhere without prejudging whether it was potentially good or bad soil.
I know, it doesn’t seem to be the approach for a a wise farmer. But this is what he did.
How does this apply to you as a Disciple Maker?
Stop prejudging how you believe an interaction will go with someone.
Do you find yourself not talking with certain people about spiritual things because you prejudge …
They will not be interested in talking about spiritual things or
It will be an uncomfortable and difficult discussion
Stop prejudging. Attempt to talk with people everywhere you go about spiritual things.
As the phrase goes “Sow abundantly everywhere you go.”
Takeaway #4: Few Will Believe and Stay With It
I don’t know if this story is giving us exact percentages. Such that each type of soil represents 25% of the people you encounter.
I am confident the story is at least showing us few of the people you encounter will accept, believe, and stay the course.
Do let it discourage you when few believe.
Takeaway #5: You will Be Fooled
In the story 50% of the soils fooled the sower. They initially appeared to be good soil that was going to produce an outstanding crop.
But in the end they gave a false initial indication and produced no crop yield.
Early on many will look like true followers of Jesus. But over time they will walk away.
Can you expect 50% of the people you engage with to fall into this category? I’m not confident we can say that for sure.
What we can say with confidence is that you will be fooled by a large percentage of the people who initially appear to become followers of Jesus. Yet, they will ultimately walk away.
Takeaway #6: Be Encouraged by This
When few believe and a large percentage ultimately walk away … Be Encouraged — Not discouraged.
Because you are experiencing the truth of the Bible. What you’re experiencing is what Jesus predicted would happen as you go out and make disciples.
Let this experience strengthen your confidence in Jesus and the Bible.
You can trust both because they know what they are talking about.
Takeaway #7: Must Followup
How did the sower determine the good soil from the bad soil?
The seed didn’t give an indication the moment it was sown whether the soil was good or bad.
The only way the sower could distinguish the good from the bad soil was by following up on his sowing efforts.
As a Disciple Maker you must commit to following up with the people you’ve engaged.
Disciple Making is not a hit and never return endeavor.
Following up is part of the disciple making process.
The 7 KOH/KOG Principles for Disciple Makers from this story:
#1 Understand how the KOH/KOG operates
#2 Check yourself against the 4 soils to keep yourself on track
#3 Do NOT prejudge how an encounter will go
#4 Few will Believe and stay with it
#5 You will be fooled by many
#6 Be encouraged — not discouraged by this
#7 You must Followup
Next Steps to Developing God’s Heart:
Two Questions for you To Think About:
1st Based on What God Has Shown Me…What Am I Going to Do About It? — (Loving God)
2nd Who Am I Going to Attempt to Share with About Jesus? — (Loving People)
Spend some time with God. Listen to what He shows you in response to those questions. Then DO what He says.
We Are Working to ….
1 Raise up an Army of 100% Sold-Out Committed Disciple Makers … And
2 Change the Definition of a Successful Church from its “Sunday Attendance Numbers” to its “Lifetime Sent Out Numbers”.
In order to see God’s worldwide plan completed in this lifetime.
Consider Joining Us.
So … Let Us Be About Doing Our Job!!!
Going Out and Serving as a Disciple Makings Ambassador for the King.
We Are NOT Living for NOW. But We Are Living NOW … For Eternity.
Until All Hear