You are also being tested!

Early in his ministry, Jesus was severely tempted by the devil. Before He called a disciple, performed a miracle, or preached a sermon, the tempter came to distract Him from His mission. I believe we are dealing with exactly the same deceptions in our shared great commission of making disciples. How do we handle this? In my twenties I attended a sermon by Peter Vlug Jr., my role model as a teenage worker. In it he made the theologically incorrect, but no less confrontational statement that we are asked two questions at the gates of heaven. The first is the fairly predictable question: ‘Who is Jesus to you?’, but the unexpected second question would be: ‘How many disciples have you made?’. “If making disciples is the great commission for us, then there comes a time when people ask what you did with it,” Peter said. I have never forgotten the question. Making disciples is our great commission, our corporate ministry. And we cannot avoid being distracted from this by our opponent. Jesus’ first test in the desert comes after forty days of fasting. “Can you make bread from these stones?” is what the applicant says. It is the temptation to go for consumption instead of spiritual growth. Do you go to a conference to consume or to actually change? Is the church focused on entertaining people with the right songs and the best band or are we engaged in painful and confrontational growth? Discipleship is not fun and enjoyable, but a difficult process of change. We are not called to produce consumers of beautiful programs, but producers of light. People who are slowly becoming more and more like Jesus and passing on life to others. Healthy trees bear fruit! The second test that Jesus undergoes takes place on the edge of the temple. “If you jump down now, angels will catch you,” the snake hisses. But Jesus knows that it is not about fame and success, but about obedience to God. Jumping is impressive, but it doesn’t change the heart. We too, I too, face this challenge. A tweet about a sermon for 2,000 people makes a greater impression than a message about a conversation with a few young guests. While the second has much more to do with discipleship and perhaps bears more fruit than another sermon. But yes, crowds and size make more of an impression than moving slowly with a few disciples. It is also more important in our newsletter to describe great miracles than the stumble-and-grow stories of a few students at our full-time school. The final test for Jesus takes Him to a high mountain, where all the kingdoms of this world pass before Him. “This is all for you, if you bow to me,” are the words with which Satan challenges Jesus. As if you can make a deal with the devil to conquer your own piece. We are not building our little kingdom, but the one, undivided kingdom of God. Churches, organizations and ministries do not oppose each other to claim their own territory. We are called to recognize that we need each other, to bend our knees and build God’s kingdom on earth together. This is how we defeat the devil! Discover what you are strong in as an individual or as a church and recognize where you need help. Churches or organizations that want to do everything themselves and alone ultimately end up alone. I want to make disciples. We do not want to produce consumers, but disciples who look like Jesus. We want to walk together with others in the footsteps of the Messiah. Not big and impressive, but life-changing. We want to build the Kingdom of God together with others. Are you participating? And as we do, we must never forget that Jesus promised that He has all power and will be with us all the days. Just look at Matthew 28! Would you like to travel with us? Then possibly join our part-time school. You can read all the information here .

About Martin Koornstra

Getrouwd met Karin, 2 mooie dochters, passie voor Jezus, spreker, schrijver, trainer en een beetje gek!

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