“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
-During the great commission, Jesus sends His eleven apostles around the world to spread the gospel. He made it clear that the function of a disciple was not only to preach the gospel but to make disciples. Jesus shares what He means by making disciples, that is; baptizing people in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey God’s commandments. Matthew 3:11 reveals the importance of baptism saying, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 7:21 also reveals that it is prime to follow God’s will saying, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” As disciples of Jesus, we should realize that preaching, teaching and other forms of discipleship as each one is called; should not be centered on ourselves as some do it, but on Jesus Christ. For one to make disciples he/she should be a follower of Christ so as to point others to Jesus Christ. Jesus should be at the center of all ministry work to ensure that everyone believes in and knows Jesus Christ for who He is and His sacrifice on the cross, for the glory and honor of His name. The work of discipleship ensures that there is continuity and advancement of the kingdom of God as He wills. All authority belongs to Jesus and He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us, even to the end of the age.
We love You Jesus, our Strength, our Rock, our Fortress, our Deliverer, our God, in You we put our trust. You are our Shield and the horn of our salvation, our Stronghold, we will praise You all the days of our life. We bless You Jesus, Most High for only You are worthy to be praised. We praise You and honor You forever. Your dominion is everlasting and Your kingdom transcends from generations to generations. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing, we are nothing without You Holy Spirit and can do nothing without You. You do according to Your will through Your army in heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain Your hand or say to You, “What have You done?” Only You are the Lord of lord and King of kings, our everlasting Father, Your reign endures forever. Search our hearts, minds, hearts desires, relationships and remove everything that is not of Your kingdom from us we humbly implore You. We are priests and kings to You Almighty Father, may all that we say and do bring glory to Your name. Strengthen each one of us in our callings and empower us with Your fruit and gifts Holy Spirit. May Your divine wisdom fill our hearts and minds, that we may realize our divine mission and radiate Your love to the whole world, that others may see and glorify You. Allow many to know You and believe in You Jesus, as You impart in them Your gift of salvation, for the glory and honor of Your name. All authority and power belongs to You Jesus, fill us with Your divine power and strength, for the glory of Your name. You have promised never to leave us nor forsake us, we thank You and praise Your holy name, now and forever. Amen
“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
-Jesus bespeaks of the cost of discipleship as a call to forsake all and follow Him. As a man first calculates the cost of construction before building, lest he is unable to complete the project. Another evaluates his machinery of war against his opponents before pursuit; otherwise he opts to make peace. Discipleship requires prayer, willingness, God’s direction and a clear focus. To follow Jesus wholeheartedly, one has to overcome all barriers that pose as busyness and sinful living. As a king made a banquet and invited his friends, one made an excuse he had just bought land and needed to see it, another had bought oxen that required testing and another had just married and could not come. But when he sent his servants to the poor, lame and blind, they willingly entered God’s kingdom (Luke 14:15-24). Like one who considers cost benefit analysis, the call to discipleship is an eternal calling and should be carefully weighed against our short term ambitions. True discipleship requires one to sacrifice and forsake everything that draws us back including; disobedience and habitual sins, so that we may become vessels of honor. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac for the sake of obedience to God’s call. Matthew 4:19-20 reveals the disciples response to Jesus call, “Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” The disciples were not idle but were busy fishing. Jesus is calling us to make certain sacrifices and carry the cross as each one is called for the sake of the gospel. To carry the cross by making time to read and meditate on the word of God, pray and fast, preach the gospel to others, forsake sinful desires and do the will of God.
God our Almighty Father we thank You and bless Your holy name for Your goodness and love upon our lives. Thank You for Your great love upon our lives, families and nation. You have never left us orphaned but have given us Your Holy Spirit. Thank You Holy Spirit for Your patience and love with us and for us. Thank You for dwelling in us and with us. Search our hearts and remove every evil thing that draws our souls back to perdition. Deliver us from every evil snare and forgive us all our trespasses. Scatter the enemy from our midst and cause a fire in his camp. The enemy has no place in our midst, set us free Jesus with Your precious blood. Set us free Holy Spirit and shield us with Your hedge of fire. Help us to forsake all and follow You. Help all our children, friends, colleagues and leaders to forsake all and follow You. Make us vessels of honor Holy Spirit we humbly implore You. Grant all the candidates wisdom as they prepare to take their final exams. Fill all our leaders and doctors with Your wisdom as they handle the COVID vaccine. All glory, honor, power, praise and blessings belongs to You Lord, now and forever. Amen
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
-The call to discipleship is the call to love. 1 Corinthians 14:1 reveals that love should precede prophecy saying, “Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” To become disciples of Jesus, we are called to follow after love and desire spiritual gifts, and the Holy Spirit will give us as He wills. One of our main mission’s as disciples is to operate in power through spiritual gifts. In Matthew 10:1; we see that after Jesus called his twelve disciples, He gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. It is only through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that His power in us can be evidenced among brethren. Love which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit ensures that these gifts effectively utilized for the glory of the Lord. To love our neighbor is also to fulfil God’s new commandment.
Jehovah Jireh our Father, we thank You for this new day that You have given us. We thank You, we adore You, we uplift Your Holy name above all other names. We humbly ask You to cover us and everything that has our nametag with Your precious blood Jesus Christ. Remember all the sick in hospital and at home, that You may heal them by Your mighty power Holy Spirit. Be with all those who are bereaved and comfort them during these trying times. Be with all those who are in prison and transform their lives. Remember all the children living in the street that You may set them free from the yoke of oppression. Meet us all at our points of need Holy Spirit and grant us Your grace. Answer all our hearts desires and make our joy complete. Help us to pursue love and desire spiritual gifts. Fill our hearts with Your fruit of love and gifts as You please Holy Spirit. Help us to operate in power and do Your will for the glory of Your name. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forevermore. Amen
“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs. Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
-The call to discipleship is not only a symbol of love for our neighbors, but also a demonstration of love for God. Jesus instructed Peter to feed His sheep three times, which shows the importance of this core mandate. Peter was faithful in his calling and ministered to many churches. On the other hand, Judas who was one of the twelve disciples chose to deviate from his purpose and betray Jesus with a kiss for thirty silver coins. His love for God slowly faded away, guilt crept into his heart and he eventually hang himself. Feeding the flock requires the guidance of the Holy Spirit in revealing these truths from the word of God. As the good Shepherd; Jesus calls His sheep to Himself and assures us all of safety. John 10:27-28 reveals that, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” God reveals Himself to His flock in many diverse ways with the objective of making Himself known to all the nations that many may believe in Him and have eternal life. It is also through proclaiming His word that we are called to do so, that many may come to salvation (Romans 1:16).
Your righteousness is forever and Your salvation from generation to generation Jesus, we praise You and exult Your holy name. We humbly implore You to reign in our hearts, minds, plans, homes, families, children, relationships, marriages, jobs, businesses, education, churches, leadership and nation. Only You Jesus reign forever. Only You are righteous. Only You are Holy. We rely on Your righteousness. We rely on Your mercy Jesus. We rely on Your grace Father. We rely on Your love Holy Spirit. Forgive us for the many times we have not served You well and have betrayed You with a kiss dear Jesus. We humbly implore You Jesus our Advocate to remove every accusation against us and our families in the heavenly courts. Empower us in our mandates as we feed Your flock. Use us to feed Your sheep according to Your will. Reveal Yourself in us and those we minister unto. May Your love radiate through us to those You have called us to. Guide us as we minister to the children, the street children, the sick in hospital, those who are in prison, the aged, the lost and the whole world. Guide us in true wisdom that we may only proclaim Your gospel of truth. We love You Jesus, thank You for loving us first. The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but Your love and kindness shall not depart from us, nor shall Your covenant of peace be removed. No one shall snatch us from Your hand Jesus because Your love for us will never fail. Thank You for loving us Jesus. Thank You for loving us Father. Thank You for loving us Holy Spirit. We praise You and glorify Your holy name now and forever. Amen
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”
-Apostle Paul’s last words to the Ephesian elders exhort them of their duty and dangers. Their duty in maintaining five priorities, that is; to be right with God, shepherd the flock of God, guard the flock, study and pray, and be free from self-interest. Also, that they should be on their guard against unique dangers especially false prophecy and temptations that beset them. In Matthew 7:15, Jesus reminds us to beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. As disciples of God, we notice that it is the Holy Spirit who has made us guardians to His flock. He has called us to be shepherds to His church in which we form part. Some of us having been given the gift of preaching, others teaching, prophecy, healing, miracles, helps, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, discerning between spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, that we may minister to the flock He purchased by His own blood.
Sheep are unique animals that have been used numerous times in the Bible. Sheep are emotional and know the voice of their shepherd. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to listen to His voice and follow Him. Sheep are meek animals. Like sheep, we are called to humble ourselves before the Lord and He will lift us up. Sheep are highly dependent of their shepherds and bleat when lost or nervous. Like sheep, we are reminded to cast our burdens and cares to Jesus for He cares for us. Sheep cannot defend themselves when danger presents itself. The Lord is our Shield and Defender and He calls us to trust in Him wholeheartedly in our discipleship duties. Sheep follow each other and walk in multitudes. We are called to dwell in unity as believers and love one another as ourselves. Sheep usually have no sense of direction but follow their shepherds. We too are called to seek the direction of Jesus in all that we do, even as we execute the work of discipleship. Psalm 23:1-3 tells us that, “The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” Jesus has commissioned us to go into all the nations and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that He has taught us. God has called us to the lost sheep. It is God who works in us and through us to do His good work of salvation. The call to discipleship is a call to not only preach the gospel but to also make disciples. As our Good Shepherd, Jesus lays His life for us and teaches us how to walk in His ways and to abide in Him, and no one is above the Teacher. As God’s disciples we are called to abide in Jesus’ as we continue believing what Jesus has said and walking in obedience to him (1 John 2:6, 28; 3:6). The Holy Spirit has empowered us with different gifts according to the grace given to each of us. To some the gift is prophesy, serving, teaching, encouraging others, giving, leading, showing mercy (Romans 12:6-8). He has also given us diverse gifts that build the body of Christ which is the church. Before we desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are called to love so that we may shepherd God’s flock well. The shepherd of the sheep shows utmost love and care. When we love our neighbors, we become disciples of Jesus and when we proclaim the gospel we exhibit love for God. Therefore, our call to discipleship is a call to love and if we love we fulfil God’s commandments. The testimony of Jesus Christ preached through the gospel brings many to the knowledge of Him. We are shepherds of God who discharge His gospel message to the world and He does the work of conversion. The work of conviction through the Holy Spirit according to John 16:7-11 and the work of regeneration according to 1 Peter 1:23. The word of God causes many to believe in Jesus Christ and to come to salvation. As the sheep of Jesus, He knows us and we know His voice, and we follow Him. He has assured us of eternal life and no one will snatch us from Him.
Your mercies are new every morning Lord, how great are You in all the earth. You Lord are God, it is You who made us and we are Yours, we are Your people, and the sheep of Your pasture, thank You for Your mercy and love upon us. You were wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon You and by Your stripes we are healed. Heal all our wounds dear Jesus and set free all those who are sick among us. Set free all those who under the oppression of the evil one, merciful Father. Set free all the street families and those who are depressed. Set free all the prisoners and all those who have been rejected. Set free all the lost sheep in Israel and grant them grant the peace. Set free all the Gentiles in all the nations and grant them the gift of salvation. Jesus our Great Shepherd we humbly ask You to equip us with everything good for doing Your will. Impart in us great power and use us to do good works for the glory of Your name. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now, and forevermore. Amen