John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."







Friday, February 16, 2018

2nd lesson: Discipleship according to God's own heart

 We need to make our choice.

Ambassadors of the heavenly Kingdom.





Objectives:

A. Make a choice: whose Kingdom do you really want to belong to?
B. Do you wish to be a true follower of Christ in the Kingdom of God?
C. Am I willing to be an Ambassador of the Kingdom of God?

I doubt that anyone, at that time when they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, realizes what the future with Christ will bring them. In reality we enter into a new spiritual kingdom. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ trains His subjects under the laws of His Kingdom, by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
First of all: From the moment we are born again we have an identity registered in the kingdom of Heaven; and the Bible tells us that our names are recorded in the Book of Life and sealed with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 says as follows: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
From thereon we are subjects of the Celestial Kingdom, and ambassadors here on earth of this same kingdom. Now the question might rise: Is an ambassador a leader? Certainly. He leads the representation of the nation which he represents. Having understood this, we will see in the dictionary that leadership and discipleship have the same description; and we will talk about it later in another lesson.
If we are an ambassador, than where we live is an embassy of the Celestial Kingdom. So, if a person (that is still in the worldly lifestyle and does not know about Jesus); comes in your home… can the person recognize into whose embassy they have entered?
We have three important passages of Scripture that talk about the Lord Jesus how He laid down His life for us. He obeyed His Fathers command.
Isaiah 51:1 “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.” 
John 10:18 “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”
Galatians 1:4 “Who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”


Should people who live with us see God within our lives? He has declared us to be righteous according to 2 Corinthians 5:21- “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
As born again believers we do follow after righteousness. We seek the Lord, the rock from whom we were hewn. We need to learn to look at the hole of the pit from which we were dug… Interesting isn’t it? Why would the prophet teach it if God had not directed him to do so? In the way we express ourselves in every manner, is it directed to the obedience of God, or is it to our own understanding? As Jesus chose to obey, you and I need to make the same choice. It is either His way or my way. As children of God we all need to learn His commandments. We would like to encourage you to study the course Faith Foundation, if you have not yet done so; before moving on in this course.
We need to know the ‘Foundation Of The True Salvation’, in order to live according to it. It is of vital importance to know the Word of God and His commandments before we move on in studying how to become a true disciple. A disciple must learn to practice what he has learned so far. I would like to encourage you to read the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Luke during this time that we study this whole course.
Jesus called the people to follow Him, He taught them about His Father’s command and; Jesus practiced it in front of them everything He wanted them to learn. God has given us everything we need in His Word to learn how to become a true follower and a true disciple.
Journal nº 2: How do you see yourself according to what we have studied so far about what the Word of God says about discipleship?

Secondly: An ambassador can be: active or inactive, faithful or unfaithful, trustworthy or unworthy. God gives us a choice to accept HIM, accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of our life; and God gives us free will to choose whether we want to faithfully represent his kingdom as ambassadors here or not.

If we would describe an ambassador based on how the dictionary describes these words: active/inactive, faithful/unfaithful, and trustworthy/untrustworthy; it points out some truth that we see around us. Many people out there in the world do it exactly as they think it is right; but are not faithful, nor trustworthy, nor active as they should be. Let us check out the words and see how the people convey themselves that say they are ambassadors of the heavenly Kingdom.

ACTIVE IS USED TO EMPHASIZE THAT SOMEONE IS TAKING ACTION IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE SOMETHING, RATHER THAN JUST HOPING FOR IT OR ACHIEVING IT IN AN INDIRECT WAY.
IF SOMEONE IS ACTIVE IN AN ORGANIZATION, CAUSE, OR CAMPAIGN, THEY DO THINGS FOR IT RATHER THAN JUST GIVING IT THEIR SUPPORT.
SOMEONE OR SOMETHING THAT IS INACTIVE IS NOT DOING ANYTHING OR IS NOT WORKING.

Task nº1: _____________ is taking action in the Kingdom of God as His ambassador, in order to achieve the work God has intrusted her/him. (Place your name in the blank).  (Or would you say you are not taking action? => Inactive.

IF A PERSON OR THING IS WORTHY OF SOMETHING, THEY DESERVE IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE QUALITIES OR ABILITIES REQUIRED. A WORTHY PERSON OR THING IS APPROVED OF BY MOST PEOPLE IN SOCIETY AND CONSIDERED TO BE MORALLY RESPECTABLE OR CORRECT. (FORMAL)
IF YOU SAY THAT AN ACTION IS UNWORTHY OF SOMEONE, YOU MEAN THAT IT IS NOT A NICE THING TO DO AND SOMEONE WITH THEIR REPUTATION OR POSITION SHOULD NOT DO IT. (LITERARY)

Proverbs 20:6 – “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy (faithful) man?”

Next question: How many of us can proclaim our loyalty, which would be confirmed by our God that he found in us a trustworthy person?

SOMEONE WHO IS FAITHFUL TO A PERSON, ORGANIZATION, IDEA, OR ACTIVITY REMAINS FIRM IN THEIR BELIEF IN THEM OR SUPPORT FOR THEM. THE FAITHFUL ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE FAITHFUL TO SOMEONE OR SOMETHING. A FAITHFUL ACCOUNT, TRANSLATION, OR COPY OF SOMETHING REPRESENTS OR REPRODUCES THE ORIGINAL ACCURATELY.
IF SOMEONE IS UNFAITHFUL TO A PERSON, ORGANIZATION, IDEA, OR ACTIVITY THE PERSON DOES NOT REMAIN FIRM IN THEIR BELIEF IN THEM OR SUPPORT FOR THEM. THEREFORE THEY DESCRIBE THE MESSAGE AS IT PLEASES THEM OR AS IT MAKES SENSE IN THEIR THOUGHTS; THEY GO ABOUT IT IN THE WAY WHICH DOES NOT MAINTAIN THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE.

Verses about faithful:
1 Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”
1 Samuel 26:23 – “May the Lord repay every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.”
2 Chronicles 16:9 – “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
Proverbs 28:20 – “A faithful man will abound with blessings.”
Matthew 25:21 – “His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”


Question nº3: Does God assess each child/student in his Kingdom? Yes, based on what Scriptures state. If God would evaluate us in this moment, what would God’s description about you and me sound like?


The Bible tells us that God looks at us and evaluates our conduct. David was a shepherd, a young man who was at home taking care of his father's animals in the field. He played his harp, took care of the sheep; but he behaved in a way that was observed by the Most High. God watches every human being, nothing escapes the sight of our God.

Hebrews 4:13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
What does God see when He watches you and me? What report would He write in His Holy Word about us? Would we be described as David was?

Let’s check the passage: Acts 13:22 “After removing Saul, He raised up David as their king and testified about him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after My own heart; he will carry out My will’ in its entirety.”
Discussion nº1: Discuss the verse above with each other. How would God describe you and me? Would God describe us as He described David?


How many examples of servants do we have in the Bible that did never make any mistakes?  Romans 3:23-24 (NKJV) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”  Based on what we have studied so far makes it clear why the Lord Jesus told his disciples they were supposed to wait until they would be clothed with power from on high. “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49.
You and I need to also seek the Lord Jesus to receive the clothing with power from on high. I can do all things through Christ Jesus, this is what the apostle Paul said.  We can do God’s work if we do it as He has commanded it.


Homework = Scripture memory:
Be sure to commit this passage to memory before moving on to the next lesson. , Then, practice reciting it repeatedly throughout this course. Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

Personal goal:  Make a commitment with the Lord. My suggestion is to ask Him to make of you a Disciple according to His own heart.


Till the next lesson, until then may the Lord bless you beyond comprehension. 




A. PENNER PUBLISHING.
 Discipleship according the heart of God
ISBN NUMBER:  978-0-9881063-2-1


Mrs. Antonina Penner.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

1st Lesson = Discipleship according to God’s own heart.

DISCIPLESHIP ACCORDING TO THE HEART OF GOD.






Introduction to the Discipleship according to the Heart of God.  


Introduction: Second Timothy 2:15 says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." Based on this verse, we encourage you to complete each assignment before progressing to the next lesson. Let us be diligent before the Lord as we study His Word. Amen?

Jeremiah 3:15“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”  (KJV)

Objectives of this Lesson.
1 You should have a clear idea of what the Bible refers to as discipleship.
2 Evaluate where you are at, when it comes to discipleship in your own life.

What is Discipleship??

I do not know what you were expecting on this subject; but I want to introduce you to something we are all aware of; yet most people do not live according to it. I believe it is high time for all of us who claim to be God’s children, to return to the Word of God, to search for what Jesus told us to do. Many call themselves born again Christians, yet how many of them follow Jesus as He taught the twelve whom he appointed his apostles? He told His followers: "Follow me, I will make you fishers of men." 

The dictionary tells us that discipleship is: ‘If you are someone's disciple, you are influenced by their teachings and try to follow their example. = 'You are a follower.'

Jesus called the twelve to follow him.

Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

Please read: Matthew 4:19 “Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

Journal nº1:  Did you ever visualize yourself in the kingdom of God as someone fishing human beings and bringing them into the God’s kingdom? Have you already fished someone into the kingdom of God so far? If not, what would be your excuse for it? Did you ever have to deny yourself to take up your cross and follow Jesus?

In this lesson we are going to examine by reading God’s Word that we can learn how Jesus chose each one of those that He called to follow him; and He also trained them. He asked them to go in all the world and make disciples.

Through God’s Word we are being trained by the Holy Spirit to do the same. But, how many of us follow the ‘whole command’? We ought to agree that currently the vast majority of those who call themselves God’s children are far from the kind of ministry, which JESUS taught the twelve disciples to do. Jesus never said that He would train the leadership and the rest of the flock should only faithfully sit in the pews each Sunday just to hear the Word of God... gathering mostly for the fellowship; thinking that this is all it takes to make them a good Christian.’ Jesus trains every believer to do the duty of a disciple maker. Every one of us is called to do the same mission that the twelve were doing.

Jesus gave the command to all his followers; the disciples and all the others that were with Him, to go and make disciples and this we read in Mathew 28:19 “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”. And in Mark 16:15-20 we find the same command. Verse 20 says: “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied itSo if we take a look at these passages that we mentioned, Jesus said:

Follow me, I will make you fishers of men. This means that Jesus expects to see you following Him, His teaching and His commands. He will make you a good fisherman, you do not need to think: ‘Well I am not qualified to do it, how should I be like the twelve disciples?’ Jesus makes us fishers of men, even though we feel awkward about it.

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” We need to make a decision, whether or not we want to be the Lord’s disciple, and based on that there is a requirement; deny yourself, meaning you do not live anymore as you think it is right and proper; but live the way Jesus commands it. Take up the cross means, accept everything that goes with it. And follow the instructions to the ‘t’ as commanded by the Lord Himself.

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. ó The command is go and make disciples of all nations. And this is how you do it: Teach them the Word of God as Jesus taught us, that there is no salvation other than the one Jesus preached. We have 3 verses that make this point very clear.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)”For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
Acts 4:12 (NKJV)12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Jesus trained His followers-who He nominated APOSTLES, in theory and in practice at the same time. Luke 6:13 “When daylight came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also designated as apostles”.

Strong's Concordance defines apostolos as a messenger, one sent on a mission, an apostle. Original Word: ἀπόστολος, ου, ὁ. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine. Transliteration: apostolos. Phonetic Spelling: (ap-os'-tol-os).    Definition: an apostle, a messenger, an envoy, a delegate. One commissioned by another to represent him in some way, especially a man sent out by Jesus Christ Himself to preach the Gospel; an apostle.

Jesus called them to follow Him, and they did. Jesus said I will make you fisher of men, which makes it clear that they needed to be trained and transformed by the Lord Jesus in order for them to be a disciple. For this to happen 3 things are necessary: deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus.

As we study Scriptures we can see that the disciples all were transformed and they did as Jesus had commanded them. You and I are called to do the same as the disciples needed to do, because we are followers of Jesus through their obedience. If they would have not been faithful to the Lord’s command, you and I would have never heard of it. And Jesus trains us the same way with His Word and through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in us.

Jesus was sad when he went to the synagogue and saw the lives of those who claimed to be leaders of his people, but who lived merely by appearance; and their spiritual life was actually empty. Politically they were living correct. In front of people they acted as if they kept the whole law, showing of to be spotless. But, Jesus saw their heart. Jesus knew they were not living according to what He commanded them through the Law of Moses. Read Exodus chapter 19 to chapter 40. Humanly speaking it is impossible to live perfectly correct keeping all the laws. Only Jesus that was without sin could live perfectly.

Even though the prophet Isaiah already had spoken about disciples as we read in Isaiah 8:16: “Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples.”  God was speaking through the prophet, to say that His people were supposed to bind up the testimony. The dictionary says to bind up means: “To wrap something or someone in a material”.  Which means: when you go and announce something or someone whom you are making known, you wrap everything up that has to do with it in the message which you are bringing forth. And we do this with our character, conduct and speech. We represent Him by the way we live, speak, and act.

God has always had His disciples, wrapping them up in the work He has for each one of them to do; since the beginning and always taught them to do His work.

Jesus trained His disciples to work alongside with Him, doing the same job as He did. How many can say today: "In our church everyone learns and works alongside with the pastor going after people to fish them for the kingdom of God"?

In the church where you congregate does the vast majority listen only to the powerful messages; or are they also encouraged and taught how to ‘fish souls into the kingdom of God’? ‘To disciple’ according to the dictionary is: "He who receives teaching from someone; one who learns.”

Jesus teaches us and we learn from Him. Therefore, we have no more excuse not to do it. I have several questions for us to ponder about.

Question nº1: Who is to blame if our life is not according to what the Bible teaches?


Question nº2: Do you have a fair excuse for not living your life as Jesus taught you to live it?


Question nº3: What excuse do you have for living your life according to your own understanding instead of obeying the Lord’s command? Make sure the Lord Jesus accepts your excuse. 


Question nº4: Do you believe that Jesus taught the disciples to fish souls for His kingdom?
Or...  did Jesus want everyone just to hear it in theory and believe it? 
Or… did Jesus expect them to practice it as well?
Or… should only the leadership practice the command of making disciples or every Christian?
Or… Where do we find the answer to all these questions? 

The answer is: In God’s Word!

Therefore, what do you think does God expect of you and me? I believe that Jesus expects each of His children to learn the Word, to engage in it, and to teach others; making more disciples. Discipleship after the heart of God is one about whom God declares: with my holy oil I have anointed him. We read this about David that God said: = Psalms 89:20 "I have found David my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him.”

Speaking about discipleship according to the heart of God, we intend to address an issue of utmost importance in our days. We will be studying and meditating on the fact that God looks at our behavior to disciple our neighbor with our lives, conducts and our character. Our acts, gestures and our speech convey the message that is in our hearts. Jesus said very clearly what is in the heart comes out of the mouth… What is in your heart? Do you know?

We have several passages that show us that Jesus called the ones He appointed as His followers. Make a point of keeping these passages in your mind during this course.

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
John 21:19 “Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

You may say in your inner heart, but I am not a leader. Okay, let me ask you some other questions… "How many of the 12 and 500 other followers of Jesus had any idea at the beginning of what they would do after completion of the training with Jesus? After Pentecost? In Matthew 19:28 “Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Do you have an idea what God is planning to do through you in the near future? I believe that none of them expected to be an apostle who would eventually have their names inscribed on the wall in heaven. In fact none of us knows particularly what the calling is, that God will give us.

We know that Jesus said, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men'. No one receives Jesus in order to be a leader or disciple maker, and so on. We receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior of our lives; because we recognize we are sinners.

Homework = Scripture memory:  Be sure to commit this passage to memory before moving on to the next lesson. , Then, practice reciting it repeatedly throughout this course. Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

Till the next lesson, until then may the Lord bless you beyond comprehension. 




A. PENNER PUBLISHING.
 Discipleship according the heart of God
ISBN NUMBER:  978-0-9881063-2-1
Mrs. Antonina Penner.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Real meaning of Eastor

Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...

I read a message on the site  below. You can click on it or read it below as I will state it here. I felt touched by the Lord to share it with you.  If I may ask you: Do you know the real meaning of Easter? What do you celebrate every year at this time when the Christians celebrate Easter??

Please read the message below, and share it with your friends.  Be blessed as you read. 
http://www1.cbn.com/devotions/real-meaning-easter


The Real Meaning of Easter


The best way to understand the real meaning of Easter would be from Jesus. The real meaning is a three word answer ... the new covenant.

The New Covenant
Jesus had come in town for the Passover celebration and was getting ready to be betrayed by one of the disciples, publicly humiliated and mocked, beaten beyond recognition, and hung on a cross to die, when he made his special request for his followers to remember that He gave his body for us and poured out his blood as a sacrifice for us. The heart of Easter lies in his words, "the new covenant between God and his people."
In Luke 22 we get a picture of the night before his death:
When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, "I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won't eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God." Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, "Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come." He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me." After supper he took another cup of wine and said, "This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. Luke 22:14-20*
Passover and the New Covenant
Since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, people were destined to be separated from God because of their sin. God's Spirit rested on the Patriarchs of our faith, but was not poured out on the masses. The Holy of Holies was the innermost and most sacred part of the tabernacle and ordinary people of faith would never get to have access to this place where God's Presence could be found. We were hopeless in our sins and distanced from God.
People of faith offered up animal sacrifices according to the laws given to Moses to ask God to forgive their sins and have mercy on them. Bulls, goats, and lambs each had their significance. But the lamb had special meaning because it was lamb's blood the Israelites painted on their doorposts to avoid death on the night of Passover. (Exodus 12:11-13*)
God gave Moses and Aaron specific instructions on how to honor God with annual Passover celebrations. Lamb is the pinnacle of the Passover meal. The lambs were to be spotless and even lived with the families for several days before they were sacrificed, adding to the understanding that the ultimate sacrifice was close to the hearts of those whose sins were atoned for. All of the many interesting details of celebrating Passover have significant meaning that point to the ultimate Passover lamb - Jesus Christ - a sinless God-man who lived among the people for a season.
What is the real meaning of Easter? In John 1:29*, as he sees Jesus approaching, John the Baptist announces to the crowd around him, "Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
He knew that Jesus was the son of God, the long awaited Messiah, the one whom God's prophets had promised to save mankind from their sins and to give them a deep heartfelt relationship with God the Father. The new covenant would be an everlasting covenant. (Jeremiah 31:31-34*, Jeremiah 32:39-42*, Isaiah 55:3*) Jesus, our sacrificial lamb, our Savior, our God, our Redeemer - he laid down his life as our sacrificial lamb to pay for our sins. When he rose from the dead three days later, he gave victory over eternal separation from God (death) to all who put their faith and trust in him. That is the new covenant - everlasting life spent with God through faith in all that Jesus Christ has done and continues to do.
Bible Verses
All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don't believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don't believe what God has testified about his Son. And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God's Son does not have life. (1 John 5:10-12*, NLT)
“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3*b-4, KJV)
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9*, NLT)

Prayer
Father God, there is sometimes controversy about how, when, and what to call the remembrance of the greatest day in history - the day Jesus Christ, your beloved son, rose from the dead and brought the gift of your forgiveness and eternal life to all who would like to receive it - the new covenant. Please pour out your Holy Spirit on all who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and put us on our knees before you with thankful hearts for your great love for us. You, oh God, have given us victory over sin and death, and the promise of never leaving us or forsaking us for eternity. Help us to be the body of Christ, the church, united in awe of how you saved our unworthy souls ... your body and your blood as a sacrifice for us. Help us to bring this message to all who will listen. Help us to love like you love. Thank you forever! Amen.

Rev. Billy Graham