BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women

Archive for January, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

MAN-TO-MAN

Dear Colleague,
In my mid-twenties, Al singled me out by coming along side and communicating gentle compassion. He saw I was troubled and in need of help. Over the next several months he guided me in pluming the depths of crushing pain derived from childhood experiences. We dealt with deep-seated bitterness and denial. In time I experienced joyful liberation from my bondages, because Al cared enough to take the time and effort. Over the ensuing months, we hunted together, sought to reach collegians for Christ together; hung out together. Rather than preaching or pushing his pet values on me (Bible study, daily “quiet time”, discipleship, etc.), Al just lived them. And…I caught them.

Man-to-man – one person separating out another with the intention of affecting his life toward spiritual maturity – can be an effective tool in helping to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission to “make disciples”. (Matt. 28:18-20) When we focus in on an individual, in effect we are saying, “You are of great worth to God…and to me!” Powerful stuff indeed!

 

Man-to-man (or person-to-person) involves:

 

Modeling : Providing your “disciple” with an authentic example to emulate: Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1) (See Pro. 23:26 I Cor. 4:16; Phil. 3:17; 1Thes. 1:6; 2 Thes. 3:9)

 

Sensitivity : Seeking to understand who this person is, and where he is in his life. Attempting to grasp what God is presently doing in him. Asking God whether He wants you to participate at this time with Him in his maturing process. Sensitivity also has to do with getting to the meaning behind his words. Asking, “what are the implications of what he/she is not saying?” “He who answers before listening–that is his folly and his shame.” (Prov. 18:13)

Serving : As opposed to impressing, manipulating, or exploiting. No hidden agenda. Just sacrificially giving of yourself to him. “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Cor. 4:5) (See Matt. 20:25-27; Jn. 13:14; Rom. 15:1,2; 1 Cor. 9:19-23; 2 Cor. 1:24; 2 Tim. 2:10)

Transparency : Simply being real. Vulnerable. Sharing your life. “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings–what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. ” (2 Tim. 3:10,11)

Encouraging : Beseeching, imploring and entreating him in his walk with God . “…[Paul and Barnabas] returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’” (Acts 14:21b, 11) (See Pro. 12:25; 25:11)

Instructing : Offering truth and practical help that is timely and relevant toward his spiritual growth. .“…Jesus…said, “…Go and make disciples…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:18b,19a,20a)

Confronting : Caring enough to pinpoint and help him change in problematic/sin areas of his life. Preach the Word…rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Tim 4:2a,c) (See 1 Thes. 2:7,8,11,12)

Equipping : Furnishing him with the tools to grow, walk with God, and minister to others. “… Prepare (literally: equip) God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Eph. 4:12) (See 1Thes. 5:11-14)

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

* (Original release date August 20th, 2003)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Good Morning!

If we are serious about fulfilling the Great Commission to “go make disciples of all nations,” we will be wise to understand and utilize the principles Jesus employed in discipling the Twelve:+

#1 SELECTION: Men were his method: “When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose

twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles.” (Lk. 6:13) (See Matt. 4:21; 9:9; Mk. 3:13-19; Jn. 1:43-51)

Question : Am I selecting out a few people to disciple who are eager to grow into Christlikeness? (2 Tim. 2:2)

#2 ASSOCIATION: Christ stayed with them: “…Surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

(Matt. 28:20) (See Matt. 19:1-20; Mk. 7:24, 31; 8:10; Lk. 22:41; Jn. 11:54)

Question : Am I committed to staying with a few until they reach a reasonable level of maturity? (Act. 20:31)

#3 CONSECRATION: He required obedience: “Take my yoke upon you…” (Matt. 11:29a)(See Lk. 14:26-33)

Question : Am I expecting my disciples to live in radical obedience to the Scriptures? (Jn. 8:31, 32; 1 Jn. 2:3-6)

#4 DEMONSTRATION: He showed them how to live: “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (Jn. 13:15) (See 1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1; Phil. 3:17; 4:9; 1 Thes. 1:6; 2 Thes. 3:7, 9; 2 Tim. 3:10,11)

Question : Am I modeling the life of Christ before my aspiring disciples? (Prov. 23:26; Heb. 13:7; 1 Pet. 5:3)

#5 DELEGATION: He assigned them work: “Come, follow me, ‘Jesus said,’ and I will make you fishers of

men.’” (Matt. 4:19) (See Matt. 9:34-38; Lk. 10: 1,2; Jn. 4:34-38; Eph. 4:11-16)

Question : Am I training my disciples by giving them ministry responsibilities? (Jn. 4:2; Mk. 6:7; Lk. 9:1,2)

#6 SUPERVISION: He kept check on them: “Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?” (Mk. 8:17)

Question: Am I requiring accountability of my disciples? (Mk. 6:30; 9:38; Lk. 9:10)

#7 REPRODUCTION: He expected them to reproduce: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (Jn. 15:16) (See Psa. 92:12-14; Isa. 61:3; Matt. 5:16; 2 Cor. 9:10-15; Phil. 1-11)

Question : Am I expecting my disciples to reproduce their lives, or am I settling for a flurry of activity?(Jn.15:8)

#8 IMPARTATION: He gave himself away: “…Everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (Jn. 15:15b) (See Jer. 23: 1-40; Psa. 1:1-6; Prov. 11:30; Isa. 3:10; Matt. 3:8; 7:15-23; Heb. 13:15)

Question : Am I sharing my life with my disciples? (Jn. 15:13; Phil 2:25-30; 1 Thes. 2:8; 1 Jn. 3:16-18)

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

* (Original release date April 30th, 2003)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Good Morning!

#1 LOVE: Paul was willing to give his very life for people, not because of what they could do for him,

but simply because he loved them:

“…We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” (I Thess. 2:7,8)

#2 PROTECTION: The Apostle Paul protected his flock in five ways:

(1) Prayer – Col. 1:9-13

(2) Visits – Act. 15:36

(3) Sending Others – I Cor. 4:15-17

(4) Writing – I Cor. 2:9

(5) Assuring Them of Victory in Christ – I Cor. 10:13

#3 FOOD: Paul taught, fed, and urged his disciples to ingest and apply the word of God:

“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace , which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Act. 20:32) (See II Tim. 4:2; I Pet. 2:2,3)

#4 FELLOWSHIP: The writer to the Hebrews expressed concern that believers assemble together:

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together , as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb. 10:24, 25) (See Act. 2: 42-47)

#5 TRAINING: Paul did not just tell them what to do, or leave them on their own. He showed them, and walked with them.

“… We instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” (I Thess. 4:1) (See II Tim. 3:10,11)

QUESTION: If you are currently discipling someone, do you have in mind the fundamental knowledge, skills and values that you want built into his or her life? Have you thought through how to go about it?

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

+Adapted from an article by LeRoy Eims, “Discipleship Journal”; issue 107 (Original release date June 13th, 2001)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Good Morning!

#1 He has adopted as his objective in life the same objective God sets forth in Scripture: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33)

#2 He is willing to pay any price to have the will of God fulfilled in his life: “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” (2 Tim. 2:3,4)

#3 He has a love for the Word of God: “Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart…” (Jer. 15:16a)

#4 He has a servant heart: “…Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:26-28)

#5 He puts no confidence in the flesh: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not .” (Rom. 7:18; see 2 Cor. 1:9)

#6 He does not have an independent spirit: …[Paul] was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus; and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.” (Act. 20:4)

#7 He has a love for people: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (I Jn. 4:10)

#8 He does not allow himself to become trapped in bitterness: “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” (Heb. 12:15)

#9 He has learned to discipline his life: “…Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things…I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.” (I Cor. 9:25a – 27)

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

+Adapted from “Disciples are Made, Not Born” – Walter Henrichsen, pages 12-19 (Original release date Nov. 1st, 2000)