Have you ever wondered what should be the driving force behind every attempt to make disciples?
Here are some questionable ones.
“Evange-ligaw” (courting a girl), “Bible-steady”, “disciple-chicks” trying to be a missionary to the opposite gender. Hoping at the end they’ll end up being together. The person, most of the time, becomes a recipient of Paul’s admonition in 2 Corinthians 6.14. Rather than winning the person to Christ, he ends up winning the person for his own benefit.
“Personal-priest” status to survive and acquire personal gain. In Judges 17.7-13, a young Levite became Micah’s personal priest (“this Levite has become my priest.”). Many ministers have become peddlers for profit rather than preachers of the Gospel.
Or many more other motives that Paul exposed in lives of the believers in Philippi. Out of envy and rivalry (Phil 1.15) and out of self ambition, not sincerely (Phil 1.17). So what could be the right motives in making long lasting disciples?
A Desire To Please God
2Cor. 5:9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
Pleasing God should be everyone’s business in every area of life. It is not a lip service; it’s our hearts’ pursuit. Faith then is necessary (Hebrews 11.6). Before you share and impart faith, you better make sure you’re possessed. Yup. Possessed with faith.
The Fear Of The Lord
2Cor. 5:11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
We persuade men out of our healthy knowledge of the fear of the Lord. Are there rewards too? Definitely. But ultimately, we know that it is still the terror of God that makes us wise (Ps 111.10; Prov 9.10). And therefore makes us win souls (Prov 11.30).
Compassion For The Multitudes
2Cor. 5:14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
“Out of goodwill (Phil 1.15b)” done “in love” (Phil 1.16a), melts the hearts of people. The Gospel becomes real in the lives of many. There’s an undeniable effect. They not only see it, they could feel it too. Now I am compelled. Not out of mere emotion, but out of sure revelation (Rom 5.8). See Matthew 9.36 and be convinced.
But here’s the twist…
Phil. 1:18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Wow… I am thoroughly amazed of Paul’s high end sincerity. In light of the Philippians’ ‘envy’, ‘rivalry’, ‘self ambition’, and lack of ‘sincerity’, you could sense that Paul had no trace of legalism at all! As long as men and women come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, it’s enough to make Paul happy. But I advice the ones who have adapted the opposite motives, get into further discipleship in Christ. Embrace the true motives he enumerated in his second letter to the Corinthians chapter five.
So the next time you’re tempted to adapt the false ones, think again.
As long as Christ is exalted above all…
Let’s go keep making disciples…