The Lord calls us to make disciples and can work through all of us to make disciples.
Matthew 28:18–20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 5:14–16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
One of my favorite examples of blessing the lives of others as we disciple is when Ananias ministers to Paul in Acts 9:10-19. Here are four challenges that this Scripture has given to my life:
1. Never neglect your growth as a disciple. (9:10) “A certain disciple named Ananias…” Ananias is referred to as a disciple (period!). Later in Acts 22, Paul describers Ananias as “devout”. We can be called a lot of things, but may we be known as disciples of Jesus.
2. Never forget God’s ability to change people. (9:11-16) Saul was “praying.” Saul was a religious leader, but something is different about his praying. Pharisees prayed in public, but now, Saul is humbly praying to God at this house. But Ananias doesn't seem but so excited about God’s call to minister to Saul. Saul is like a terrorist in the mind of Ananias. Not only is Saul in Ananias own town, but Ananias is told that Saul knows his name! I need to never forget that the Lord Jesus is in the life-changing business:
Peter – profane fisherman becomes a man whose very shadow heals. Acts 5.
John in Luke 9 asked Jesus if they should call down fire to annihilate a Samaritan village, his life was changed. He would go on to write in 1 John that “God is love.”
Demon possessed man – Jesus cast demons into pigs – becomes a quiet disciple. Mark 5.
Samaritan woman – John 4 – had been married to five men and now living with another.
Cold-hearted Philippian jailer - Acts 16:29-30, “The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’”
3. Never stop welcoming others into this family. (17-19) Ananias goes and ministers to Saul. He reaches out to Saul. He talks with him. He calls him “Brother”.
4. Never underestimate the importance of each individual. (9:20-22) We know the rest of the story. Saul goes on to be most famously known as Paul, the Apostle. The Lord would use Paul to write half of the New Testament.
I pray that the example of God working through Ananias to minister to Paul will encourage us to Bless Every Home as we make DISCIPLES!
Your brother in Jesus,