Go!“We are to make disciples of the men and women in all these different circles of life.”
If we can flip the cultural mindset about gifting in today’s church, what will be the outcome? If we communicate effectively to all who hear our messages that every person is called, gifted and valuable to the building of the Kingdom, what would happen? It’s easy; everyone would work with the purpose and passion of Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Mother Theresa and the apostle Paul.
This is the paradigm we must have for nations to be discipled. But let’s dig a little deeper on this point. Jesus doesn’t say “make disciples of church attendees.” He commands us to “make disciples of nations” (see Matthew 28:19). The word “nations” is the Greek word ethnos, which is defined as, “a body of persons united by kinship, culture and common traditions.” This certainly includes actual nations, tribes, territories or ethnic groups. However, it also encompasses persons with a commonality, such as cyclists, actors, physicians, business owners, pilots, lawyers, stay-at-home moms, government workers, athletes and many more—the list is virtually endless. We are to make disciples of the men and women in all these different circles of life.
But let’s take it one step further. Jesus doesn’t say, “Make disciples of the people in nations.” He says, “Make disciples of nations.” It’s important to catch this difference; we are to shift the manner of operating in these different circles through the Word of God. Of course, this occurs first and foremost by reaching the people of these different circles. However, it goes deeper. We are to baptize (immerse) not only the people, but their modes of operation—in the ways of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Consider Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector, no doubt one of the best ones in the region. In essence, he was the head of the mafia in the area. He most likely was hated by the people, because he did what most tax collectors did—leveraged his position for selfish gain. He probably stole from, swindled, cheated, intimidated and dominated the citizens. He was a notorious, influential figure, so his example most likely flowed down through the ranks.
I’ve witnessed this in a few of the nations that I’ve traveled to. The leader of the nation is corrupt, and he requires his officials to slip money to him under the table. Well, this behavior flows down through the ranks. Now, the immigration official at the airport needs a bribe or you can’t get his approval to leave the country.
Back to Zacchaeus. Jesus called him by name and, interestingly, only spoke these words to him: “Zacchaeus! Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
Zacchaeus stood before the Master and responded, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” (Luke 19:5–8)
What happened after in that region in regard to tax collecting? The chief role model’s mode of operations shifted from dark, worldly techniques to Kingdom practices! Now this area of business/government would be done on earth much closer to the way heaven operates. A shift in society had occurred. This change didn’t happen in a church service, nor did Jesus preach a message in a conference, convincing Zacchaeus to be a follower. It happened in the city center. Zacchaeus had an encounter with Jesus, and his methods of operation suddenly changed. This should happen every time people encounter us in our different nations (the circles of influence we are particularly called to), because this same Jesus lives in us.
I’m currently coaching a former NFL football player who has a large social media audience of body builders. He’s instructing these body builders in such a way that the Kingdom of heaven’s culture is flowing into this nation (ethnos group), whether his followers are or are not yet committed to Jesus’s Lordship. He is speaking to these people in a way that demonstrates Kingdom ways and methods.
Our gifts aren’t just for the gathering of saints in a building, although this is valid and important—I certainly don’t want to downplay our gatherings. The intention here is to expand our view of the operation of God’s gifts. If we’re called outside the church, which applies to most, we’re called to operate supernaturally through our gifts in our circle of influence—in the midst of our ethnos group.
If you have separated the secular from the sacred, that mentality needs to change. When you walk in the room, no matter where it is—the hospital room for your work as a surgeon or nurse, the classroom for your work as a public school teacher, the factory as a machinist, and so forth—you’ve been gifted to bring the sacred into that atmosphere and to disciple it in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In other words, you have their backing and authority to bring heaven to earth, no differently than Jesus did with Zacchaeus and others. You are called to multiply the Kingdom’s mode of operation throughout your arena of influence.
Doesn’t this make going to the office or school so much more of an adventure?
*Taken from “X: Multiply Your God-Given Potential” by John Bevere. Used by permission of Messenger International. www.MessengerInternational.org.
for further study
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John is an international speaker and best-selling author who’s known for his bold and uncompromising approach to God’s Word. John and his wife Lisa are the founders of Messenger International, an organization established to teach, reach, and rescue. Over more than three decades in the ministry, his resources have been translated into over 90 languages, and millions of copies have been given away to pastors and leaders worldwide.