Don’t bring a water pistol to a fire fight - statement #27 from Jesus

Once upon a time there was a fire in a small town. The fire brigade rushed to the scene, but the fireman were unable to get through to the burning building. The problem was the crowd of people who had gathered not to watch but to help put out the fire. They all knew the fire chief well – their children had climbed over his fire engines during excursions to the fire station, and the friendliness of the fire chief was legendary. So when a fire broke out the people rushed out to help their beloved fire chief.

Unfortunately the townsfolk were seeking to extinguish this raging inferno with water pistols! They’d all stand there, from time to time squirting their pistol into the fire while making casual conversation.

The fire chief couldn’t contain himself. He started screaming at the townsfolk. “What do you think you’re doing? What on earth do you think you’re going to achieve with those water pistols?!”

The people realised the urgency of the situation. How they wanted to help the fire chief. So they started squirting more. “Come on” they encouraged each other, “We can all do better, can’t we?” Squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt.
Exasperated the fire chief yells again. “Get out of here. Your achieving nothing except hindering us from doing what needs to be done. We need fireman who are ready to give everything they’ve got to put out this fire, people willing even to lay their lives on the line. This is not the place for token contributions”

This story was originally told by Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. He was urging us to realise that discipleship to Christ means much more than token levels of support to the church and God’s mission in the world. It calls for wholehearted and total life commitment. (Reference)

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

The heart of Jesus is that his disciples go out to all the world and make more disciples. He tells us to make disciples by baptizing and teaching.

  1. Discipleship is about becoming a Christian (baptizing)
  2. And being a Christian (obeying Jesus’ teaching)

The benefits of being a disciple and discipleship are overwhelming!
Joy, peace and happiness result from following Jesus Christ, together with the hope of being like him and with him in heaven.

  • Blessings result from obedient discipleship
    • Luke 11:28 (NLT) — 28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
  • Joy results from discipleship
    • John 15:10–11 (NLT) — 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
  • Peace results from discipleship
    • John 14:27 (NLT) — 27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
  • True happiness results from discipleship. Happiness flows from doing God’s will
    • Psalm 119:1–2 (NLT) — 1 Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. 2 Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.
  • Disciples will be blessed with eternal life
    • Matthew 19:29 (NLT) — 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.

I just spoke at the NAME International Marriage Conference. Here’s what God had me say to these couples, pastors and counselors.  Marriage ministry has a problem. We’ve focused on trying to make healthier marriages. If a couple could just learn how to communicate, they’d be healthier. If a couple could just learn how to be in agreement on their finances, they’d be happier. If we could just teach them how to be happier married people, they’d be happier.

That’s the problem with marriage ministry. We focus on making healthy marriages when we should be focused on making disciples of Jesus Christ.
If marriage ministry through the church and others focused on making disciples rather than making healthy marriages, marriages would be forever transformed! Because a true disciple of Jesus Christ is loving, filled with joy, a peacemaker, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled.

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