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If you were part of the Multiply Gathering in Austin last month, you may remember an analogy that Francis used to illustrate what happens when we add to the gospel. What he ended up with was the drink pictured blow.

It’s an ugly concoction that’s hard to look at and even harder to drink. It used to be juice, made solely of fruits and vegetables. But simply by adding stuff that we find appealing – whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and Skittles – what began as healthy and refreshing quickly became unappetizing and impure. The juice in the picture to the left is now unrecognizable, if it even qualifies as juice at all.

This is what becomes of the gospel when we try to spice it up with our own “words of eloquent wisdom.” 1 Corinthians 1:17 tells us that when we do this, we can actually empty the cross of its power. That’s why, in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul resolved to preach nothing but the simple gospel: Jesus’ death on the cross.

The death of Jesus hardly seems appealing to fleshly eyes. In fact, reading 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 makes it clear that, like a child who hates healthy vegetable juice, the lost will naturally see our gospel message as foolishness. So it’s okay if preaching it makes us feel uncomfortable. But we must preach it. And though people may like Skittles, throwing some in a glass of vegetable juice actually ruins the once healthy and refreshing drink. Likewise, adding to the gospel in an attempt to make the cross more appealing actually serves to empty the cross of its inherent power. For we know that this gospel, and this gospel alone, is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rm 1:16).

To watch this illustration from the November Gathering, begin listening here at time marker 1:14:33.

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The Multiply App is now available, and it’s free! Get it here on iTunes.

This app is designed to be a helpful tool as you seek to make disciples. Get easy access to Multiply resources, post and respond to prayer requests related to making disciples, and stay updated on Multiply announcements.

We hope the Multiply app will be a useful for you and those you know. Tell a friend about this free resource.

Energizer BunnyWe hope you’ve seen the Lord work in and through you in this past year as you’ve sought to teach someone else what it means to follow Christ. As you’ve probably noticed, making disciples is both rewarding and challenging. You may even feel like you need to recharge your batteries in this important area. If so, we’ve got good news: the next Multiply live stream is quickly approaching!

We’re coming together on November 8 to encourage one another to continue to obey Christ’s command to His church to make disciples. While the purpose of the night is the same as last year’s Gathering, the content will be different this year, so be sure you make plans to participate again. If you’ve led someone to the Lord in this past year, or if you’ve been building up a new believer in the faith, then invite that person to join in the live stream on Friday, November 8. Once again, it’s free, so make plans now and register.

Remember, the goal of Multiply is to make disciples who make disciples. Use this upcoming live stream as an encouragement and a challenge to continue making the gospel known. Also, if you know other believers who need to hear about the importance of making disciples, invite them to join you. We want as many people as possible leading others to follow Christ.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”

All believers are called to make disciples, and this is why we gather for Multiply. However, the context in which making disciples occurs doesn’t always look the same. This reality could not be pictured more starkly than it is in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that exists between North and South Korea.

Recently, Francis and David got the opportunity to visit the DMZ, and they talk about this experience in the first video below. For most of the world, this is as close as you can come to North Korea and the immense amount of suffering taking place within.  World Watch List lists North Korea as the most difficult country on earth to be a Christian. On the other hand, South Korea contains large numbers of professing Christians, though like the American context, the church there faces its own challenges, including materialism and shallow discipleship.

To find out how you can pray for these countries, check out ministries like Joshua Project, Operation World, and PeopleGroups.

In the first video below, David and Francis urge us to love and pray for those just across the border in North Korea, waging spiritual battle on their behalf. In the second video, David leads us in a prayer that the gospel would go forth in this hostile and dark land.

“Just do something.”  Those words where ringing in my ears as I took my seat on the plane from Beijing to Tokyo.  I conveniently changed seats with one of my traveling companions, which put me in the unfortunate middle seat!  Not only did he subject me to the middle seat but he also made sure I was aware that God might use my new situation as a gospel opportunity.  This was obviously his way of making himself feel better!  I’m not sure he or I knew at the moment how prophetic that comment truly was.

I sat down with one thing on my already jet-lagged, sleep-deprived mind, “I just want to get some sleep.” Well, it turns out that God did have other plans for the three-hour plane ride.  Sleep would have to wait.  The seat beside me was soon occupied by Sam; a kind, friendly, and talkative individual from D.C. who works in the space industry.  Needless to say, based on his line of work, Sam is quite intelligent.  This is where those words “just do something” come into play.  About 24hrs earlier I sat and observed a Q&A with David and Francis in Beijing.  During that time they were asked some questions concerning making disciples and spreading the gospel.  To one question Francis gave a somewhat comical, but entirely serious answer, “just do something.”

As those words rang in my ears I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sleep on the plane.  I was going to do something and engage Sam with the gospel.  One simple question, “Are you are follower of Christ?” led to a three hour discussion of the Christian faith.  Sam asked me just about every hard question one can think to ask.  Over the next three hours I did the best I could to give evidence for the existence of God, to answer the problem of evil, and even to address whether or not Sam was going to hell apart from Christ.  It was not easy, and I know my answers were inadequate at times, but Sam politely listened.  I think I was given the opportunity to correct a lot of misunderstanding in Sam’s mind concerning Christianity, and even help offset the stereotype he had regarding Christians. For that I’m grateful. I’m grateful for Sam’s willingness to engage with me in conversation, and even appearing to be open to being wrong.  I’m grateful for what Francis said the day before that God used to compel me in this situation.

The reality is, I’ve been given this same opportunity many times, and many times I’ve gone to sleep or devised some other rationale for not doing something.  In this situation, by God’s grace, I did something. I can’t express the joy that comes with simply being obedient in that moment; a joy I’ve experienced many times but tend to easily forget. Do you feel stuck?  Do you feel like you don’t know where to begin? Let me urge you, just do something. You won’t regret it.

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This story was written by Cory, one of the members of the Multiply team traveling with David and Francis in Asia.

Join us on November 8 for Multiply.  We will live stream our gathering from Austin, TX.  It’s free and easy for churches, small groups, and families to participate.  Register by going to MultiplyMovement.com.

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