David Platt talking about how to deal with pride in the disciple-making process.
On April 6-7 2013, the Gospel Coalition put on a missions conference as a pre-cursor to The Gospel Coalition National Conference. The conference was entitled “God’s Love Compels Us.” The website articulates the conference in this way:
Starting April 6, we’ll gather to hear from missionaries, theologians, pastors, and other church leaders on how we can play our part in the Great Commission. Four plenary addresses will expound the compelling love of God from 2 Corinthians 4:1-5:21; another three will directly address select topics of urgent concern to international outreach. Numerous workshops will explore special subjects in missions. We are asking God to bless this event by spreading passion for global missions among those who attend. We dare to pray that many will respond by committing themselves to cross-cultural outreach both at home and around the world.
This conference serves as an invaluable resource to delving into important missional categories and issues that will help us all be better prepared. Not only are the issues important and invaluable, but the speakers are trusted, specialized, and insightful. The following topics are covered:
- A Biblical Theology of Mission: An Evaluation of Chris Wright – Gary Millar
- Christian Witness in a Religiously Pluralistic World – Harold Netland
- The Reformers’ Commitment to the Propagation of the Gospel to All Nations from 1555-1654 – Elias Medeiros
- The Shape of Things to Come in Missions – Zane Pratt
- The World Mission of Christ in the Cross Defines and Empowers the Local Work of the Church – Josiah Bancroft
- What It Means to Truly Consider Missions – Mack Stiles
- Why the World Needs the Gospel – Augustus Nicodemus Lopes
- Mobilized for Missions…A Strategy for Launching College Graduates Around the World– Rupert Leary
- Contextualization and the Gospel Once-for-All Delivered to God’s People – Zane Pratt
- Discipleship and Development: Connecting Sound Doctrine and Sound Economics in Global Missions – Brian Fikkert
- Misconceptions about the Chinese Church – Joann Pittman
- Must One Choose Between Truth and Tolerance? – Don Carson
- Reckless Abandon: Faith that Glorifies God by Advancing His Name – David Sitton
- Church Planting in Gospel-Resistant Places – Dave Furman
- Why Latin America Needs to be “Re-Evangelized” – Miguel Nunez
- My Call to Missions: Missed or Misunderstood? – Noel Piper
These are great resources to come back to over and over again. If you do not look at anything else, then watch David Platt’s plenary address:
It’s hard to believe that the Multiply live stream happened over eight months ago! Our hope is that since November 2012, you’ve had many great opportunities to share the gospel, encourage others with truth, and work on those disciple-making relationships we all prayed for at the gathering.
However, as many of you may have already found, this isn’t always easy. In fact, more times than not, it’s difficult. Especially in the beginning. Striking up conversations about the Lord, figuring out how to initiate an ongoing discipleship relationship, knowing how to address unfamiliar issues… it’s tough. We can set out with the best of intentions and a solid plan that looks great on paper, but things don’t always happen like we would hope.
We want to know your story. What are these hurdles that seem so high? What are the struggles that you can’t seem to figure out how to tackle? What successes have you had? What have you figured out? What can’t you seem to figure out? How have you seen the Lord work? Do you have any questions we may be able to help with?
We are so excited to gather together again on November 8th, and share great stories of God’s faithfulness with one another, as well as stories of difficult struggle. Continue in the good work, knowing that he who has called you is faithful!
As a quick note, we may use your story to help others in the future. Comment below or post it on the Multiply Facebook page.
The Lord of Grace
Salvation is all about the grace of God. There is absolutely nothing that you can do to save yourself or earn God’s favor. Paul said, “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8–9). No one can brag about his or her good deeds because our works cannot save us. Salvation comes through the grace of God as we place our faith in Jesus Christ. All salvation requires is faith: Do you believe that Jesus is who He says He is?
But keep in mind that while this is simple, it’s not easy. Faith in Jesus Christ means believing that He is Lord (according to Rom. 10:9). Have you ever thought about what that word Lord means? We sometimes think of it as another name for God, but it’s actually a title. It refers to a master, owner, or a person who is in a position of authority. So take a minute to think this through: Do you really believe that Jesus is your master? Do you believe that He is your owner—that you actually belong to Him?
Paul is so bold as to tell us: “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19–20). The same Lord who by His grace set us free from sin and death now owns us. We belong to Him, and He calls us to live in obedience to His rule.
The problem is, many in the church want to “confess that Jesus is Lord,” yet they don’t believe that He is their master. Do you see the obvious contradiction in this? The call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is open to everyone, but we don’t get to write our own job description. If Jesus is Lord, then He sets the agenda. If Jesus Christ is Lord, then your life belongs to Him. He has a plan, agenda, and calling for you. You don’t get to tell Him what you’ll be doing today or for the rest of your life.
It All Comes Down to Love
But don’t get the impression that following Jesus is all about joyless sacrifice. More than anything else, following Jesus boils down to two commands, which He said were the most important commandments in the Old Testament Law:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. (Matt. 22:37–40)
It all comes down to love. Peter expressed it well for people like us, who didn’t see Jesus on earth but follow Him nonetheless: “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).
Following Jesus is not about diligently keeping a set of rules or conjuring up the moral fortitude to lead good lives. It’s about loving God and enjoying Him.
But lest we think that we can love God and live any way we want to, Jesus told us very clearly, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). The love for God in the first commandment is made practical in the love for our neighbors in the second commandment. John actually told us that if we don’t love the people that we can see around us, then we don’t love God, whom we can’t see (1 John 4:20).
True love is all about sacrifice for the sake of the ones you love: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16). When we understand love in this light, it’s not difficult to understand that love for God and obedience to Jesus Christ cannot be separated. God’s love changes us from the inside out and redefines every aspect of our lives.
This excerpt was taken from Part 1, Session 1 of the Multiply material. You can purchase it wherever books are sold, or you can download it from the Multiply website.