SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20120429: "Practical Disciple Making"

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        Christianity in the United States has become a religious expression more concerned with convincing people to Believe in Jesus, than encouraging people of faith to Follow Him. As a result there are few who actually attempt to follow Him. Our professions of faith in Jesus have seldom been tested in the refiner's fire of harsh reality. We have become a nation of untried spiritual weaklings that are not impacting our culture as we should.

        This morning's sermon is strongly influenced from my correspondence with a long-time friend, Jonathan Cring. I first met Jonathan Cring in 1978 when he was looking for a church to book a service for his small group of musical, theatrical artisans. Jon composes music, performs it at the piano and directs his free-style ministry of teaching and inspiration in a busy one hour program. I've observed him growing over the years and am amazed at his energy to keep traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast in all types of churches and denominations.

He has an apostolic word for the Body of Christ. My sermon today is influenced by brother Jon's insights and wisdom. Thank you brother Jon.


Pastor Phil   <><<






April 29, 2012 - Pastor Phil Roland

Sheepfold Ministries



Luke 8:26-39

"Christianity in the United States has become a religious expression more concerned with convincing people to Believe in Jesus, than encouraging people of faith to Follow Him."


Luke 8 Chapter Outline

            1) Parable of the Sower  - (Parallels Matthew 13)

                        Four Soils:  

                        a) Seed Falls by Wayside and Dies or Bird Eaten

                        b) Seed Falls on Rock, no root, withers and dies

                        c) Seed Falls on Thorns, choked it and dies

                        d) Seed Falls on Good Ground and yields 100-fold Crop

            2) Explanation of the parable

                        a) Wayside Seed - Those who hear, the devil takes Word away

                        b) Rocky Seed - Hear Word w/joy, but have no Root and Die

                        c) Thorny Seed - Cares, Riches and Pleasures cause no Fruit

                        d) Good Ground -Hear Wd. w/noble heart, keep it and bear fruit

            3) The Lamp Teaching

            4) Jesus' True Family

            5) Jesus Stills the Storm

            6) Faith and Practice

                        Where is your faith?



        A. Raising a Child in a Christian Home w/Christ's Values - Prov. 22:6

            "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not

              depart from it."

1. Traditional way of producing a child

                        2. Regular Church / Sunday School Attendance

                        3. Prayer and Bible Reading happens at Home

                        4. Consistent , Life Long Parental Example

            B. Reasons why tradition doesn't always produce a Disciple of Jesus

            "But He answered and said to them, "My mother and My brothers are these                          who hear the word of God and do it."    Luke 18:21

                        1. Inconsistent Parental Examples

                                    a. Substance Abuse

                                    b. Two-Faced Christianity (Kids hate hypocrisy)

                        2. Children will follow the example of least functional parent

                        3. Physical Infirmity of family members/physical, mental illness

                        4. Worldly culture mocks Christianity and its values

                        5. Physical, Emotional and Sexual Abuse of Children

                                    a. Every 13 Seconds a child is abused



                                    b. Five children die every day from child abuse

                                    c. Nearly a million children yearly are victims of neglect

            C. Becoming a life-long learner / Follower of Jesus takes Great Effort

                        1. Life-Long Process of Discipline and Diligence

                        2. Learning to Apply Jesus' teaching is a Life-Long Endeavor


            A. Modern Day Evangelism sees Crisis as Opportunity

                        1. Hard hearts broken up by heartache and disappointment

                        2. Fertile ground for the Seed of the Word to grow and multiply

            B. Chuck Colson just died at 81 years of age

                        1. Profiles a true Evangelical

                        2. Spent half his life pursuing worldly fame and fortune

                                    a. He was 41 when WaterGate scandal happened

                                    b. His illegal conduct brought him a prison sentence

                                    c. Upon Release Founded Prison Fellowship

                                    d. Wrote 30 Books, mostly about discipleship

            C. Wisdom sees Crisis and also sees Opportunity  

                        1. Waste no Crisis - Look for ways to bring people to Jesus

                        2. Crisis leaves people open for six to eight weeks

            D. Leadership's Challenge is to move from Crisis to Discipleship

                        1. Transition: Move people from Faith to Practice

                        2. Must lead converts into Christian Character Development

                        3. Difficult Transition, some leaders don't even try  



            A. The Gadarean Welcome Committee: The Demoniac - V. 28b

            "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You,

             do not torment me!"
                        1. Instead of the Key to the City greeted by a Tomb Dweller

                        2. He Mocks and Taunts Jesus w/Sarcasm

                        3. He has been under Demonic Influence much of his lifetime

                        4. The Demon controlling him convinced him of his Identity

                                    a. Identity confusion, "Who am I?"

b. Lost himself to Demonic Possession

                        5. Easy to Lose Yourself to Oppression or Affliction

                        6. Possible to lose yourself to Alcohol or Drugs

                        7. Can Lose yourself to Illness or Disease

            B. Demoniac Terrorizes the Town w/ Screams and Temper Tantrums

                        1. He decides to make Jesus' his Victim

                        2. Calls Jesus the "Son of God" in Derision

                        3. Demon has given him an "Overblown Ego"

                        4. Calls himself "Legion," or possessed by 1,000 Demons

                        5. The Demon overvalues himself

                        6. In reality he could possibly be only 250 or less!

                        7. The Demoniac needs to be Set Free



            C. The Demoniac needs more than Deliverance

                        1. He needs a Transformational experience

                                    a. More than an Overhaul

                                    b. Not just a Reformation'

                                    c. Not just a Renovation

                        2. The Afflicted Man needs to Encounter the Person of Jesus

                                    a. Needs Deliverance from His Past

                                    b. Needs Renewal in his Present

            D. Jesus Orders the Demon(s) out and the enter local pigs

                        1. The Pigs go Nuts and Rush off a Cliff and die

                        2. Their Jewish? owners force Jesus and Disciples to leave

            E. The former Demoniac begs to join Jesus' Disciples - V. 38

            "Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he                  might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away. . ."

1. Can you Imagine a pastor sending people away???

                        2. Jesus refuses him membership

                                    a. He's a Believer and has New-found Faith

                                    b. Needs to hang-out with other believers, right?

                        3. Demoniac is enrolled in the Life-Long School of the Spirit

                        4. Jesus' Spiritual Teaching School is not just about Learning

                        5. Jesus taught His Disciples beyond Learning what to do

                                    a. Plan the Next Thing in Following Him

                                    b. Enact the Plan by Faith

                                    c. Actual Learning comes by Doing, not just listening

6. Today's congregations want to Sit and Absorb - 2 Tim. 3:7

                  "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

            F. Jesus Commissions Former Demoniac to Go Home and Witness

1. Jesus told him to go from Being a Believer to Learning how                                        to become a Follower

                        2. How about you? Have you made the Shift?





Luke 8:26-39 (NKJV)
26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee.

27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs.

28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!"
29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
30 Jesus asked him, saying, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion," because many demons had entered him.
31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them.
33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.

34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country.

35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.
36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed.
37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.
38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying,
39 "Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you." And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.



On 5/19/2012 11:36 PM, BRO. RON WASILCHAK wrote: