Being a christian is somebody who believes in Jesus Christ, that He died for our sins and was resurrected on the third day and made it possible for you and me again to live in relationship with our heavenly Father.
The question today is: Are you also a disciple?
A disciple is somebody who has left what they were doing to follow a teacher/leader and become a student of how this person lives their lives, the principles they live their lives by and their end goal is to become just like the one they follow.
Last week in our Discipleship Training School our students (and staff of course) were challenged to consider the difference. Are you a believer only? Or have your given up all things, dropped everything you were doing to follow Jesus, to learn from Him, learn His ways, to walk in His ways, to become more like Him in all that you say and do?
Do you see the difference?
One is believing, the other is believing AND acting. Not only were were challenged to ponder this question, we were also challenged to consider the practical things a disciple does, how a disciples lives, the things that marks a disciple.
It is easy to say you believe in something, but it is a totally different thing to act on what you believe.
I believe that praying is important, but do I actually pray? I believe in the Word of God. I believe that what it says is truth and that is can transform my life, then why do I still worry about tomorrow when that same Bible (the Truth) tells me not to worry about anything and in everything with prayer and thanksgiving make my petition knows to Him. (Phil. 4:6)
Jesus did not say to the disciples: “Come believe in me.” He said: “Come and follow Me.” I think the following, the walking with Jesus, hearing the stories, seeing Him with other people, understanding His heart and compassion stepping out to become learners of the Rabbi, was the beginning of a life changing experience that gave them the ability to have faith to believe.
Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance of things we do not see. I think the disciples had faith when they left all things behind to follow Jesus. Faith to be confident in what they were hoping for (learn more from the Master), assurance of things they were not yet able to see (His Lordship and kingdom). Their faith was challenged, their faith was tested, their hopes were shattered as they couldn’t fully comprehend why Jesus would talk about death and at the same time talk about Him being king.
Being a disciple is not void of the testing of our faith, the shattering of hope at times when we lack understanding. But a true disciple does not give up the first time things get touch. A disciple sticks to the person he/she chose to follow. It was not a weak choice, a moment of excitement to drop everything, to leave all things behind to follow this man called Jesus.
What about you? Are you a believer and a follower? Has your faith been tested? Has the following been difficult at times, has your life as a disciple seen moments of hopes shattered, yet you know whom you have chosen to follow is trustworthy and so you keep going. You know that He is worth all you have, all your time, all your energy, right?
In the midst of being challenged last week and consider our place as a ‘disciple’ the Lord blessed us with amazing times of worship, encouragement through words of life spoken out over our lives and ending the week with not only with a birthday party (it was mine) but also with an amazing celebratory worship time in which we exalted the Name of Jesus over our lives and proclaimed His truth.
I was reminded last week of a simple fact: the Discipleship Training School is exactly what the name says: A course in which we learn to become disciples of Jesus, moving from simply believing to dropping all we do, leaving behind our boats and listen to the invitation to “Follow Me”.
That does not mean that it is an easy time. It is meant to be challenging, meant to challenge you in what you understand, allow you to ask the hard questions, not necessarily to the staff (although that happens too), but ask Holy Spirit to reveal to what is true. That is His role after all. John 16:13 says that the Spirit came to lead us into all the truth and that the truth would set us free.
Being a disciple does not mean you get all the answers at once. Life throws us curveballs, gives us many questions, but I know somebody that wants to give you understanding, that longs to revela His heart to you. His name is Jesus and through Holy Spirit He longs to show you new things.
We have entered week 8 and we are speaking about the topic of “Spiritual Warfare”. It will be another week in which we will be disciples (learners) about the battle that we are in. But as Ephesians tells us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and against the forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Well if that is the case we better find out who we are dealing with and whose side we are on so we can do battle the right way.
What would you do if God showed up at your door step tomorrow? This was a question that started of our week 6 as Jack Kody came to share about the heart of our heavenly Father. What would you do?
We all took a time to think and respond. Many diverse answers, many questions, many thoughts…..so honest, so real, so without reserve.
What would you do?
Many of us would have many questions, maybe why He came?, why this or that?, what He thinks about us….and so much more…maybe you don’t even want to answer the door..
God’s heart is a deep well that can’t be understood in one sitting alone. God’s heart is not something to be written down on one piece of paper and just passed around. God’s heart is to be discovered, searched, found…
When you love somebody you don’t want them to be superficial do you? You want them to show you their heart, what they feel about you and you want them to share this with you over and over and over again.
As Jack shared this past week: “Who gets tired of hearing somebody tell them they love you?” My children never get tired of hearing me say I love them.
As with Jack I too have never heard my kids ask me to stop telling them I love them. Now they might not always grasp the fullness of it, but they never tell me to stop telling them. You see that is what this is about – LOVE!! The Father’s love.
When things are said to us that are negative and destructive, we wish we could put a pillow over our heads and drown out the noise, we wish we could yell to that person and make them stop. But with LOVE, never!!
We long for love, long to be accepted, to be cared for, don’t we?!
Yet love is so misunderstood.
Love is not a feeling, yet love can be felt very deeply!
Love is not a mere picture of a heart, yet can be expressed in many different ways when sincere.
Love is a choice – we love because He loved us first!
We love our children first and then teach them to love. We show them (or not) what love means, what it does. They don’t love first, we do and then love them into loving for themselves.
God is the same, He loved us first, He created us, showed us His love so that we could also love! But we made a mess of it, we thought we knew how on our own and we still do sometimes, and we don’t always do such a good job with it, do we?
The Bible says, He is love. If we say and do all these amazing things but do have LOVE, we are like a clanging cymbal. Well you know what that sounds like, right? Noisy..simply noisy..
So let’s look at love itself, let’s go deeper in the heart of the One who is love and let’s discover in an ongoing journey who and what love is, receive that Love into our own hearts and then be very generous in giving it away!!!
The journey is worth it, the heart of the Father is a deep well full of affection for His children, journey there, it is worth your time, tears and energy!
A few weeks ago it was decided we are selling our minivan. It is time for something more reliable of our family and for ministry purposes. Our minivan simply is not allowing me to take longer trips and with kids growing, more activities and more trips to our new ywam bases around the country it is time for a more reliable 4×4 vehicle.
We might have a possible buyer which would really be an amazing thing to help pay off the bills that we shared about a week ago, but it won’t leave us enough funds to put a downpayment for a newer vehicle. We are asking the Lord to not only provide the vehicle but those who want to support us as a family to come alongside us and partner with us into getting this new tool for our family and ministry.
If you are interested in helping, please send us a message. We have ways to give a tax deductible donation as well or directly through cash app (with our email email@example.com), paypal (with our email firstname.lastname@example.org) or direct bank deposit into our Bank of America account.
The end of the year is drawing near and we are praying for the release of the sale of our minivan to cover all financial needs and the release of the newer vehicle to step into the new year ready to bring the message of hope to this nation!!!
Over the past few days YWAM Missionaries from all over Centra America came together to be encouraged, equipped, refreshed and renewed. Many years ago when Youth With A Mission started in Central America there were just a hand-full of full time missionaries. Now there are multiple training centers and ministries locations around all of Central America. From Guatemala to Panama, multiple expressions were represented in the conference that took place in El Salvador from Oct. 17-20th 2018.
Giacomo represented our family as I (Marjolein) stayed home with he kids as well as the DTS that is in full swing here at our training location in San Jose.
Paul Childers, Campus Director of the Kona Hawaii training location was the main speaker during the conference and encouraged our ywam-ers to not give up and keep moving forward with the dreams of God to reach the unreached, to provide innovative ways to present the gospel and think ‘outside’ the box, or was is it ‘inside’ a box.
University in a box
Something that has been developing in YWAM over the past months has been the concept of bringing education to the unreached and places where many kids do not have access to education. So our founder together with others came up with the concept of covering a shipping container into a mobile classroom, completely outfitted to be shipped and transported to difficult places where children don’t have easy access to education. So we bring it to them.
At this moment we are working together with a local company to outfit two containers and make them into classrooms, completely outfitted with internet and computers to take into the rural areas of Costa Rica to be able to offer computer classes, internet as a tool to receive education and of course bring the message of the Gospel and raise up a new generation of world leaders who know Christ, follow Christ and live according to His ways in every sphere of society!! Want to know how you can help with this project, contact Giacomo at email@example.com to support this project!!
Another way we are seeing multiplication is not only with the growth in new training locations in Central America and sending more Latinos out into the world as full time missionaries, we are also seeing multiplication by the land that God provided for us. Since June 2018 we moved onto the land that God had spoken to us about as YWAM San Jose, Costa Rica!! It is absolutely amazing and we have been working hard with architects and developers to come up with the right plan to see this amazing land developed into a University of the Nations Campus, training and equipping missionaries from around the world to go into all the world and who will step into the different spheres of society to bring the kingdom of God to our communities, cities and nations.
This past weekend we took another step forward in laying out the Master Plan for the land and envisioning multiplication coming to where we can hold anywhere between 800-1000 missionaries on our land!!! Version 1 was already drawn out, now we looked at it again, talked more in detail about the needs and the topography of the land and started looking at the different needs and where everything could possible go. It was a full weekend of learning many new things, but also dreaming and praying that God would provide us with the permits and the finances to see this development come to reality!!
We believe we made a great step forward this weekend. There are many moving parts and elements that go into the development and design of a big piece of land so we are learning, but we are trusting the Lord to continue to bring us people who have the skills, the expertise, the word of the Lord to come behind this project in prayer and with finances to see this land become a place where many thousands can come and be trained, equipped and send out.
Thank you for being part of this great adventure and for standing with us as a family and ministry to see the Kingdom of God advance through transformed lives who will practice what they have learned and apply the truth that they have received.
What can I say but this week, even after walking with Jesus for 22 years now, Jesus once again became the center of everything.
He has always been the center, the reason, the truth, but this week again His life, death and resurrection have become the main objective and the reason for why we do what we do.
Being part of a Discipleship Training School and getting to lead this September school has been one of the greatest blessings! Not only do I get the blessing of walking alongside young people who are discovering more about who Jesus is to them, I also get the blessing of being like a student again myself.
We never stop learning no matter how long you have walked and followed Jesus.
This week was a special blessing as we had Jeff Pratt teaching. He led the DTS I did in 1996 and his testimony and teaching impacted my life as much then as it did this past week.
Why? Cause Jesus does not change! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! His truth is truth whether you want to believe it or not.
His truth has changed my life! His life effects my life, His Love reaches out to me still every day! He takes me deeper into the understanding of His heart for me and for those around me. His patience with me is so incredible, yet He doesn’t let me get away with feeling sorry for myself and will confront me like a loving Father/Mother would, gently leading me into truth and application of that truth.
Four weeks flew by and how amazing to look back and see how the Lord orchestrated the sequence of these weeks:
Week 1: our foundations and beliefs, what are our roots and what is the soil we are rooted in?
Week 2: character and nature of God, who is God, who is the trinity, how deep is God’s Love, how does God respond? Always according to who He is…
Week 3: the person and work of Holy Spirit as lived out and exemplified through the life of Jesus. Dependency on Him, being led by Him, listening in prayer and intercesión to what He would have us pray instead of what we feel to pray.
Week 4: the person and work of Jesus, Jesus wants to be the Lena through which we see the world, but we have a wall of divide that we have built that keep us from walking in the fullness of what Jesus has for us and keeps us from seeing through His eyes. The work on the cross was the ‘finished’ work of Christ and we are invited to walk in the freedom of that finished work. We take up our cross daily to follow Christ, we die to self to become alive to the love of Christ.
Wow such amazing weeks and such a richness to keep pondering on. It is like being in my own Discipleship Training School all again….
I love going deeper with the Lord and what a joy to walk alongside a new generation and together experience greater freedom in Christ!
Have you ever wondered about going deeper in your relationship with God and knowing more about Jesus. Come join us in the January quarter for the next DTS! Email us today firstname.lastname@example.org!!
For the last 13 years the Lord has allowed our children to attend a wondeful Christian school and they have been blessed with amazing teachers who not only express love and care but share Jesus through their lives.
Whenever we ask our children if they ever want to change schools we get a big resounding ‘NO’. They love their school.
Gioela, our oldest is two years away from finishing High school and has gone through every single level at this school. From age 3 till now.
Our other two equally love it at their school and do not want to change.
Every year we see the faithfulness of God in His provision for our children to continue on in this wonderful school.
As we entered the month of October for the first time in 13 years we are not able to pay for the registration of our kids 2019 school year.
We continue to trust the Lord for His provision and as we have prayed we continue to believe that this is the place He wants our kids to be.
So to take care of business we have decided to sell our minivan. It is what we need to pay for the last months of school as well as registration fees for the upcoming school year.
On the other side we have been wanting to change cars, we no longer need a 7 passenger and we are needing a car that is a bit newer and a bit more reliable and less investment as we have had to do quite a bit of fixings over the years.
So would you pray with us:
Thank you for your partnership and prayers. Over the past 20 years of our marriage and ministry we have driven different cars either borrowed by friends or donated to us or through miraculous provision. We continue to trust the Lord He knows the need, especially for me, Marjolein, as a car is like a second home for personal and ministry use.