Labour of Love — Prophet Tony Mathias

The Lord ‘records and rewards’ all the hard work and sacrifices you make for the sake of the gospel.

The Lord listened and recorded the names of those who feared and honored Him and what they spoke with each other. Malachi 3:16

God does not forget how hard you worked for him and how you showed your love to him by caring for other believers…Hebrews 6:10

Let’s take Peter’s example. Let’s see the ‘record and reward’ in his case.

Jesus on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, taught the people who crowded around him to hear God’s message. Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon Peter and asked him to row it out a little away from the shore. He then sat down in the boat to teach the crowd. Peter was disappointed and exhausted. He had spent a night of fruitless fishing. Imagine how he felt when the Lord asked him to give him his boat yet he helped the Master to preach his message. Jesus noticed this and rewarded him for it. How?

After having finished speaking, He told Simon to row the boat into the deep and let down his nets. When Simon and his men obeyed they caught so many fish that their nets began ripping apart. They signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. The men came, and together they filled the two boats to the point of sinking Peter toiled all night caught no fish. Now he had plenty, just because he helped the Master. Luke 5:1-7

Have you made any sacrifices for the sake of the gospel? – Time, money, family, friends, relationships
God hasn’t forgotten.

Your blessings don’t wait till you get to heaven; they begin to rain down here on earth. Peter didn’t receive his harvest of fishes in heaven. He got it on earth!

Mark 10:29-31. Jesus said: “…anyone who gives up home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or land for me and for the good news will be rewarded. In this world, they will be given a hundred times as many houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and pieces of land, though they will also be mistreated. And in the world to come, they will have eternal life.”

God doesn’t forget your labor of love. He will reward you in due time.

Finally, you prove your love for God and your love towards Him in the way you show your love to others, especially fellow believers.

1 John 4:20“He who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” – If you don’t actively love those for whom Jesus died for, then you really don’t love God.”

We must do good to others at the slightest opportunity.

“My dear children let’s not just talk about love; let us practice real love.”
– 1 John 3:18

God records and rewards our labor of love!

Becoming A Disciple — Prophet Tony Mathias

There is a big difference between a Convert and a Disciple. The difference is like giving birth and raising your child. Believing in Jesus Christ will make you a convert, not necessarily a disciple.

The easy part is to get born-again; the hard part is living for Christ, once saved.

A disciple is a student who follows the example of his teacher. He learns discipline. Luke 6:40; Matthew 7:21

There is a three-fold mark on a disciple: – ‘Faithfulness, Fellowship, and Fruitfulness’

FAITHFULNESS: John 8:31 – A genuine disciple puts the Word of God first in his life. You need to survey the kind of magazines, books, Cds in your home. Do you find the Bible and other biblical books in a prominent place? What kind of television programs do you view? These can be check points to show your faithfulness.

FELLOWSHIP: John 13:35 [With Believers] – Who do you fellowship with? What kind of conversation do you have with them? Many Christians forget their own sins, but gossip about the sins of others. Do we do the same?

FRUITFULNESS: John 15:8, 16; Acts 1:8 – In the end, what matters is the fruit we bear for the Lord. Every Christian is called to be a disciple of Jesus, to learn from Him and live according to His example – imitate His teacher. Disciples follow their Master, converts may change their minds. The Goal of discipleship is to make disciples not converts and expand God’s Kingdom, the Body of Christ. Expansion speaks of growth.

There are also basic principles that need to be adhered to in order to be a disciple such as:

  • Obedience to God’s Word
  • Total commitment to Jesus the Master
  • Fruit bearing relationship with Jesus
  • Loving others unconditionally
  • Fulfilling the Great Commission.

In every situation, a disciple asks the question– “What would Jesus do?”

You as a disciple should make a firm decision to do what Jesus would do. There are times when you need to submit important decisions to those in spiritual authority over you.

You must be a ‘Kingdom Seeker’ seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness Matthew 6:33.

God will keep His promises and provide for you.

As a disciple, you will experience God’s pruning, refining and purifying process. Love must rule your actions, words, and attitudes. Forgiveness, compassion, and concern must be part of your love walk. You need to resist every temptation to return to your old evil habits. It is only through mature discipleship and loving example that the disciple can convey the character of Jesus to the world. Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 5:1-3; Matthew 12:29;

Cost And Benefit – Discipleship is important because it is God’s strategy to reach the world. Jesus trained twelve disciples for 3 ½ years of His public ministry. He commissioned all His followers to train disciples. Even a few disciples can achieve far more than a large number of converts. The end result should be spiritually mature Christians. Winning converts adds to the number of born again believers, while discipling multiplies born again ones. It is costly to be a disciple of Jesus. We need to deny ourselves, carry our own cross and follow Him. We need to give our whole lives and everything we have to God for Him to use, as He wants. God comes first in a disciple’s life.

A true disciple realizes and accepts the Lordship of Jesus in every area of his life. He lives and dies for the principles of God’s Kingdom Luke 14:27; 8:57-62; John 6:60-66; Mark 10:17-31; John 13:13. There is a cost and benefit in being a disciple. No pain, no gain!

We reap what we sow consistently following instructions of the teacher and doing regular spiritual exercises will bring significant spiritual growth. The disciple learns by doing what the Master orders. He should have utmost respect for Him and faithfully carry out all His instructions and orders without question.

The benefits of discipleship far surpass the cost of discipleship. During the period of discipleship, the disciples have unlimited opportunities to learn and grow in power, wisdom, and love of Jesus so that they are able to continue the works Jesus did. When Jesus called the first disciples to follow Him, everyone seized the opportunity and followed Him instantly.