The Right Balance for the Great Commission - Mat 28:19-20

While the great commission is one, there are three parts to it.  Not getting the right balance will result in an unfruitful church.
The Great Commission:

[ESV] Mat 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

There are 3 parts to the commission:
  1. Go & Make Disciples & Baptise them - all nations
  2. Teach them to follow what Jesus taught
  3. Jesus is with us when we are doing 1&2 - all the time even till the end.
The Balance:

Neglecting anyone one of three will result in imbalance and sickness.

Doing just 1 without 2 will result in many baby believers who are unstable and easily misled and/or always needing people to care for them.
Doing just 2 without 1 will be stagnation. It is too inward looking and the church could be a social club for members only.
Not knowing 3 will make all work difficult and unproductive.

Having all 3 will make a lively, growing church with joyful pre-believers(BEST of Taiwan's Happiness Group) and believers with miracles testifying the presence of Jesus and the truthfulness of His Words.

The 3 parts applying to Church will we find the five-fold ministries of Eph 4:11-12, and operational ministries of Rom 12:6-13, and the exercising of spiritual gifts of 1 Cor 12:28, with all working together to build up and grow the Church.

The 3 parts will apply to every believer's personal life too.  While we may excel in certain gifts and the corresponding ministry, we need to do all to live a meaningful and satisfying life.

Are you living a balanced life?
  • Time with Jesus?
  • Time in sharing the gospels with others? 
  • Time in fellowship with Jesus and His Words? 
  • Time is caring and developing others?
  • Time in prayers for His will to be done on earth through us.
Lim Liat (C) 12 Mar 2019


The Attributes of the Leader who God Selects

The three attributes of a leader who God select can be found in Psalm 78:70-72. They are the heart of a mother, the uprightness and the skills put into action. 
The Bible Reference:

Psalm 78:70-72 English Standard Version (ESV)

70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 from following the nursing ewes
     he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance.
72 With upright heart, he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.

The above passage reveals the attributes that God want to see in a leader.
  1. from following the nursing ewes - The model and motive.
  2. With upright heart - The Character.
  3. with his skillful hand - The Abilities and Execution - Action with Wisdom.
David had been shepherding his sheep. He could see how the mother sheep nurse the lambs. He grew up with a loving heart like the mother sheep.

The next attributes, because of the translation difficulties, have other words used. It is important to read many translations to get the true meaning. Here are the various translations:

upright heart ESV:

The original Hebrew is H8537  and according to BDB Definition:
   1) integrity, completeness
     1a) completeness, fullness
    1b) innocence, simplicity
   1c) integrity
  • integrity of heart NIV, ASV, CEB, JB2000, KJV
  • upright heart, BBE, NRV, RSV
  • a pure heart HCSB
  • unselfish devotion GNT, GWT
  • an innocent heart NCV, DRC
  • a faithful and honest heart. NIRV
  • a true heart NLV
  • (integrity, guilelessness) OJB
 skillful hand ESV:
  • skillful hands NIV, CEB, HCSB, NCV, NIrV
  • skillfulness of his hands ASV, KJV, OJB
  • wisdom of his hands BBE
  • intelligence of his hands JB2000

Skillful is H8394 with BDB Definition:
  1) understanding, intelligence
     1a) the act of understanding
          1a1) skill
    1b) the faculty of understanding
         1b1) intelligence, understanding, insight
   1c) the object of knowledge
  1d) teacher (personification)

The phase with skillfulness of his hands shows that David put his skill into action. He personally got involved with the people and led them with his examples.

The Consolidation:

The qualities of a God selected leader begins with:

  1.  The motive of a Mother to bring up her children into mature man and women.
  2.  The character of integrity, uprightness, a pure heart, guilelessness, and unselfish devotion. He has no ulterior motive of using people for achieving his own glory. His devotion is to the upbringing of the people under his charge. The shared goal is growing up into the real experiential knowledge of God and be like Jesus.
  3. The wisdom and skillfulness of leading his people with personal involvement in their lives and his exemplifying behaviors where they can copy and promote.
Our reflection:

Are we such a leader that God wants us to be?
Do we care for our members like a mother?
Do we have a pure motive, openness, and integrity dedicated to their upbringing?
Do we acquire wisdom and skills to lead them to higher ground with our personal testimonies? Can they copy us just as Paul dare to say "Follow me as I follow after Christ"(1 Corinthians 11:1 )?

Leadership is about the discovery and development of its members to achieve a shared goal.

"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." --Ronald Reagan

"The task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have not been." --Henry Kissinger

 "Leadership Is About Enabling The Full Potential In Others" --Glenn Llopis

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” — Sheryl Sanberg, COO of Facebook

“Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.”— Mwai Kibaki, Kenyan politician

"True leadership lies in guiding others to success--in ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well." --Bill Owens

“A leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding the potential in people and processes.”— Brené Brown, research professor, and best-selling author

Lim Liat 10 March 2019

See also:


The Parable of the Sower - An Interpretation from Chinese Viewpoint

The Parable of the Sower (sometimes called the Parable of the Soils) is a parable of Jesus found in the three Synoptic Gospels in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15.  There are many comments and interpretations of the parable and on Jesus' explanation of the parable. Essentially, while the seed, the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven is the same, there are four types of hearers represented by the different types of soils, giving four kinds of results which only the last one, the good soil, producing fruits of 100, 60 and 30. 

Type of Soils
Growth Process
1 Paths
Heard but Stolen
2 Rocky
Receive with joy but easily fall away because of trouble & pressures
Short growth & die.
3 Among Thorns
Choked by worry and lured away by wealth
Growth but no fruit.
4 Good Soils
Hears & Understands by doing the Words.
Fruits, some 100, some 60, and some 30. Different degree of practicing the Words.

In the saying of the Ancient Chinese Sages, the following is attributed to 鬼谷子 (The Sage of the Ghost Valley, the Father of the School of Diplomacy. For his teaching see Gui Gu Zi - Art of Strategic Alliances & Persuasions )

悟道可有四重境界: Enlightenment of Dao(The Way) can have four realms:
  1. 初为闻道 - First is Hearing the Dao - Sound good. But so what? So forgotten.
  2. 次为知道 - Second is Knowing the Dao - Good to know. But so what? Did not put into practice and hence really do not know. It is knowing the theory of swimming but never really jump into the water to swim.
  3. 再为见道 - Third is Seeing the Dao i.e. put the Dao into behavior that can be seen. It is a good understanding of the Dao. It is experiencing the Dao. But it could be a one-off effort.
  4. 终为得道 - The final, fourth stage, is Obtain the Dao i.e. internalize the Dao so that the behavior is automatic and self-motivated and self-directed action.
Confucius says, “At 15 I set my heart on learning, at 30 I achieve success & independence, at 40 I have no more doubts and confusions, at 50 I knew the will of Heaven (life’s purpose), at 60 my ears were attuned to right and wrong and not emotionally affected by what others say, and at 70 I followed my heart’s desire without violating the laws.

So we know that Confucius spent 70 years to internalize the Dao so that his actions automatically follow from the Dao and will not violate it.

So for us believers, what have we done with His Words? 

Do we know His Words? 
Do we understand His Words? 
Do we follow His Words? 
Have we internalized His Words so that we automatically think and act like Jesus?
Do we have the mind of Christ? 
What is the Mind of Christ?

Psalm 119:11 (NIV) I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.

1 Corinthians 2:14-16
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

Philippians 2:5–8
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Lim Liat (c) 4 Mar 2019