DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
Philippians : Chapter 1
27) Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[e] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28) without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29) For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30) since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
Making Disciples – 11
Sammy Tippit: Jesus said to go into all of the world and make disciples of the nations. We are to be disciples who are following, who are growing, and who are learning of Christ. But then as we go into the world, we’re to make disciples of all of the nations. Corey, I’ve found that you just don’t stumble into make disciples. That has to be something that’s intentional. It’s something you purpose in your heart that you have to do.
You come to a place of growth in your life where… At first, you’re saying, “Oh. I’m learning about God. I’m growing in Christ. It’s wonderful.” But then God brings you to a place where he says, “Okay, now you need to disciple others.” In one of our previous sessions, you used a word I want to come back and talk about a little bit. I want to explore that word in the context of discipleship and disciple making. That’s the word accountability.
Corey Webb: Okay.
Sammy: How does that play out in the Christian life? First of all, we’ve talked about how we’re not being religious. This is not a matter of trying to follow certain rules and not do certain things. There are things we do and things we don’t do, but where does accountability play into that?
Where does God’s grace play into that? How does all of that work? Let’s explore that a little bit in the context of making disciples.
Corey: Okay. I guess an easy way to look at accountability is as if we’re all going to breathe our last breath one day. On that day, we’ll have to give an account after that. We think that in our journey here on earth, as we make disciples, as we pour ourselves into other people, we are teaching people the value of giving an account in daily life.
Sammy: That’s really good. I was ministering in Scotland, and an article came out. This was many years ago. The crime rate in Scotland had really grown at that particular time. There was a journalist who had grown up in the northern part of Scotland, which has a very rich Christian history.
He said the fact that the church and Christians had quit teaching about eternal accountability was the reason that they had an increasing crime rate. He traced the crime rate of the community back to the decline in teaching eternal accountability. It was quite interesting, and it was much more sophisticated than what I just said.
Sammy: They had statistics and all kinds of things that went with it, but it was a very interesting principle that when you lose a sense of eternal accountability, you don’t feel like you’re accountable to anything on this earth. It begins with that eternal accountability.
Corey: Yes it does. We’re actually learning responsibility, that we’re responsible for our actions. We’re responsible for the decisions we make. We know we can’t be perfect, but we’re responsible for considering what the consequences would be if we were to make some of the decisions we could make without thinking today.
Sammy: Yeah. Paul addressed this whole issue in the letter he wrote to the church of Galatia. They didn’t understand this relationship between grace and works. This is so important for us. In other words, we are saved by grace, but that doesn’t mean we just go out and do whatever we want and live the way we want.
We’re saved by grace, and now we’re a people who love God and love others. We have to apply that. Let’s get into the practicality of it. You have some people who are following you, who you’re mentoring, who you’re discipling, who you’re helping to grow in Christ. How do you keep them accountable?
Corey: Well, you have to ask questions.
Corey: You have to, first of all, set the foundation for them. The foundation is always going to be authenticity. It’s always going to be genuineness, being real. Don’t wear a mask. “Hey, we’re all going to blow it here.” But we need to come to a time when we can ask, “How are we doing in certain areas?” What we need at those moments is honesty. Whether we blew it or not, whether we pushed forward or not, we just need honesty because we learn through honesty. That’s tied with humility.
Sammy: I was just about to go there. That was my next statement. Humility then breeds honesty.
Sammy: Honesty breeds transparency. Transparency makes it okay to be accountable, so you can have someone who you talk to. When I was a pastor in Germany, I met with a group of men. We would memorize Scripture, but we were accountable. It wasn’t like, “Oh, you have to do this.” Nobody was going to point their finger and beat someone else over the head. We were encouraging one another.
Corey: You bet.
Sammy: We were striving with one another. Now you’re a runner, and you’ll appreciate this. I read in Philippians, and it was a very incredible passage. It talked about striving with one another. I said, “What does that mean?” When I began to research that word, I discovered striving was an athletic word. It was an athletic term. I experienced something that showed me what it meant. I think it goes back to this accountability. I was running 400 meters while doing track and field for a masters track and field competition. I had been injured. After my injury, I had to run in a race in Louisiana. I thought, “Man, I’m going to be in last place. This is bad news because I’ve been hurt.” Well, I went out, and there was a guy who was the fastest in the state. I knew I’d be nowhere close to him.
But I thought maybe I would be okay if I could hang with some of the others. I would probably come close to last, but… Anyway, “Take your marks. Get set. Go!” This guy who was fast took off and left everybody behind, but there was another guy who stayed right with him, and he was going along. Then I found myself in third place. I couldn’t believe it.
I was a pretty good distance behind, so I said to myself, “Just forget those two guys. I’m going to run against the rest and see how I do.” I was going along, and I came around the final curve. I was in the lead. This guy on the inside pulled up next to me, and as he and I… The two guys were way ahead, remember. The one guy who was the really good guy finished, but the guy right behind him began to tire out. Everything came on him, and he couldn’t go.
This other guy and I caught up to him. We were about 30 meters or 30 yards from the finish line. All three of us were there, and when we saw that all three of us were there, we kind of looked at each other and something happened. We were all exhausted, but all of a sudden we had strength. One of us took off, and then another took off, and then the other did. We started going.
We were striving with each other. What happened was I thought I couldn’t go any faster, but the guy came alongside of me and said, “You can go faster.” I said, “You can go faster.” We all took off. That’s what accountability is. It’s not to put each other down. It’s to encourage each other to do more, to do better.
Corey: You bet. Yes.
Sammy: Anyway, that’s what accountability is to me. It’s not saying, “You have to do this,” but it’s coming alongside of someone and saying, “You can do it. You can do it. It’s possible. You can do it.”
Corey: That’s right.
Sammy: Anyway, I don’t know if that’s what you were thinking or talking about when you were talking about keeping someone accountable.
Corey: Right. It’s gleaning that strength where you are receiving energy from their journey, from things they are pushing through with, and you’re striving together. You’re doing it together.
Sammy: So we’re not talking about something that’s really negative. We’re talking about something that’s really positive. I think that when we talk about accountability, so many times we think of our report cards. We just go, “Uh-oh!” A report card is kind of a type of accountability, but you know, “If I did badly, I’m in trouble.” But getting in trouble is not what it’s all about. It’s about someone saying, “Hey, man. You’re struggling in this area? Let me help you.”
Corey: Right. Yes.
Sammy: “You’re struggling in your relationship with your wife? Let’s pray together. Let’s talk about that.”
Corey: We are better together.
Sammy: That’s right. We are better together. That’s a good way to say it. A disciple is someone who comes alongside of someone else and holds them accountable, not in a negative way but in a positive way. Then we can become the people God wants us to become.
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
All Rights Reserved