Luk 9:23-24 ESV – 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
Discipleship is costly. Jesus made it clear just how costly in statements like, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26); and a couple verses later He said “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33) [emphasis mine].
These are not easy statements. Some would say that there must be two tiers to Christianity – the believer and the disciple. The first tier believes and is saved and the other tier (the black belt Christian) goes on to higher forms of Christianity. But Jesus didn’t reserve these comments for those that ... Continue Reading.
Mat 28:19-20 NIV – 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” [emphasis mine]
Read the verse again slowly if it’s never occurred to you before that the type of disciples Jesus wants are those that learn to obey. Those who have no interest in obeying Jesus are not His disciples. Obedience is essential, but what type of obedience is the Lord looking for? Here are a few thoughts.Obedience From Faith
Rom 1:5 ESV – 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, [emphasis mine]
Paul’s mission was to call people to obedience. But not just obedience. Obedience by itself can be very dangerous because it can puff oneself up into self-righteousness. “I thank you God ... Continue Reading.
Disciples follow. I would probably get more clicks on this post had I called it “Disciples Lead” because leadership is vogue these days and followership is old. But a disciple is nothing if not following, after all ‘disciple’ means ‘follower or student’.I heard someone ask a group of people recently how many times they supposed that Jesus commended people toward better leadership. The answer is that Jesus never commended people to become better leaders, but rather to become better followers of Him. Christ isn’t against Christian leadership, but in His kingdom a leader is the first to follow, as Paul said “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1Cor 11:1).
So what does it mean to be a follower – more specifically what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? Here are a couple verses and some thoughts
Mar 1:16-18 ESV – 16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I ... Continue Reading.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
There are a few important truths that one needs to understand before we are willing to submit to the God’s Word as the guide for our life. One main one is found in verse 33: we must believe God’s ways are “inscrutable”. This word means “unable to be searched out” or when put within verse 33 we are taught that God’s ways are unable to be figured out. What does this mean?
Well, we know that it does not mean that God wishes to be unknown by his creation since John 1:18 says that Jesus came that we might know God. The Father sent Jesus in the flesh that we might know Him. He wants us to ... Continue Reading.
When you think of a disciple what comes to mind? Do you think of the 12 disciples? Do you think of guys wearing togas? Do you think of yourself? Do you think of yourself in a toga (not a pretty thought). Well, if you’re a Christian then you are a disciple – toga or not.
The bible uses the word ‘disciple’ more than any other word to describe what the followers of Jesus are? ‘Disciple’ appears in more than 200 verses of the new testament but the word ‘Christian’ in only 3 verses. Now there’s nothing wrong with calling ourselves Christians (after all, ‘Christian’ means ‘little Christ’), but Christians should identify themselves as disciples.
What is a disciple? What motivates the disciple? What do disciples do? These are questions that I hope to stir up and answer in the next week through several posts called “4 Things Disciples Do”.
In case you’re wondering…
Disciples Follow. Disciples Obey. Disciples Die. Disciples Go
Stay tuned for more…
John 14:21 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.
If we come to a verse that seems to be a contradiction to another section of the bible, we can never throw out what seems to be the inconvenient verse. God’s Word is true……all of it! In fact, what we should do is dig into those “contradictory” verses and find out what they mean in relation to each other. Many times what we find is a deeper, more impactful truth.
If you’ve been exposed to solid, truthful teaching of the Scriptures, you may read John 14:21 and ask: how does that work with Ephesians 2:4-5?:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved
The John verse seems to say that we are loved because we love God, but the Ephesians verse seems to say that we ... Continue Reading.