Friday, September 16, 2016

“Disciple” Means “Following”
    Without evil intention, much of modern Christianity has allowed a cheapening of the person and work of Jesus Christ to creep into our congregations.  We have forgotten to be disciples.

   Throughout the ages the Church has confessed a belief in Jesus as “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God” Who, in time, “for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the virgin Mary.”  We believe, teach, and confess that Jesus is fully divine AND fully human.  So far so good . . .

    The problem comes when we apply this to our lives, to where the rubber hits the road!  Too often, like a retailer trying to compete in a changing market, the Church has offered a more and more stripped down version of its confession.  Gauging the market, we have determined that folks will not tolerate well a teaching that places demands upon them.  We have mistakenly taken this as good news – after all the Good News of God is that Jesus has freed us from the condemnation of God’s Law. 

    But we seem to have forgotten our calling to “make disciples of all nations.”  And the results have been devastating:
  • Instead of disciples of Jesus, we have inadvertently raised a generation of Church-goers who don’t go to Church (worship).
  • Instead of disciples of Jesus, we have raised a people who confess with their mouths but whose lives/actions do not match that confession. 
  • Instead of disciples of Jesus, we have created a people who demand that He follow US, in the stead of us following Him.

   As He walked this earth, Jesus exhorted those listening to Him:
“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” Mark 8:34   

    Jesus desires that we FOLLOW Him.  He desires for us to trust that His life, His death, and His resurrection paid the price for our sins and has given us victory through Him.  He desires that this freedom and victory would shape every aspect of our lives, bending our own wills and worldviews to match His will and His view of humanity.  He desires that we become His students and apprentices.  To do that we must follow Jesus . . .
. . . and watch Him
. . . and imitate Him
. . . and live with Him.

Some Ponderings . . .

How does your faith help shape your life?

In turn, how does the shape of your life help strengthen your faith?

What do you personally find to be the most difficult aspect of following Jesus?

What do you personally find to be the most rewarding aspect of following Jesus?

1 comment:

  1. A path well laid out, but difficult to follow.

    Matthew 7:14: 'straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life'