Posted by: dailywordofdestiny | September 4, 2013

DISCIPLESHIP CALLS FOR OBEDIENCE

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"God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. In this is love, NOT that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (substitution) for our sins" ( 2 Timothy 1:9; Psalms 139:16; John 3:16; 1John 4:10).

True discipleship can tolerate nothing which might come between Jesus and a follower’s obedience. When the rich young ruler was challenged by Jesus to accept a life of voluntary poverty, the man knew he was faced with the simple alternative of obedience or disobedience (CHOICE) (Matthew 19: 16-22). When Levi was called from the receipt of taxes (Mark 2: 14) and Peter from his nets (Matthew 4: 18-21), there was no doubt that Jesus meant business. Both of them were to LEAVE EVERYTHING and FOLLOW. Only one thing was required in each case—to rely on Christ’s word, and cling to it as offering greater security than all the securities in the world.

The disciple’s first step takes him out of the old way of life and places him immediately into a new way where FAITH is possible. We must concentrate on Jesus’ call to come to Him, not on the work we do in response to His call. We are called by His grace and our first act of obedience is also an act of faith we take by BELIEVING Jesus Christ’s words and it ultimately leads us into a closer relationship with Him.

In Genesis 22: 2, 3 God’s command to Abraham was, "Take NOW your son…" not later. It is incredible how we debate! We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later—it must be done NOW and the sacrifice must be worked through our WILL before we actually perform it. In verse 3 we see that Abraham instantly obeyed; he didn’t check with friends, family, past experience, or any special insight; he neither delayed, nor protested, but instantly and steadily obeyed.

The Lord never insists on our obedience. He stresses very clearly in His Word (BIBLE) what we OUGHT to do, but He never forces us to do it (CHOICE).

Whenever He spoke of discipleship, He always said "If," meaning, "You do not need to do this unless you desire to do so" (Luke 9: 23). He is not talking about our eternal life but about our being of value to Him in THIS life, HERE and NOW! If our relationship with Him is that of love, we will do what He asks without hesitation. If we hesitate, it is because we love someone (or something) we have placed in competition with Him; usually our-SELF!

God sees how each of us turns out in the end. We are all just works in process; daily being renewed and transformed into the perfect reflection and nature of Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 18: 1-5; Romans 12:1-5; 2 Corinthians 3:18). An example is Peter; we are much like him. He eagerly jumped at the chance to 'follow Jesus' when he was called (Matthew 4: 18, 19) and he became one of Jesus' key disciples. Peter had a radical zeal and determination to follow Jesus. When Jesus called, Peter instantly obeyed and was even able to walk on the water for a few minutes (Matthew 14: 28-31). On the other hand, Peter also shows each of us our own FLESH/SELF nature in his weaknesses (John 18: 10, 11). We think we have Jesus as our FOCUS in life yet, when it comes right down to the crunch (our life for His) we CHOOSE our 'self'. (Matthew 26: 69-75).

The cost of discipleship is not to be confused with human excellence or ability. For example, in himself, Peter was unable to walk on the water or, to stand firm in his faith at a time of crisis. Obedience to Jesus' call is from His initiative, His grace, His power, and never from our own. It calls us to be TOTALLY DEPENDENT on the ONE who calls—totally and completely devoted to JESUS CHRIST.

Where do you stand?


Responses

  1. Outstanding article!

    • Merci…wrote it about 5 years or so ago; shortly after you deployed from the pulpit 🙂 Looking forward to hearing more about the topic next week


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