Posted by: dailywordofdestiny | February 9, 2014

GRACE AND DISCIPLESHIP


“As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he arose and followed Him” (Mark 2:14). Please go to Luke 9: 57-62 and read it as well.

So, what does it mean to follow Jesus? First, I want to state that I believe Christianity without the living Christ as Lord of your life is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Jesus Christ. Further to this, I believe that there are NO ‘half-way’ places in following Jesus; either you CHOOSE to follow, or you don’t.

In day to day natural life our ambitions are our own, but in the Christian life we can have no goals of our own. We often talk about our decisions for Christ, our determination to be good Christians, and our decisions for this and that, but in the New Testament the only aspect that is brought out is the compelling PURPOSE of GOD. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” (John 15:16). We are not taken into conscious agreement with God’s purpose; we are taken into God’s purpose with no awareness of it at all (Ephesians 2:8-10). The call of God can never be understood absolutely or explained externally, it is a call that is only perceived and understood in our spirit (John 16:12-15).

In Luke 9:57-62 Jesus says to those who have been called, “… No man, having put his hand unto the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Within these verses we see three examples of potential disciples that many of us were once like, or perhaps are one of them today.

The first disciple followed Jesus without waiting to be called (Hebrews 4:4-14). Jesus warned the disciple of the costs and with His warning revealed that no man CHOOSES such a life for himself. A man cannot call himself. There is a big gulf between a voluntary offer to follow and genuine discipleship. I frequently see this when counseling people in bondage to addictions. They ‘get clean’ and are on a high because they are going to ‘change their life’. They eagerly seek Jesus without first counting the cost. Soon, old friends check in and before you know it they are looking back into their ‘old lifestyle’ and many times end up back in it.

The second disciple wanted to bury his father first. He had become bound by the deception of the law (tradition, religion) and the law itself placed a barricade between Jesus and the man He called (Matthew 15:1-20). NOTHING, however sacred, can be permitted to come between Jesus and you. I believe I see this in many churches today. We have man’s rules (self-made doctrine) about when, why, how we must PRACTICE worshipping our Lord. Soon, we look around and if another church is doing it ‘differently;’ we judge and say they are wrong. Does this not remind you of the Pharisees in Jesus day? I call it religious pride, or the ‘religious spirit’.

Finally, the third disciple thought that following Jesus meant he must make an offer; like he did when planning his career. He wants to follow, but feels he must insist on his own terms; certain conditions must be fulfilled first (Luke 18:18-23). The “do this and then I’ll do that” mentality actually reduces discipleship to the level of a self-planned program we arrange to suit ourselves. WE WANT OUR OWN WAY. It’s the part of us that has not SUBMITTED to the reign of Jesus. It’s the part of us that remains in spiritual darkness and the degree we are in darkness means we experience that much less of Holy Spirit’s presence.

In reality, true discipleship can tolerate nothing that may come between Jesus and a follower’s OBEDIENCE (Matthew 10: 34-42; Luke 9:62).

Have you given Jesus Christ FIRST place in ALL areas of your life? (John 12:23-26).

“I am the Lord your God, A jealous God… “(Exodus 20: 1-6).


Responses

  1. Great article.


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