Following Christ

There appears to be a lack of knowing discipleship within the church.  Why do I say this?  If you’ve grown up in the church, had a disillusionment about it, or had your time with it, or even still in it and not sure what to do, we all have asked ourselves from time to time, “What is this about?”  We assume, because we see it every week, that it is about just going to church for a class once or twice a week, going to the services, maybe setting aside time to go help the less fortunate, and of course we need to study our Bible and learn to give up things which take away our relationship with Christ.  It all sounds pretty simple, and if we falter some place, we’re told God will forgive us, pick ourselves up and move on. 

But isn’t there more?  Isn’t there anything exciting, making one come alive rather than just going for a weekly service, and waiting for a revival every two years or so?  Could it be that we are being presented with a gospel of formality, a safety net to our culture, saying this is all you have to do?  Could it be a blanket that we could wrap ourselves tightly around our body which we are lead to think of as either precious or evil?  We need security some place in our world.  And with Christians, it seems to be in our theology, maybe a nice warm bubbly theology with a nice hot cup of tea.  But what is following Christ about?  What is discipleship?

As we know a disciple is one who is learning from another.  In the Greek it is:

H3928

למּד    למּוּד

limmûd  limmûd

lim-mood’, lim-mood’

From H3925; instructed: – accustomed, disciple, learned, taught, used.

 

Yet Christ calls us to be even more than that.  We are a family, brothers, sisters, and mothers and fathers to each other, to Christ, in Christ.  And if, and dare I say when, we are persecuted, we have to remember, that the persecutor hated Christ first (Matthew 10:22, 24:9, John 15:18, 17:14).  Maybe this is what we’ve forgotten?  Why aren’t we told to count the cost while we’re being told to follow him (Luke 14:25-35)?  Maybe we have to hear the message first, choose to believe, than choose to abide, along with counting the cost? 

I grew up going to church, singing the music, tried out for some things, went to classes, all the things we’re shown to do by others.  Yet when we hear the message, we are given a choice, not forced, at least in my case, to believe in Christ Jesus.  Yet most of the Scriptures I have read countless times over the years have never been relayed to me in any of those classes, these discipleship classes.  Set below are seeds which have been scattered throughout the Bible to encourage, strengthen, and inspire us.  I encourage you to read them and meditate on them.

A Set of Principles:

Know the cost of your discipleship (Luke 14:25-35)

Live minimally, practically, not extremely (Luke 16:10-13)

Remember the poor, widow and orphan (James 1:19-27)

Speak up for others in love (Proverbs 3:27-28, 31:8-9)

Study and defend the Word of God in love (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Test your faith (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Remember Christ’s humility (2 Timothy 2:8-13; 1 Timothy 3:16; Philippians 2:3-11)

Remember the struggle of all believers (Ephesians 6:12-18, 4:1-16, 2:11-22)

Keep your hands working (Ecclesiastes 9:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)

Eph. 4:1-6: One Spirit, One hope, One Lord, One faith, One baptism, One God and Father of all.

To close this episode of this blog, I’d like to encourage you with this one last piece of viable Scripture.  Do I have more to say on this topic?  Anyone who knows me, it would be a resounding yes.  Godspeed, and Shalom.

2 Peter 1:3-10: His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.  Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.  For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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