If you want to be…
August 7th, 2019
Jesus called us to be His disciples.
A number of us have decided that following Jesus isn’t enough. It doesn’t fulfill the charges He gave us, nor begin to repay the debt we owe.
Yeah, I know, we don’t owe Him anything for His grace. His grace was imparted to us through faith in Him. He used that grace to pay our debt of sin, but just as He forgave us, He doesn’t hold that debt to our account. We’ve been bought for a price and Jesus isn’t looking for a refund or cashing in on the sacrifice He made on our behalf.
All he wants is a relationship, for us to return the love He has for us to the best of our ability. It’s that love that compels us, drives us, motivates.
The evidence of that love is in our obedience.
“If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.”
John 14:15-16 (CSB)
Some do or try to. Some pick and choose which of those commands they will be obedient to and just what degree they will comply with the directives of our Lord.
Regardless, we are all brothers in sisters “In Christ Jesus!” We are because of that grace poured out so freely.
“If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:26-27 (NLT)
So, if we want to obey, and Jesus makes it clear that He wants us to be His Disciples, comparatively we love him beyond everything else. Not that we hate our family and friends, but our scale of love-to-hate, stops at the love we are capable of bestowing on others. And when we look at that scale because it lacks true hatred, we love everyone else but Jesus so much less that there is no comparison. The contrast is beyond imagination.
This contrast also means that we wear that emblem of devotion so prominently that we daily take up the charge to carry this to the extreme of every facet of our lives. We carry our cross, daily. This is a disciple of Jesus.
And some of us seek to embrace this objective.
It’s not easy, it’s not without pain or rejection. Likewise, it is not without failure.
For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh.
Romans 7:15-18 (CSB)
I’m with Paul, I fail in some way each and every day. I take up that cross with the best of intentions, but inevitably the enemy is hard at work to snare me. I struggle back with devotion to The Word, but ultimately in some degree I will fail and do so daily.
But there is grace and it was because of that grace that we opted to become His disciple. He doesn’t expect us to succeed with every encounter with sin, we are flesh, He knows that because He created us, and He knows flesh is week. We just need to embrace His Spirit that much more, because where sin abounds, grace abounds more.
The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:20-21 (CSB)
We may get beat up in the battles, but this war is won, and we have sided with the victor, the Lord Jesus Christ, our champion, the pure Lamb of God, our commander, and our shepherd.
Some seek to be disciples. Some seek to also disciple others. Yet others, see their potential to stumble. Observing this potential, they realize they will fail, and do not pick up that cross and step forward as His disciple.
What are you? A mere follower of Christ Jesus or one who seeks to be His Disciple.
I’m not going to beat you up if you are but a follower, you’ve vested your faith in Christ and because of that faith you are my brother and my sister, you are redeemed. But if we really love Jesus we will obey. That obedience demands discipleship. It demands becoming an example, a disciple maker. It calls us from the sidelines and into the battle.
Yes, you will fail, you will fall in battle, but with the armor of God on every side, you will stand back up on your feet, lift that cross and follow our commander. And the enemy will flee!
The enemy thought he’d won when Jesus took his last breath on the cross, three days later his head was crushed with the Lamb’s triumph over sin and death. So, being knocked down is something the one who gave you that grace understands from experience.
And don’t forget, he knows what we are made of, because he made us. Jesus stands before you this very moment and wants you to be His Disciple. He calls to you, “Be My Disciple”.
In His Grace!