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Discipleship – The Cost and the Glory #discipleship

Jet Plane to NowhereI’ve been posting about discipleship.  How far are you willing to go to follow Christ?  The Lord doesn’t make it sound very convenient.

In my last post we saw that Christ said it involved picking up your cross and following Him.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:26

Most people get tripped up by this verse because they don’t understand the usage of the word hate in the Scripture.  This word has no emotional attachment to it.  It’s just like the word agape, used to convey the idea of love.  Hate is a choice rather than an emotion.

This word hate means a choice to not participate with.  There are times when being a disciple of Christ means that you choose not to participate in every family event.  Maybe it’s a baby shower or a graduation party that’s held on a Sunday morning.

Christ is saying that if you choose to participate with your family over the Lord, then it shows that you’re not a disciple.  You might be a believer who loves God.  But you have yet to choose the high road of discipleship.

Following Christ can be very inconvenient at times.  However, if you want the same results as Christ, you must live as He does.

Jesus also makes the point that we must count the cost of discipleship.

“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:33

If you find your Christian walk to be easy, then you’re not yet a disciple.  The closer you follow to Christ, the harder your choices will become.  But there is a bright side.  The longer you serve the Lord, the easier it will be to make those choices.

It’s all about cultivating an attitude – I am nothing else but a disciple.  It may sound like a tough road, but in the end it’s worth it.

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
John 15:7-8

The way of discipleship leads to a fulfilled life.  There’s a manifestation of the power of God working through you.  When you live at this level it becomes obvious to all those around you.  Your life shows the fruit of the spirit.

It’s apparent that you couldn’t produce the blessings that you’re walking in.  God is at work in you.  That’s the ultimate goal.  Living as a disciple shows God’s glory.

It’s that glory that will draw others to Christ.  This is what the Christian walk is all about.

Question: How much is the glory of God worth to you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Power of God, Revival

 

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The Cycle of Life

Job 39:1-4
“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?  Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?  Do you count the months till they bear?  Do you know the time they give birth?  They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended.  Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return.”

It is amazing to think about it.  When we are in the woods or at a zoo we may see a deer, a moose, or a bear.  But how often do we think about how they live in the wild?  They grow up, they find mates, and then bear their young – repeating the cycle again and again.

With no help from man, they understand instinctively what they were born to do.  They know how and where to forage for food.  They build their dens and protect themselves and their families from the elements.  God has placed in the very core of their being the ability to live and thrive in a wilderness setting.

We could learn a great lesson from them if we would only listen.  They teach us to find our place in God’s kingdom, then live out our lives in devotion to that call, whatever it may be.  We need to find and accomplish the Lord’s will for us as individuals – this is where our fulfillment is found.  We need to be who we were created to be.

Take the time today to praise God for such a diverse and wonderful animal kingdom.  It is truly a precious gift that God has made mankind the caretakers over.  Give God glory for His awesome kindness towards us.  Seek to hear from God concerning your purpose.  Strive to know and accomplish God’s plan for your life.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Right Hand of Fellowship

Galatians 2:9
James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews.

The right hand is important in fellowship.  Even left-handed people shake hands with their right hand.  The right side is considered the side of importance and power.  Consider the saying, “He’s my right-hand man.”  It is a position of trust.

Here Paul and Barnabas were given the right hand of fellowship – they were accepted as fellow ministers and believers in the body of Christ.  This was important, because before his salvation, Paul had a reputation as being a deadly enemy of the church.

How were the early believers able to trust him enough to embrace Paul into their spiritual family?  The answer is in this verse.  It happened when they recognized the grace given to him.  They were able to see that he had a calling from God to bring the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles.

So often Christians find themselves unfulfilled.  This shouldn’t be the case.  We all have a calling from the Father.  Sometimes we blame God and say that He hasn’t spoken to us about our calling.  I think that in many cases it is more a problem of inactivity.  The verse above says that they recognized the grace that Paul was given to minister to Gentiles.  If he had never done anything, there would not have been any recognizing.

Today, don’t just go to church.  Make it your goal to be the church.  Do something for the Lord.  Allow His Spirit and His grace to work through you.  Who knows, maybe you or others will recognize a gift of God’s grace in you.  Then you can be fulfilled as you pass on the blessing of God to others.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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