RSS

Tag Archives: participate

It’s All About Me – Or Is It?

DifferentI’ve taken a few posts to talk about our fellowship. It’s more than we think it is in the modern church.

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.
2 Peter 1:3-4

This verse talks about all that God has made available to us. Did you ever stop to think about this? Why has the Lord given us all of these great gifts?

“He loves me. He wants to bless me. He’s given me these promises.” ME, ME, ME!

That’s not the way it is. It’s not all about me. Listen to how this is written.

His divine power has given US everything WE need…through OUR knowledge of him who called US…he has given US his…promises, so that YOU (this is in the plural form) may participate in the divine nature…

This is about us as a body. When Peter says that we may participate in the divine nature; it literally says that we are fellowshippers in the divine nature.

What is the divine nature? It’s God’s way of doing things. Growth by germination. Planting, sprouting, growing, and bearing fruit. This can’t happen if I try to do it all on my own. I need the body of Christ. Only then can I escape the ruin that’s happening in the world.

God wants us to walk in a new nature. This only happens when I connect where God wants me in His Body. Only then will I experience the best He has for me.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11

The real question is; do we want to walk in the resurrection power of Christ? If so, there’s only one path to get there. I have to participate, fellowship, in sharing His suffering. This is the death process that my old man must go through.

It literally says that I have to take on the same form as His death. It doesn’t sound pleasant or convenient, but the result is worth it. The way Paul puts it, he wants to somehowany way and at any cost – arrive at the resurrection power of the Lord.

But what will it take to accomplish this? Do you think that there’s any way to identify with Christ while ignoring His body on earth? Absolutely not! Fitting into the body of Christ plays a big role in conforming us to the image of Jesus.

Please realize that the suffering he’s talking about is not physical pain. It’s an internal discomfort to the flesh – our old sin nature. That’s why we need the church.

The growth doesn’t happen when the world revolves around me. But in the local church I need to think of the needs of others. I have to learn, by the Spirit, to be in unity with some people who are not like me. They might not think like me. There might even be some that I don’t like or, God forbid, that don’t like me.

It’s in the church that we grow together. We see things in us that need the work of the Holy Spirit to perfect. We learn about the grace of God operating in us. We find our giftings and callings.

Don’t take a light view of the fellowship we share. Without it we’ll never reach our greatest potential.

Question: How has fellowship with others changed your life for the better?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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

 
Leave a comment

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,