Sunday, September 23, 2012

Making Disciples

Jesus said some radical things!  He said "Follow Me"   and I will make you fishers of men. Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.  Immediately seems to be the key word.   Jesus said, deny yourself and pick up your cross and "Follow Me".  If you seek to save your life you will lose it but if you lose your life for His sake you will find it.  Jesus said, " forsake all"  and follow Me.  Unless you give up everything you cannot be My disciple.  Unless you hate your father, mother, sister and brother, you cannot be My disciple!

What was Jesus saying?  Was He being harsh or was He simply being who He is, God who had come among us in the flesh, calling us to live beyond our earthly life in the supernatural realm where He is Lord and Master of All.  He said, "I will be with you always, even to the end of the age."  So go, therefore and make disciples.  Make people who will lay down their lives and count all things loss to the surpassing greatness of knowing God.

This is eternal life, to know God and the one whom God sent.  There is something more to this life than what we see. There is some greater power and experience than what our senses can discover.  There is a spiritual reality that is deeper than the ocean and more powerful than all the forces of nature.  Discipleship lives in this realm.

This is the realm of God who reigns from within His people and He calls us to a radical life of complete and total dependence upon Him. Living for His will alone.  In this is life, that Jesus laid down His life for us.  And we should lay down our lives for our brethren.  What profound love God has for us. At a great cost to Himself, He set us free from sin and death and placed our feet on the Rock, who is Jesus Christ.

What is discipleship?  It seems to be walking together in a dependent relationship with God Himself, to obey Him, to love Him, to lay down our earthly life for His Name's sake.  It's a polarization of our total belief system to align with the Truth of His Word.  It's faith!  In discipleship, we are content with plenty or content with little.  We proclaim the message of the One who set us free, in boldness He gives.  It is a focus on Him, in Him and through Him.

He is our Deliverer. Our Strong Tower.  He is the Vine that gives us life and imparts power to the branches we are to bear fruit.  He made us to bear fruit, and this fruit will last.  He is the Saviour and the Master.  He is Sustainer, the glue that holds all things together.  He is the Beginning and the End.  He is trustworthy and faithful. He is True.  He is Jesus, the Teacher of our souls, the giver of Life. He is Life itself.  And He has given Himself to  us and dwells in us.  and joined us into Himself, so we dwell in Him too.

We love Jesus, with all we are.  And from this love relationship with Him, we love others with the love He gives in and through us.  People know we are disciples by our love for one another.  We love because He first loved us. But in this love there is obedience.  Jesus said, "If you love me you will do what I command." Why?  Is it not because what He commands is always right, always loving and always the very best. His command is the will of the Father, as He works all events together for the good of those who the called out ones, His saints.

Discipleship speaks the truth into the deep recesses of our spirit, calling us to be who we really are.  Calling us to live within the finished work of the cross and to call others to walk together with us for His Name's sake and His glory. We proclaim this message, without weakening it or changing it.  Just declaring what is and what will ever be.  Discipleship doesn't weaken the message or the reality of God to make us feel more comfortable with it.  Instead it teaches the truth of God's words and His reality and calls us to believe that the invisible we cannot see is more real than the visible world we see around us.