Jesus Trusts in Us? The Key to Discipleship - Purity 633
Purity 633 01/20/2022
Today’s photo of a blue cumulus cloud filled sky over County Route 26A in Stuyvesant NY comes to us from September 10th, 2021 and yours truly as I was moved to pull over to capture this simple but beautiful scene of a roadway disappearing around a bend.
Well, It’s Thursday and I take photos like this one, of pathways, to encourage others to step onto the path of Christian Discipleship as I will be facilitating a Men’s Freedom in Christ Discipleship Course Discussion on Zoom this evening. Christian Discipleship is always on my mind because I live it and on Thursdays I encourage others to discover the abundant life that is the result of living it. Discipleship is a lifestyle of learning, application, and purpose.
Dictionary.com defines discipleship as the condition or situation of being a disciple, a follower, or a student of some philosophy, especially a follower of Jesus Christ.
I love the fact that this site acknowledges that one of the best examples of what defines discipleship is the follower of Jesus Christ. In this age of post Christian society and cultural diversity that is moving us toward the end times, instances of Christ being mentioned or respected will become less and less so its nice to see that His example hasn’t been erased just yet. (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/discipleship)
The second definition that the website lists is “the group of followers of Christ in His lifetime”. I put that one in quotes. His lifetime, capital H! The use of a capital H in the personal pronouns of He, Him, Himself or a capital Y in You or Your when referring to Jesus Christ is done to admit and acknowledge His exalted status as God. So Dictionary.com not only glorifies Jesus Christ as the example of discipleship but it also unwittingly testifies to His deity.
Again in this post Christian world that’s nice to see. So let the countdown begin, for someone to complain and demand these references to Jesus be removed. Hey if they can ban nativity displays in the public square and remove the Ten Commandments from courthouses, they can certainly edit a few lines on a dictionary website.
Amazingly, my surprise and joy didn’t end there. For the second definition, dictionary.com provided an example of its use which said:
“The key to Jesus’ discipleship was his personal trust in his disciples.” Okay small h’s but I’ll take it.
While the natural born skeptic in me could point to how one of Jesus’ disciples betrayed Him and how the other Apostles, in fear of their lives, abandoned Christ, so much for trusting those disciples, I would agree with this example of what the key to discipleship is: trust.
Discipleship is not only a condition or a situation. Discipleship is a relationship and like all beneficial relationships it is built on trust. The disciple has to trust that the discipler is teaching something worthwhile and that the lessons they learn will have a benefit to their lives.
Also, as dictionary.com’s example for usage points out, the discipler has to trust the disciple too. The discipler has to trust that the disciples will absorb what they are taught and will be faithful to apply the teachings to their lives to represent what they have learned.
Jesus Christ trusted His disciples to be true their calling and He did so with the knowledge that one of them would betray Him. And despite the other Apostle’s failures when Christ was arrested, they showed themselves to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ by establishing the early church with all but one of them going to early deaths as martyrs for the cause of Christ.
A discipler can’t make their disciples learn or follow the teachings they impart. The responsibility for the absorption and application of the wisdom taught is the sole responsibility of the disciple.
As Christians, we are not just supposed to be believers in Jesus. We are supposed to be Christ’s disciples. We are supposed to learn about Him and His teachings and apply them to our lives in a way that would represent Him.
When we do less than that, those outside of the faith are right to point out our hypocrisy.
As someone who came to faith in Jesus Christ relatively late in life, I decided that I would do my best to learn and to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ because I knew of the tremendous gift that I had been given in my salvation and I didn’t want to be someone who could be accused of being a hypocrite. I wanted to be a real authentic Christian and God has worked in my life to slowly progress towards that goal.
One term that is used in the Bible that is used to describe living a Christian Disciple’s life is “walking in the Spirit”. When we walk in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit of peace, love, joy, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience and self-control begin to grow in our lives but it is our responsibility to walk into them.
As Christians, we are disciples of Christ and, just like Jesus trusted the original Apostles, He is trusting us to answer His call and follow Him.
So be true to the calling that the Lord has put on your life. His words and example are trustworthy and will lead you into a life of victory, freedom, and purpose that leads to an abundant life of experiencing the fruit of the Spirit here on earth and will eventually take you to the ultimate good of being welcomed into His eternal kingdom. Trust in Christ and represent Him as His disciple and experience the peace that comes from knowing that you are in a harmonious and trusting relationship with God.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Today’s verse is one of those verses that can empower your faith walk and inspire you to accomplish things you never dreamed of and to shift the paradigms that the world has programmed you with.
Many Bible scholars temper this verse by encouraging Christians to look at the context of this epistle to point out that the Apostle Paul was describing both living abundantly and going through quite a bit of suffering and that if the context is properly understood we might not use this verse as a magical incantation that will guarantee us of our success.
This verse isn’t supposed to echo the America song “You Can Do Magic” that says “You can do magic, You can have anything that you desire.” That song was talking about the magic of seduction.. so anyway.
Okay, so no we shouldn’t necessarily think that saying this verse will give us anything we want. However, I don’t think an understanding of the context of this verse necessarily negates the ability for our faith in God to overcome and achieve great things.
The biggest lie that the enemy tells us to discourage our victory and our pursuing our purpose in Christ is that something is impossible. I’ll say it again. The biggest lie that the enemy tells us is that something is impossible.
If we temper the power of our faith and try to discourage our brothers and sisters in Christ from pursuing what they feel the Lord is calling them to we could be supporting the enemy’s agenda.
If we don’t try, we may never discover what we can do. If we don’t preserve, we may never discover what the Lord has for us on the other side of our trials.
While today’s verse won’t give you all the material blessings you may want in life, it can empower you to become more like Christ and the context of this verse does not temper that promise. We need to know that we can do everything through Christ when we are suffering. This word from God can be applied at all times and in every season of life.
Rather than a Christian “abracadabra”, it is a word from the Lord to encourage us to follow Him regardless of the circumstance and to live our lives according to His wisdom and ways.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 5.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.
RELATING TO AUTHORITY
Daniel is a powerful example of submission. It could be argued that King Nebuchadnezzar overstepped his authority by requiring Daniel and his people to do something that went against their faith. Notice how Daniel responded. He showed respect to the king and those who carried out the king’s commands. Nebuchadnezzar wanted those who were in his service to eat the food he chose. Daniel did not want to defile himself with the king’s food, so he sought permission from his immediate superior to eat as God required, as long as he remained healthy enough to be a servant of the King, which is all the King really wanted. Because he was not defiant, nor disrespectful, “God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials.”94 Daniel offered a creative alternative that allowed the commander to save face in the sight of the king and to also fulfill the wishes of the king to have wise and healthy servants.
The Lord’s Prayer95 is a model for how we are to appeal to those who are in authority over us. First, we must have a right standing, which is reflected in the phrase, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” In most judicial systems, we must approach the judge in a court of law with respect. It would be considered contempt of court if we didn’t. We respectfully address the judge as “Your honor.”
If there are any unresolved personal issues between yourself and the one you wish to make an appeal to, you better get them resolved first. That is true for our God as well as judges in courts of law or supervisors at work. We couldn’t approach God until He found a way to forgive us, and any judge who is personally biased toward or against the accused must remove himself from the case. If a teenager has been disrespectful and disobedient to his father, he should get that straightened out before he asks for the keys to the car.
Second, we should be committed to the success of those who are in authority and willing to do their will as long as it doesn’t violate who we are in Christ. This principle is reflected in the phrase, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (v. 10). We must do nothing that would hinder them from carrying out their God-given responsibilities. People in leadership cannot accomplish much without the loyal support of those who are under them. Those who are in a submissive role will not prosper in their rebellion. Scripture says, “Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account.
Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”96
One of Satan’s more potent strategies is to discredit spiritual leaders. Your loyalty to those who are in authority over you will be tested. This fact is especially true in Christian ministries and in the home. Everybody will be tempted with subtle thoughts such as: I don’t like the way he did that; I could do it better than that; This is what I would do if I were in that position; or I’m the one who should be running the show around here. It doesn’t make any difference if those thoughts come from the pit, from other disloyal members or from your own flesh; they are wrong according to James 3:13-18:
Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Most leaders will listen to our appeals if they know we are concerned for their responsibilities and their reputations. The Lord withheld judgment upon the Israelites when Moses petitioned Him. He based his appeal on the reputation of God.97 God can only bless us if we are submissive, 98 and in doing so, we find favor with Him.99 Life will be more difficult for us if the ones we are serving are failing in their responsibilities. Every passage that commands us to be submissive ends in a promise for the ones who are—and condemnation for those who aren’t.
Third, our appeals must be based on legitimate needs. This principle is reflected in the phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread.”100 Every leader is subject to the needs of those he serves, and the Lord will bring conviction upon those who do not hear the legitimate cries of their people. However, requests for selfish desires may justifiably go unanswered. Few things can turn off a parent more than an ungrateful child who demands more than what is needed.
Fourth, our appeals must come from hearts that are free from bitterness. This principle is reflected in the phrase, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”101 Anyone who has allowed a root of bitterness to spring up and defile others should not expect favor from those who are in authority. When Simon requested authority from the apostles, Peter refused saying, “You are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.”102
Fifth, our appeals should be for proper direction in life, which is reflected in the phrase, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”103 Every
human institution has been given its authority by God “for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.”104
Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts
(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com.
Email me at email@example.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.
My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship