discipleship

Blog for Podcast #62 (Discipleship)


Intro

This is Dreamwalker1960. As a reminder you can read the transcripts of all my podcasts at dreamwalker1960.com. You can use most podcast platforms if you wish to listen. All you need do is do a search for Dreamwalker1960.

Discussion

Discipleship

Per Dictionary.com it is defined as this:

The condition or situation of being a disciple, a follower, or a student of some philosophy, especially a follower of Christ.

To many out there that call themselves “Christian” don’t seem to realize one important fact. That when they asked Jesus Christ to be their Savior. They too at that very moment became a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I know without a doubt that this statement I just made is true. I encounter those that make statements like: “this is only for the disciples.”

Those that make statements like this do not consider themselves disciples. Yet, they say they are Christian. This is a very sad testimony for those that say things like this. Very sad indeed.

True discipleship takes great courage and sacrifice. This was shown by the twelve and then Paul. And yes, I do include Judas Iscariot. For if you say he was not. You dimmish not only Jesus Christ, but His Father as well. Judas was the ultimate example that we have a part in our salvation. He was accepted by Jesus Christ and thus you can say saved. He rejected this salvation and then not only rejected the Son of God, but also betrayed Him, for the love of money.

Now as was just said all know that there were the original twelve disciples. However how many were given the opportunity?

For that we must turn to the book of Luke:

Luke 14:25-33 – A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “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. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ 31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

First and most importantly it is not a literal “hate” it is a distancing of oneself form those that chose not to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Not truly hating, for Jesus on more than one occasion made it clear that we are to love all and especially our enemies.

Jesus does make it clear that we are to be a light unto the world. Living our lives per the teachings of the Bible. Stiving not to sin and showing that all that chose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ seek nothing but peace and wellbeing for all. This “hate” I feel being referred to is a life filled with sin. Being without the love and blessing of God through His Son Jesus Christ.

Back on the main topic: Discipleship.

A large crowd was following Jesus, so He offered them to be His disciples. Only twelve accepted what was asked of them. I believe all understood the cost. Only twelve rejected the world. The rest chose their lives here on earth. They chose their earthly comforts, their earthly desire, their earthly wants and lusts over eternity.

Now there are many demands made upon those that can become a disciple of Jesus Christ, of God. In the olden days in certain factions, certain sects. They decided willingly to subject themselves to hardships. Many would say they went too far; others would say they didn’t go far enough.

In one of these sects was a certain man who sacrificed a lot. Yet, he never felt it was enough in the way things were arranged by those in power. His name was Martin Luther. Due to his devotion and discipleship, it caused the birth of the protestants.

Now look at those in today’s churches. Millions ask Jesus Christ to be their Savior. How many truly chose to follow the true Christ? How many weight the true cost required? How many truly seek to pay that cost? How many have foundations but not walls to their buildings? As those that reject God and His Son set outside laughing at them.

I can not answer these questions. They can only be answered by the individual. Yet, there is one individual we can turn too. That has been one example that appears within the Bible. Yet how many truly investigate this one example?

Mark 10:17-31 – As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” 21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” 26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. 27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” 28 Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said. 29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”

The key element of this conversations is surrendering those things of the world for those things which come solely from God. Multiple times Christ refers to treasures. How we are to place the treasures of heaven before the treasures and comforts of this world. (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Timothy 6:10, 6:17-19; Mark 12:41-44; James 2:2-9)

How many truly understand this message? From my point of view. Very few.

We are to seek after those things which further God not ourselves.

Matthew 6:25-34 – “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Many see verse thirty-three as receiving worldly wealth. Yet if you pay attention to these verses that go with this one verse. That is not what Jesus is inferring. Christ is referring to what we need.

What is a need? It is a condition requiring supply or relief.

Since we are to seek after God’s plans and desires. We are told to seek after heavenly treasures not earthly ones. When those that seek after earthly treasures do so. They are acting contrary to the will of God and so as such are sinning. This is not me saying this. This is what Jesus taught and stated clearly. How someone wishes to confirm or deny is up to them.

Myself? I have been reducing my worldly profile. All I wish to do is serve God through Jesus Christ. My calling is to teach. So, I will do so.

I will end this with these words of how to be a disciple of Jesus Christ:

Romans 12:1-21 – And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. 6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. 9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. 20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” 21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

God Bless