VIDEO Conditions of Discipleship – Are You A True Disciple of Jesus Christ?

The Conditions of Discipleship

If the closest relationships of a disciple’s life conflict with the claims of Jesus Christ, then our Lord requires instant obedience to Himself. Discipleship means personal, passionate devotion to a Person— our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a vast difference between devotion to a person and devotion to principles or to a cause. Our Lord never proclaimed a cause— He proclaimed personal devotion to Himself. To be a disciple is to be a devoted bondservant motivated by love for the Lord Jesus. Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not truly devoted to Jesus Christ. No one on earth has this passionate love for the Lord Jesus unless the Holy Spirit has given it to him. We may admire, respect, and revere Him, but we cannot love Him on our own. The only One who truly loves the Lord Jesus is the Holy Spirit, and it is He who has “poured out in our hearts” the very “love of God” (Romans 5:5). Whenever the Holy Spirit sees an opportunity to glorify Jesus through you, He will take your entire being and set you ablaze with glowing devotion to Jesus Christ.

The Christian life is a life characterized by true and spontaneous creativity. Consequently, a disciple is subject to the same charge that was leveled against Jesus Christ, namely, the charge of inconsistency. But Jesus Christ was always consistent in His relationship to God, and a Christian must be consistent in his relationship to the life of the Son of God in him, not consistent to strict, unyielding doctrines. People pour themselves into their own doctrines, and God has to blast them out of their preconceived ideas before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Sincerity means that the appearance and the reality are exactly the same. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount


Are You A True Disciple of Jesus Christ?

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What’s Your Passion?

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7

One of the tellers at my bank has a photograph of a Shelby Cobra roadster on his window. (The Cobra is a high-performance automobile built by the Ford Motor Company.)

One day, while transacting business at the bank, I asked him if that was his car. “No,” he replied, “that’s my passion, my reason to get up every morning and go to work. I’m going to own one someday.”

I understand this young man’s passion. A friend of mine owned a Cobra, and I drove it on one occasion! It’s a mean machine! But a Cobra, like everything else in this world, isn’t worth living for. Those who trust in things apart from God “are brought to their knees and fall,” according to the psalmist (Psalm 20:8).

That’s because we were made for God and nothing else will do—a truth we validate in our experience every day: We buy this or that because we think these things will make us happy, but like a child receiving a dozen Christmas presents or more, we ask ourselves, “Is this all?” Something is always missing.

Nothing this world has to offer us—even very good things—fully satisfies us. There is a measure of enjoyment in them, but our happiness soon fades away (1 John 2:17). Indeed, “God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself,” C. S. Lewis concluded. “There is no such thing.”

I have found Him whom my soul so long has craved! Jesus satisfies my longings—through His blood I now am saved. Clara Williams

There is a longing in every heart that only Jesus can satisfy.

By David H. Roper 

INSIGHT

Psalm 20 warns against idolatry—worshiping and trusting in human objects instead of the Lord Himself. King David saw how easy it could be to shift his trust in the Lord to trust in military might: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses,   but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (v. 7). In our culture, idolatry can take many different forms. But for the believer there’s only One who should be the object of our adoration and the One in whom we place our trust. It’s Christ who is the supreme example of courage, character, and compassion.

How is God teaching you that He’s the only true source of satisfaction?

Dennis Fisher

An Unforgiving Spirit

Matthew 18:21-35

Because of man’s propensity to sin, we’re surrounded by opportunities to forgive others. Perhaps we’ve been unfairly criticized, disappointed by a broken promise, or harmed financially or physically. In this broken world, the list of wrongdoings is endless. The question is: How are we to deal with the offenses of others?

Peter was wondering the same thing, so He asked Jesus how often he should forgive a brother who sins against him. He probably thought he was being very generous by suggesting, “Up to seven times?” But Jesus replied, “Up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21-22). In other words, forgive every single time you’re wronged. Forgiveness doesn’t mean finding reasons to justify or excuse someone’s behavior, nor is it about forgetting what happened or pretending it never occurred.

Genuine forgiveness requires deliberate action on our part. While acknowledging that a wrong has been committed, we choose to release the offender from any obligation toward us and surrender our perceived right to hurt him or her back. In essence, we’re no longer holding the unfair, hurtful behavior against the person but are extending mercy, just as God has done toward us.

The only alternative is to hold onto anger and bitterness. Though we may think we are punishing the wrongdoer, we’re actually hurting ourselves. Resentment is like sludge that contaminates the mind, clogs the heart, and poisons the soul. Untreated anger turns into bitterness, which hinders our relationship with God and others and leaves us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks (Eph. 4:26-27). The only remedy is forgiveness.

Thine, O Lord God

“Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)

This is one of the great doxologies of Scripture, originally a part of King David’s prayer at the time of Solomon’s coronation as his successor. Although David and Solomon were the greatest kings of Israel, and two of the greatest kings in the world of their age, David rightly acknowledged that the Lord Himself was the true King, not only of Israel, but of all heaven and Earth. He is head, the supreme ruler, over all.

This is the first occurrence in Scripture of the great testimony of worship: “Thine is the kingdom.” In the modern world, however, there are relatively few who acknowledge Him as King of creation. Except for a small minority, most people believe that the universe has evolved and man is king.

But David’s prayer will be echoed again in the great prayer of the cherubim: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). Then, soon afterward, “the four and twenty elders” utter their prayer: “We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty . . . because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned” (Revelation 11:16-17).

Someday, every knee will bow and every tongue shall confess Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. “Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. . . . Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. . . . Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:6, 10, 12). In that day, “there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him” (Revelation 22:3). HMM

Your sorrow shall be turned into joy

John 16:16-33

Our Lord continued to cheer and warn the little band around him, telling them of the sorrows they might expect, and of the consolations which would be given them.

John 16:16

Because the Holy Spirit would enlighten them, they would see him in the truest sense, and would be prepared in a little while to see him for ever in glory.

John 16:20

When the Lord was gone they were full of grief, but as soon as his great representative, the Comforter, had come to them, they were filled with holy joy, triumphing greatly because the Lord had ascended and had bestowed gifts upon men.

John 16:21, 22

No longer do the saints sorrow over the departure of their Lord, for they see the joyful result of his death, resurrection, and ascension, and are filled with a sacred delight which cannot be damped by persecution.

John 16:23

They would be so well instructed that they would put no more childish questions to him, being led by the Spirit into the mysteries of the kingdom.

John 16:23

Blessed assurance, sealed with a double Verily! Who will dare to doubt the efficacy of prayer?

John 16:24

They had not yet learned the power of the name of Jesus, but when taught of the Spirit they would plead the name of Jesus with great prevalence.

John 16:25-31

He reminded them by this question that their faith was not so strong as they imagined. When we are not under immediate trial we fancy our faith to be far greater than it really is.

John 16:33

We have found our Lord’s words to be true, for tribulation has been our portion; let us be confident that the rest of his words are true also.

 

O love of God, our shield and stay,

Through all the perils of our way;

Eternal love, in thee we rest,

For ever safe, for ever blest!

 

Yes, Old Things Pass Away

If any man be in Christ… old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The New Testament is, among others things, a record of the struggle of twice-born men and women to live in a world run by the once-born! That should indicate that we are not being as helpful as we ought to be when we fail to instruct the new Christian, that one who is “a babe in Christ,” that our Lord told his earliest disciples, “In this world you will have tribulation.”

The Apostle Paul knew what he was talking about when he told Christian believers, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

Take the example of a person recently converted to Christ. His inner witness is clear and up to the light he has, he is beginning to live as he believes a Christian should. But this new world is altogether different from the one he has just left. Standards, values, objectives, methods—all are different. Many solid pillars upon which he had previously leaned without question are now seen to be made of chalk and ready to crumble.

There will be tears but there will be joy and peace with the continuing discovery that in Christ, indeed, “old things pass away and all things become new.”

 

Wilderness Communion

“I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.” Hosea 2:14

The goodness of God sees us allured by sin, and it resolves to try upon us the more powerful allurements of love. Do we not remember when the Lover of our souls first cast a spell upon us and charmed us away from the fascinations of the world? He will do this again and again whenever He sees us likely to be ensnared by evil.

He promises to draw us apart, for there He can best deal with us, and this separated place is not to be a Paradise, but a wilderness, since in such a place there will be nothing to take off our attention from our God. In the deserts of affliction the presence of the Lord becomes everything to us, and we prize His company beyond any value which we set upon it when we sat under our own vine and fig-tree in the society of our fellows. Solitude and affliction bring more to themselves and to their heavenly Father than any other means.

When thus allured and secluded the Lord has choice things to say to us for our comfort. He “speaks to our heart,” as the original has it. Oh that at this we may have this promise explained in our experience! Allured by love, separated by trial, and comforted by the Spirit of truth, may we know the Lord and sing for joy!

 

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