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4 minutes reading time (793 words)

"All In"

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"But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God"

Acts 20:24


Studying the Sermon on the Mount I have leaned afresh that I am more disobedient than I ever thought but more loved than I've ever imagined. I was also reminded again this last week that Jesus doesn't love me any more when my life is reflecting His, and He doesn't love me any less when my life is a reflection of mine. Each and every follower of Christ is a trophy of God's grace.

Have you ever really sat and thought about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? As you will discover, the answer is fairly simple, but it changes your life completely. The word disciple refers to a student or apprentice. Disciples in Jesus's day would follow their rabbi (which means teacher) wherever he went, learning from the rabbi's teaching and being trained to do as the rabbi did. Basically, a disciple is a follower, but only if we take the term, "follower" literally. Becoming a disciple of Jesus is as simple as obeying His call to follow.

When Jesus called His first disciples, they may not have understood where Jesus would take them or the impact it would have on their lives, but they knew what it meant to follow. They took Jesus's call literally and began going everywhere He went and doing everything He did. You could say they were "all in."

It's impossible to be a disciple or a follower of someone and not end up like that person. Jesus said, "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher" (Luke 6:40). That's the whole point of being a disciple of Jesus: we imitate Him, carry on His ministry, and become like Him in the process. Have you ever noticed how many elderly couples who have been married for decades start to look alike? After eating the same foods for years and being subjected to the same climate and living environment they actual begin to resemble one another. The two really do become one!

Yet somehow many "believers" in Jesus have come to believe that a person can be a "Christian" without being like Christ. A "follower" who believes but doesn't actually follow? How does that make any sense? Many people in the church have decided to take on the name of Christ and nothing more. This would be like Jesus walking up to those first disciples and saying, "Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with Me in some way? Don't worry, I don't actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I'm just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in Me and who will call themselves Christians, "Christ followers." Seriously?

No one really believes that all Jesus was asking people to do was believe in Him on some analytical level. Yet if we know that is true then why do so many believers live this way? It appears that we've lost sight of what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus. The concept of being a disciple of Christ isn't difficult to understand, it affects everything we do in this life as our faith becomes the filter our lives pass through. We measure every by and compare everything to Jesus. It's kind of like that old saying, "What Would Jesus Do?" Thats what disciples of Christ ask most often.

Since I am not Jesus I can't do what He does but what I can do is surrender my heart and mind and soul and body to Him so that He can use me as He sees fit. To live a Spirit controlled life is the life of a disciple, empowered lead by the Holy Spirit. Thats what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, someone who is truly following Him. Now you know why I said speaking of myself, "As I study the Sermon on the Mount I realize I am more disobedient than I ever thought but more loved than I ever imagined." Thank God progress isn't linear! Thank God I am saved by His amazing grace! And so are you!

"looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Hebrews 12:2

I LOVE YOU! 

'Flawed Instruments Glorify God"
"The Art of Noticing"
 

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Wednesday, 23 January 2019