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Disciples of Jesus

Jesus alone with his Word

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, in the introduction of The Cost Of Discipleship; “…what we want to know is not, what would this or that man, or this or that Church, have of us, but what Jesus Christ himself wants of us. When we go to church and listen to the sermon, what we want to hear is his Word and that not merely for selfish reasons, but for the sake of the many for whom the Church and her message are foreign. We have a strange feeling that if Jesus himself —— Jesus alone with his Word —— could come into our midst at sermon time, we should find quite a different set of men hearing the Word, and quite a different set rejecting it.”

What Jesus want us to know is summarized at Luke 24:47; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. The key is repentance, without that there is no remission of sins. Man-made doctrines are more attractive than the Bible because it has very little on how to repent. True believers begin their spiritual journey by fighting against sin and we all need to be corrected or disciplined by God, for it is written; You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons, My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him;(Heb12:4,5 MKJV) This process is painful and made many people want to run away. We are foolish for there are many helpful prayers in the book of Psalms, one need to try hard to see any result. It is written; And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jer29:13)

Too much of man’s opinion

Bonhoeffer noticed this and asked; “Is it not possible that we cling too closely to our own favorite presentation of the gospel, and to a type of preaching which was all very well in its own time and place and for the social set-up for which it was originally intended? Is there not after all an element of truth in the contention that our preaching is too dogmatic, and hopelessly irrelevant to life? Are we not constantly harping on certain ideas at the expense of others which are just as important? Does not our preaching contain too much of our own opinions and convictions, and too little of Jesus Christ.”

Modern day preaching has subtly removed Jesus’ teaching on the cost of being his disciple. The picking up one’s own cross and denying of oneself have being replaced by the sinner’s prayer. Those who are serious about serving the Lord should ask; did Jesus approve this? It is written; If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; For so many years our souls have been sick and tired of hearing man’s opinions and man-made doctrines, our inner being have been crying out for the oracles of God, only His Word will satisfy the soul.

The cost to follow Jesus

Jesus did not say everybody can follow him, but only those who meet the requirement; He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (Mat 10:37-38) It is written again in Luke 14:26,27 and 33; If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. …… So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

To pick up the cross means giving up your freedom and right of sin, then become what was written; … having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. (Rom6:22 NKJV) It is clear, first step is becoming slaves of God, second have fruit of holiness then the end is everlasting life. But this is not easy, we don’t have the desire, and have to ask God for help. It’s the Lord’s prayer, Thy kingdom come. God’s kingdom is where God rules, to pray “Thy kingdom come” is asking God to rule in our life, to be king in our life and we become his slave. Don’t know why, I still don’t have a strong desire to pray this yet.

Make disciples of all nations

Jesus commanded us in the last chapter of Matthew; “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (NKJV) I have been meditating this scripture and next morning God’s word in first John chapter 2 came to me; And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Beware of many who appear to know some scriptures, but always avoid other scriptures. They did reject this command, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; For they went their own way to keep some and reject others. Now lets pray;

Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people? Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure. Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.